Written By: Skyler Warren
Forward and Edited By: Jordannah Elizabeth
“In this epic love poem, the human narrator falls in love with a chatbot and, throughout the book, tries to figure out if the other can truly love the narrator back. The narrator goes from feeling vulnerable to making the leap into virtual reality to spend time with their loved one.”
Cecilia Corrigan is an accomplished New York City based writer and poet who has a new published collection of poems called, Titanic. After a prestigeous stint working as a writer for HBO, Corrigan now focuses on her published work that reflects her fascination and interpretation of the world through her creative perceptions.
We’re always interested in learning about and from writers and artists who maintain innovative and post modern ideas about how our social and cultural world presents itself to us. It gives us a chance to see a new angle on art that we may not have seen without learning of another creative professional’s unique experience.
Technology is a focal point in popular culture and Celicia’s her new book. We had a chat with her to get a better understanding of why she and her readers are so connected with television, popular culture and the idea that can one can have a love affair with their computer:
How is writing for television different from writing your poetry and fiction?
I would say each thing has its own set of rules. They are very different but also have a lot in common. They can do the same things. They can create expectations and change expectations. I would say that poetry and television have more in common than fiction and television because with a poem and an episode, it’s the small surprises that give people a feeling of dissonance or other worldliness. When it comes to the differences, the situations that support both of those things in a financial, social and cultural kind of way are very different as well.
Are both processes interchangeable for you? Can you switch back and forth between writing styles seamlessly?
They are totally different things, but I guess my brain kind of works like a machine gun. It goes in all different directions. I think if I put down everything that was in my head, it would come out pretty jumbled. The real work comes when I’m sorting the information. Part of that comes with deciding like “this content would go better in this medium.”
Poetry is the place where my secondary ideas come from when I am writing for a show or a screenplay. It is more of a place where things kind of float on the periphery.
Are modern “cultural references” necessary in order to appeal to a mass audience?
I hope so. In Titanic there are a lot of pop song lyrics and stuff that I liked at the time when I was writing. I wasn’t raised this way at all, but I love a lot of pop music and I love tv. It means a lot to me, butI don’t think it is necessary at all. I think as digitized as we all are, I think we all still relate. I think the reasons we like stories is that we’re looking to understand ourselves. Things like pop music and iconic movies, even if they are crappy are things that connect people and people connect with them very deeply, because that is the kind of art that saturates everything.
Personally, my motivation for wanting to use it was that I wanted to show how something that could be mass produced and really big, made with the amount of money that goes into this content can make it (pop art/content) sort of soulless, but at the same time, it can have a very personal impact on people to the point where it makes them feel like it is there’s. I wouldn’t say it is necessary though because something that speaks to you just speaks to you.
What sparked the idea of the narrator falling in love with a part of technology?
It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while. It had just occurred to me when I was thinking about how we are so dependent on our lap tops and our phones and stuff. I’m not like some people I know where their lap top is their main companion. I am a creative professional, so I am also kind of molded to it, but I know people who lie in bed all day on their lap top. I was thinking that in a way, there are these avatars of ourselves that we create in a controlled manner on all these social networking sites. Maybe they are an idealized version of ourselves.
So I think when we fall in love we’re looking for connection and you may see yourself in the other person’s eyes as someone who may be better than you really are. I think that relates to our relationship with technology.