[-empyre-] t0 wr1te

I have nothing to write / and I am writing it / and that is poetry as I need
it (nearly John Cage).

>From 'nothing' to 'it' / from not writing to writing / from 0 to 1 / and

1. Etymologically, "to write" means: to tear, scratch, cut. Thus "to write"
points to the basic cut (or the differentiation) that makes a difference,
that in-forms by creating information, meaning, sense. Or with George
Spencer Brown: "Draw a distinction, and you create a universe." Thus, when I
think about 'digital writing' I have to do with a doubled or better: a
self-referential notion. Aesthetically, digital writing - for me - is
concerned with the processes, conditions and potential of writing in its
pure sense. As far as I have followed the discourse on digital culture and
art and the exciting posts to this discussion I am observing (and
practicing) the analogizing of digital technology with the mysterium of
poesis (or gr.: poiesis) and the question in which ways we can get from
nothing to something by using zeros and ones, numbers and characters, which
are computed to what Bill is calling "pattern flows". That's why the label
"p0es1s" was chosen for the project of digital poetry that led to the
exhibition and book last year.

2. In my view, the distinction between code (alphanumeric, self-executing
and programming) and interface (various media elements to be perceived and
connected to meaning construction) is aesthetically crucial for digital
writing. The relation between the both sides of this distinction is
complementary, mutual dependent. It is a question of the individual artistic
program whether the code is focused (like in code-poetry, software art) or
the interface (like in various forms of multi-media art) or exactly the
'cut' in between. If writing still means to be an articulation of language,
digital art is writing par excellance because it is based on language (i.e.
alphanumeric signs). The distinction between code and interface points to
another - now basically aesthetic - distinction: between concept and
perception. Every digital work which is written to be perceived (as
meaningful media-elements like text, sound, image, video) is conceptually
linked to its code - and vice versa.
One of my favorites of the p0es1s show was the pretty looking sequence of 13
:(){ :|:& };:
which we had embroidered on t-shirts and printed on post-cards (not any
electronic devices needed, very cheap, and yes: printed, embroided - so
forget the distinction between print and digital). Here, the distinction
between code and interface is fused/crashed. The characters are subversive
self-executing code when entered on a unix-system, an ascii-forkbomb by

3. I am still searching for the poetic in digital poetics. Embodied
"awareness" and "mindfulness" are challenging concepts (imported - as you
know - from Buddhism). Another point should be made on "la plaisir du
texte". Just mind that Diotima, when considering "poiesis" as the transition
from not being into being, is praising Eros. What about the poeterotics of
digital writing?




p0es1s. The Aesthetics of Digital Poetry. Ed. by Friedrich W. Block,
Christiane Heibach, Karin Wenz. Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz 2004.

PS Sorry for my poor English and for writing very late. I'll only be able to
contribute very sporadically. Thank you for the pleasure to join this group!

PPS Bill: could the "sentient machine" be used to (re)construct the palace
of meaning of the "Tibetan Book of the Death"? 

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