Murmuration Psychology

complex behavior from simple idiocy…

Photo / Graphic by Roman.

A crowd of me
Gathers around the screen
To watch the work
Of some of us
And are so pleased
To be surprised.

As we gather,
We snack on nuts and flesh
In nervous anticipation,
Not all of us pleased
To be fed.

Every one of them me.
As me as me as could ever be.
Some are ephemeral,
Some seem hardwired.

We don’t all agree
And frequently quarrel:
Or was that really an accident?


Noble Oak

Photo by Roman.

Dying Oak Tree That’s Older Than The City Of Chicago To Be Removed From Lincoln Park Zoo” said the headline of an article by Jake Wittich at Block Club Chicago. “Hmmm,” I thought. “That tree looks familiar. I think I have its photo from a few years ago.”

And maybe I do. There it is above, I think. That photo is from my last visit to Lincoln Park Zoo in 2018. Lincoln Park Zoo, whatever your feeling about zoos generally, is a photogenic place, but most of the photos that I took back then were not especially interesting or successful. But I do remember that Oak, and I’m quite happy to have made its acquaintance.

The Block Club Chicago article notes that the tree today is mostly dead. My experience has been that trees tend to become forgetful and careless with dead parts (some trees deliberately?) so passers-by are at risk especially during or immediately after windy weather. The article also has some interesting factoids about other tree elders in Chicago and Illinois.


PARALYZED is another student video, this one being from Adél Palotás:

As the filmmaker puts it: “A short animation film about sleep paralysis. From my second year of Metropolitan University Budapest (2021). Animation, sound design, music and live action scenes made by Adél Palotás.”

For me, it’s hard to avoid being distracted by memories of the people I knew who were students at IIT’s Institute of Design. They would spend long days making stuff, “long” meaning at least one full night. Some of it was end-of-semester panic but it wasn’t atypical at any time during the academic year. One year we had an endless supply of cardboard reclining chairs as one fellow struggled with its elements of design and construction. Eventually the chairs became quite sturdy.

And I guess that’s my reaction to this video: sturdy. And if that seems that seems a bit… trivializing, perhaps… …Well, that’s mostly because you have no way of knowing how much pleasure a well-constructed reclining cardboard chair brings.