[-empyre-] What is robot poetics? How/why should we teach it?

Babak Fakhamzadeh babak.fakhamzadeh at gmail.com
Wed May 3 22:09:26 AEST 2017

Here's another example of 'robot poetry': http://saunteringverse.com. It's
a mobile app that, based on the user's location, auto generates poetry,
using what3words as the source of the contents of the poems.
The more the user walks, the longer the poem gets.

Here's an example:

Up until modest divisions aboard a sketch puff

Sling about looks, arrow double claims pocket near to the deflection

He feed you

I space her

They letter it

We shave us

Source: https://saunteringverse.com/poem/149356969949.29.652/2993

Babak Fakhamzadeh

Babak Fakhamzadeh | babak.fakhamzadeh at gmail.com |

On 2 May 2017 at 16:20, VANDERBORG, SUSAN VANDERBORG <
SJVANDER at mailbox.sc.edu> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> A definition is challenging! Terms such as robot poetry, cyborg poetry, or
> machine writing might potentially include a huge variety of poetic
> practices: speculative poems about robots, poetic alterations or
> palimpsests from texts in robotics, code poetry, hypertext poetry, poetry
> produced via search engines (such as Darren Wershler and Bill Kennedy's
> *apostrophe*) and other digital poetry experiments. Poems using email or
> tweets. Poems that reenvision collaboration between programmers and poets.
> There is already a rich scholarly tradition for many of these robopoetics--*Fashionable
> Noise,* *New Media Poetics*, *Digital Poetics*, *Prehistoric Digital
> Poetry*, and Hayles's *Electronic Literature* and *Writing Machines*, and
> essays by John Cayley, Talan Memmott, Stephanie Strickland, Ian Hatcher,
> Florian Cramer, Matt Applegate, Steve Tomasula, and others, invaluable for
> teaching digital, code, and machine poetics in a special topics seminar I'd
> like to propose. Matthew Kirschenbaum's thoughtful "Machine Visions"
> details texts whose styles truly enact Haraway's idea of cyborg writing;
> Gregory Betts, too, discusses cyborg poetics in his article "I Object," and
> Christian Bok's "The Piecemeal Bard Is Deconstructed" traces "robopoetics"
> to its roots in RACTER algorithms.
> Increasingly, robopoetics doesn't only reflect a world saturated with
> technology but a forum where print and digital cultures interact
> productively. In "Noise in the Channel," Wershler talks about prose-poetic print
> books, including Drucker’s *The Word Made Flesh*, whose page layouts
> anticipate digital formats. *Writing Machines* also juxtaposes
> experimental artists' books and digital poetry.
> I've enjoyed teaching texts from Shelley Jackson's *Patchwork Girl *to
> Brian Kim Stefans's *The Dreamlife of Letters* and Jason Nelson's *Game
> Game Game and Again Game* in grad and undergrad poetry or postmodernism
> classes; they raise provocative discussions about what constitutes a book
> or a poetic collage. But I've taught robopoetics most frequently in an
> undergrad literature survey class called "American Cyborgs." Larissa Lai's
> "rachel" poems in *Automaton Biographies* pair magnificently with both *Blade
> Runner* and Haraway, Susan Slaviero's "Consider the Dangers of
> Reconstructing Your Wife as a Cyborg" humorously (and menacingly)
> complements our cyborgs and gender unit, and Margaret Rhee's ": Trace" from *Radio
> Heart* introduces "Race," in the title's wordplay, as a social
> construction already-already present even when it hasn't been "programmed
> yet." The "robot" in her book's subtitle pays homage to Asimov stories in
> which robotic identity is linked to race and discrimination such as
> "Bicentennial Man" and "Segregationist." And there is the short film for
> the lyrics of "Many Moons,'" set amid an updated slave auction, where
> Janelle Monae presses a button at her neck to change the skin color of her
> android character. Studying robot poetics and robot subjectivity becomes a
> way of talking about fights for civil rights, human rights--and the
> interpretation of documents from the Declaration of Independence to the
> U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.
> I'm very eager to hear how others in the forum have taught any form of
> robopoetics, and in what contexts, or with what results...
> Best,
> -Susan
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
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