[-empyre-] reply to Murat

Murat Nemet-Nejat muratnn at gmail.com
Thu Dec 1 06:46:00 AEDT 2016

Good point.

Yes I have heard Raworth read multiple times. Its going against the grain
that makes his reading so distinctive. I did not say speed can not be
present in poetry, but if so it makes a different statement. Rap lyrics
also are read very fast, but it adds to their street sense. Speed, on the
other hand, seems to be the modus operandi of digital poetry.


On Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 12:32 PM, Michael Boughn <mboughn at rogers.com> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> "On the other hand, speed is antithetical to poetry, particularly reading
> it."
> I don't know about that. Have you ever heard Tom Raworth?
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpGYvuq0QIo
> On Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 1:43 AM, Murat Nemet-Nejat <muratnn at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Chris, I apologize for my delayed response. I wanted to mull over your
>> observations before I responded. You touchon issues that are important to
>> me:
>> ".... Poetry in oral and written forms has developed a history, we must
>> presume, because it appeals to deeply ingrained human sensibilities with
>> its often metrical presentation of language that pleases the reader’s
>> emotion, intellect, and imagination. A large audience might consume a
>> technologically complex digital poem produced as a video game, but that
>> text is going to be vastly different from something in the anthologies
>> heretofore published by W. W. Norton. Given a new set of stimuli—a slower
>> pace of presentation, materials absorbed as words and artwork—the typical
>> video-game audience might change its tastes, but I do not see those
>> radically different modes ever conjoining in titles that reach a high level
>> of popularity in mass culture...."
>> I think here you are making two very important points. First, perhaps
>> non-digital poetry and digital poetry are two completely different genres.
>> To apply the same word "poetry" to both is a misnomer and mis-charaterises
>> both of them. It leads to confusion and misunderstanding of either. I tend
>> to agree with that evaluation.
>> Second, the importance of speed in understanding the digital medium.
>> Speed is at the heart of everything that happens there. It is a component
>> of its value. On the other hand, speed is antithetical to poetry,
>> particularly reading it. That is I think the chasm that ultimately
>> separates them.
>> " don’t know if you ever saw my follow-up book, *New Directions in
>> Digital Poetry*? (If not, I can send a pdf)). I present a couple of case
>> studies about games. The first paragraph of the book speaks fairly directly
>> to your concern, I think: ... Upon study they begin to understand
>> how digital poetry functions as something other than poetry
>> presented on a computer, involving processes beyond those used
>> by print-based writers, and that poetry made with computers has
>> unusual qualities – representing something inventive and worthy
>> of engagement."
>> Yes, I would appreciate it very much if you can send me a pdf copy of
>> *New* *Directions in Digital Poetry*.
>> I think the last part of the quote is reaching a similar conclusion that
>> finally digital poetry is not like poetry of before but a completely new
>> genre in a new medium. The same process occurred at the invention of
>> photography when it was first consider a kind of "painting" usuping some of
>> the representational functions of the latter; but a completely new genre in
>> a new medium. That is what The Peripheral Space of Photography is all about.
>> ",,,Digital works disappear for various reasons all the time. Some of my
>> all-time favorite works and tools are no longer accessible—so, yes, this is
>> a type of failure!..."
>> Yes, this is the kind of failure I am talking about --digital works'
>> Aechilles' heel, so to speak; as opposed to a technical or artistic failure
>> that can be corrected by tweaking or through practice.
>> "... The idea of perfection is in the eye of the beholder! "
>> You mean perfection is what we used to call beauty?☺
>> "Essentially, yes. For instance, with some of the MIDI work, I have a
>> database full of words or phrases, and when a note on the guitar is struck,
>> one of the many words or phrases is selected. No particular order is
>> imposed, & things like this can be programmed not to repeat. Thus the
>> experience will be different every time. There are a lot of pieces of e-lit
>> like this. Even if the overall structure of the work is fixed/functioning,
>> what happens within it isn’t."
>> I watched Eli [?] which I liked a lot and which I rthink is created
>> through the program MIDI. I would not call the effect of the way in which
>> letters and morsels of texts (sometimes "randomly" underlined) appearing on
>> the screen random; but rather I'd call them witty and surprising. I would
>> not call them random because the letters' and texts' appearances and
>> movements on the screen has a musical, syncopating effect which is the
>> reverse of random.
>> "
>> With regard to Cecil, there are usually ornate structures or outlines
>> that he & his groups work with. These are not written out like Mozart, but
>> certainly exist (as diagrams on paper, as you may have seen at the Whitney
>> exhibit?). If I’m working with a writing program (an algorithm that makes
>> poetry), or whatever, I can improvise in that I can enter spontaneous,
>> unpremeditated input, & the machine will do what it has been told to do
>> with it (maybe containing random elements, maybe not).
>> I’m sure I didn’t cover everything, but that’s what I have for now, OK,
>> cf"
>> I can see the ambiguity in the argument. What you say is true about
>> Cecil, but also, I am told, each performance is different even with the
>> same outlines. You are doing something similar yourself by introducing
>> unpremeditated output. On the other hand is the "ornate structures" Cecil
>> starts with the same, as predetermined, as the programed machine you start
>> with.
>> Chris, thanks. You covered a lot.
>> Ciao,
>> Murat
>> On Mon, Nov 28, 2016 at 10:49 AM, Macon Reed <swapmeetproject at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>> Hello,
>>> I have tried to write the moderator to find out how to unsubscribe to
>>> this list but haven't heard back, maybe I have the wrong email? There is so
>>> much great conversation here, I just have too much email to keep up with.
>>> If anyone can tell me how to unsubscribe, Id really appreciate it.
>>> Thanks,
>>> Macon
>>> On Monday, November 28, 2016, Funkhouser, Christopher T. <
>>> christopher.t.funkhouser at njit.edu> wrote:
>>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>> --
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