On a very rainy afternoon on the 18th of September, in a shared art space in Marrickville, Sydney (Frontyard), nine poets read their work: Astrid Lorange, Pam Brown, Alison Coppe, Emily Stewart, Yasmin Heisler, Holly Isemonger, catherine vidler, Dave Drayton and Nick Whittock. The reading was organized by SOd Press, an Australian small press focusing on radical poetics: a press begun by a.j. carruthers and now a collaborative project between myself and him.
Ouyang Yu's poem "Philosophy" in the "Leaf or Fallen Bank" chapter/section of his recent collection, Fainting with Freedom, reads, in part:
Martin Heidegger had extramarital affairs with two of his girl students. See the source at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Heidegger.
Fainting with Freedom is not available as an ebook, nor is it even previewable from google books. So, for the reader of "Philosophy," this hyperlink is dead: it can't be clicked on, it doesn't offer the immediate gratification of near instantaneous direction to the citational "source." To track the citation involves putting the book down, and potentially moving from page to a screen.
Today, creators of the Transborder Immigrant Tool announced the release of their book containing the code and poems that power this inventive and potentially life-sustaining tool. Developed by the Electronic Disturbance Theater while in residence at B.A.N.G. lab at University of California, San Diego, the Transborder Immigrant Tool is a mobile app developed for use on inexpensive phones that offer immigrants crossing the U.S./Mexico border on foot navigation to water stations in the desert using visual and sound cues. Once a traveler activates the app, the phone locates the nearest water cache using GPS and begins guiding the user towards the water using a compass and poems.
Ever wonder what tweets would look like remixed into poetic form? This question, which few people were probably asking, is the premise behind the application Poetweet. Simply type in a Twitter handle, choose between sonnet, rondel, or indriso, and the application generates a poem.
"Divya Victor" is one such poem generated through Poetweet, using the Jacket2 Twitter account:
Along with the growth of executable code poetry, code poets are writing poems that draw on the aesthetic, formal, and visual dimensions of computer code without focusing on the executability of the code itself. The work of Mez Breeze, is one such example. Breeze is an Australian net.artist who uses the internet as a primary medium for her work. Her digital multimedia work combines sound, image, text, and code, and her writing includes electronic literature and code poems.
In recent years, growing interest has emerged in the relationship between poetry and computer code. A higher brow version of ASCII art, code poems draw on programming languages like Java or C++ for their formal inspiration. Since 2013, Stanford University has been running code poetry slams to explore the poetic potential of code. Participants in these competitions have explored the broadest definitions of code poetry.
A fair amount of contemporary writing and art would benefit from media-historical analysis. What media at what time made this work possible? What media are brought together in this work? When we want to analyze form in the contemporary, are we not sometimes talking about technical supports, the bridgings between various media the work relies on?
The long poem “Dahai tingzhi zhi chu” 大海停止之处 by Yang Lian 杨炼 and its transformation into the collaborative digital and performance piece Where the Sea Stands Still illustrate an iterativeresponse to digital technologies and globalization. The iterative structure of Yang Lian’s long poem produces an expanding sense of space and geography that, like the title, combines perpetual repetition with continuous change.
The long poem comprises four poems, each entitled “Dahai tingzhi zhi chu” (“Where the Sea Stands Still”). There is no numbering: each poem’s title is identical to all the others. Each has three sections and ends with “zhi chu” 之处 (where/the place where). These final characters combine stillness, spatial and temporal arrest with the sea’s ceaseless repetitive movements.
Jared Nielsen has created a series of videos in which he rewrites modernist poems as Python programming language scripts. His character — intended to engage children in this experimental poetry-programming — is Guido the Python. Click here for a link to the site and access to the video of the Stein piece.