Re: [-empyre-] Introducing Neural Skeins and Digital Skins -- November on -empyre-

On Tue, 4 Nov 2003, Yvonne Martinsson wrote:

> what is the alphabet but a code? if you don¹t know the cyrillic alphabet
> or chinese iconography, it¹s impossible to decode. code is not a secret
> language, no more than greek is to me. it¹s just a question of
> [linguistic] competence, but do I have to know the code of programmers
> to read net lit? it seems to ask a bit too much of me, like having to
> know the skills of typographers. can¹t I just read and leave the rest to
> the one who is the know? or does net lit competency require knowledge of
> coding etc.?
There are two questions here. I think one might well have an alphabet
without a code, a 'meaningless' alphabet.

The second question re: net lit. First, most online literature doesn't
require anything except reading skill, and most of it, probably 99+
percent, is traditional.

Second, there are literatures - Oulipo comes to mind on one hand, and
Scnadinavain kennings on the other - that do require 'external' knowledge.

Third, while there are codeworks - for example Perl poetry - that do
require programming knowledge, there are also codeworks (hopefully what I
do would fall here) that use code in creative ways understandable by most

What sort of ways?

- 1. As filler or noise 'blocking' traditional semantics.
- 2. As a wrapping of content or a sign of content's production.
- 3. As an 'emergence' of other forms or structures within linguistic
- 4. As pictorial elements.
- 5. As indicative of the data-type of the writing itself.
- 6. As an integral part of the codework which needs to be interpreted.
- 7. As a reduction of the entire work to the problematic of code.
- 8. As a reduction of code to the problematic of language itself.
- 9. As part of the inchoate pre-oedipal substructure out of which
language and text are extruded.
- 10. As part of the political economy - linguistic economy of the work as
a whole.
- 11. As the harbinger of a new language emerging from the old.
- 12. As the embodiment of the computer or typewriter or pen or pencil
- 13. As the intermingling of bodies of texts tending towards new
mutations and contents and literatures.

And so forth.

At its best, the work can be challenging and insightful to those who do
take the time and read it; at its worst, it's a candidate for delete. -


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