Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time

📂 Folder Poetry Club 📂

👀!! Check out more recent writing and tutorials on this topic here & here.

Workshop taught by Melanie Hoff, co-organized by the School for Poetic Computation and Detroit Community Technology Project. Zine by Neta Bomani and Taeyoon Choi


A drawing of a blob like character popping out of a folder icon and passing a file icon to an open latop with hands and a smile on it face.


This workshop assumes no coding experience and simultaneously takes the position that everyone who interacts with computers in some way is already a programmer.

Coding isn’t something that just happens behind your screen.

Coding can be a holistic computer practice, a new relationship you have with your computer & your computers habits - from the way you name your files or organize your folders, to completely changing how you perform routine tasks on your computer, such as moving a file.


  • Introductions
    • What is the story of your folder name?
  • Intentions
  • Longer Introductions
  • History of SFPC
  • Reintroduction to computers & computing
    • Folder/file systems
  • Handy shortcuts
  • Sentence activity
  • House folder activity
  • Bash
    • For loops
    • Bash profile
  • Folder Poetry Club


Word Definition
folder (also referred to as directory) is an organizational regime imposed on your computer used to store and organize files and other folders
file is an object on a computer which stores data, information, settings, or commands to be used with various computer programs
file types/formats/extensions indicate how data has been stored and how to read or open files in specific programs. for example, .txt files open in a text editor, .jpg files open in an image viewer/editor. full list of file formats and extensions here
file path tells you the location of a file in a system. for example users/username/desktop/folder_poetry_club
terminal is a way to get text based access to your operating system
terminal commands give you the ability to control your computer using command prompts. for example, terminal commands on mac computers are written in a language called bash
bash is the programming language we use in the terminal, often one line at a time, but we can also put bash code in a file and run that file

File organization

  • Naming files and folders
    • All lowercase
    • No spaces, under scores and dashes are ok (for example, my_folder or my-folder)
  • File types
    • .txt, .html, .css, .js
  • Mind your file path
    • /../../../../../

Handy Shortcuts to sharpen computer habits

Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac Description
cmd + Tab Switch between applications
Cmd + Spacebar Spotlight search
Cmd + S Save file
Cmd + Shift + N New Folder
Cmd + Ctl + Spacebar Emoji Keyboard

Command line activity

Open terminal

What is terminal?

Terminal is a way to get root level, text based access to your operating system.

How do you access it?

  • Type command + spacebar to open search
  • Type 'terminal' into the search field to open the application


What is bash?

Bash is the programming language that we use in the terminal, often one line at a time, but we can also put bash code in a file and run that file.

Commands, codes, spells

Bash Commands

Command Description Verb
cd change directory move
cd .. change directory one level back return
ls list contents of directory look
pwd parent working directory where
open . open folder with finder open
open filename.txt opens file in Text Edit open
cat print contents print
touch filename.txt create a file named filename.txt create
mkdir foldername/ create a folder named filename.txt create
rm filename.txt remove file remove
rm foldername/ remove folder remove
cp filename.txt filename2.txt copy file . copy
say "hello, what is poetic computation" say words out loud speak
man cd show the manual for 'cd'. Press q to quit define

Keyboard Terminal Commands

Command Description Verb
Up + Down Arrow keys scroll through history scroll
Tab Key autocomplete complete

Other useful code

Code Description
open ~/.bash_profile opens your bash profile in a text editor
source ~/.bash_profile reloads your bash profile (for after making changes)
export PS1="🌸 \h ✸ \w ⇢ " to change your bash prompt
for i in {1..2000}; do printf ' ♡ 📂 → ➩ ➪ ➫ ➬ ➭ ➮ '; done; to make an emoji for loop
bash to run a bash file
curl prints the html of a website

Alias to put in bash_profile

An alias (shortcut) to put in your .bash_profile for viewing folder tree structure:

alias tree="find . -print | sed -e 's;[^/]*/;|;g;s;|; |;g'"

An alias to put in your .bash_profile to automatically run an emoji for loop:

alias folderpoetry="for i in {1..2000}; do printf ' ♡ 📂 → ➩ ➪ ➫ ➬ ➭ ➮ '; done;"

Folder Poetry Activity

Download the house

Download the house folder and put it in your computer's home folder. Your home folder or directory on a mac is represented by a house icon 🏠 in finder and by the ~ symbol in terminal. This folder is located near the root of your computer's entire system. Explore the house.

What is the house?

The house as an example folder structure poem because using the command line and computing in general is a relational practice. You are never using the command line from a “global” perspective. When you issue commands from the command line, you are doing so, from a particular position within the hierarchy of your computer’s file system.

Similarly, when we are inside a house, we are never simultaneously in the kitchen and the bedroom. If we tried to “get into bed” while in the kitchen, we would not be able to. However if we wanted to wash dishes while standing in the kitchen, we would be able to.

From the command line, if we have navigated to the Desktop folder but try to perform an action on a file that’s inside your home directory, this would not work. You would have to navigate to the home folder by navigating your file path.

Make your own file path or file tree

  1. After exploring the house together, consider what other narratives you would like to explore with folder structures. Using the worksheet template or a blank piece of paper in the zine, take a few minutes to come up with some ideas that are meaningful or interesting to you. For example, a folder of one's own and my fears.
  2. Share with a partner
  3. Using terminal alone, create the folders and files that make up your folder poem
    • Your files can be .txt, .html, or .sh
    • The contents of your files can be words, ideas, thoughts, feelings, emojis, or bash scripts
    • To include emoji icons in your poems, the file must be a .html file with the following line included at the top: <meta charset="utf-8" />
  4. Upload your folder to: Folder Poetry Club 📂
  5. Soon, you should see your folder poem live on

Full credits

📂 📂


No description, website, or topics provided.






No releases published


No packages published