Cradle is a datapoem attempting to combine 3 topics – the deep sea, the march of technology and environmental degradation, which were originally suggested in a Twitter survey. The theme that emerged from the synthesis is that humans evolved out of the oceans, but have grown apart from it. Our increasing technology is both a source of pollution and a means of reconnecting with that environment.
Unusually, it takes a speculative turn and extrapolates to a future where robots leave us behind to settle in the deep sea, powered by currents and with ample cooling for their processors. It suggests they are humanity’s children and will become estranged from us, as we are from the ocean.
The blending of 3 topics necessitated a longer and therefore more traditional structure of separate verses. The datapoem retains some idiosyncratic elements such as the data overlay depicting the ocean layers, a pictorial representation of robot submarines, and the control cables (possibly severed) trailing back up to the surface. The cables are intended to represent the parent/child relationship and the binary on the subs spells ‘AI’ in a loop.