While the ultimate emphasis is on the work and critique of peer-participants, weekly topics and readings are selected to inform an understanding and articulation of contemporary practice that may stimulate responses within one’s own set of concerns and activities. Readings will be distributed, though you may wish to purchase some books or kindle texts for further engagement with writings unavailable online. Please not that this outline is a live document. Topics may expand, merge, mutate, or be deleted in line with the flow of the class and the texts we create.

Week 1: September 2: Algorithmic Dust

Workshop overview, discussion of concepts of digital poetry and screenings of historical and contemporary works.

Introductory Exercise: Where are you from?

Assigned Readings: Chris Funkhauser, Digital Poetry;  Stephanie Strickland: Eleven Dimensions of E-poetry

Screenings : Alison Knowles & James Tenney:  A House of DustExplanation; Caroline Bergvall: Cropper (listen | read); Drift;
other works discussed:
Hannah Weiner: Code Poems; M. NourbeSe Philip: Zong!; Krissy Wilson: Art of Google Books
mentioned in 11 dimensions:
Bradford Paley: CodeProfiles*; John Cayley: Overboard*; Brian Stefans: I know a Man (one word at a time) & Robert Creeley’s Original; Camille Utterback: Text Rain; [*some of these links only work in certain browsers due to phasing out of support for quicktime and java applets.]

Task: Where are you from? Introduction as Artifact(s)

Week 2: September 9: The Medium is Not the Message

Assigned Readings: Espen Aarseth, Introduction: Ergodic Literature; William S. Burroughs: The Cut-Up Method of Brion Gysin

Works: Raymond Queneau:  Cent mille milliards de poèmes (A Hundred Thousand Billion Poems); Guillaume Appollinaire: Calligrammes; John Cayley: Translation; Rui Torres: Poems in the Middle of the Road; William S. Burroughs: Apo-33

Related Resources: Burrough’s CutUps (In His Voice); Rosemarie Waldrop: Thinking as Follows; Susan Howe: from Thorow; Jennifer Scappettone: Exit 43

In-class Exercise: Combinatory Aesthetics


Week 3: September 16:  Machines in Gardens

Assigned Readings: Alan Turing: Computer Machinery & Intelligence

Works: Johannes Helden: Evolution;  Stephanie Strickland & Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo: Slippinglimpse

Imitation Games: Racter (Machine Prose); Ern Malley: The Darkening Ecliptic; Eugenio Tiselli: Computer-Aided Poetry; A Hugh Kenner & Joseph O’Rourke: A Travesty Generator for Micros; Travesty Generator; Ben Johnson’s Poetry Tools

Resources: Stephanie Strickland & Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo: In Code, In Poetry, In Chreods;

Task: Work Path

Week 4: September 23: Form & Force

showings of permutational texts and work paths; Brief discussion of week 3 reading and resources; Group exercise: IN Fig. 29.


Assigned Readings: Lori Emerson: Typewriter Concrete Poetry as Activist Media Poetics*;

*note that we agreed in class that those who hadn’t acquired Emerson’s Reading Writing Interfaces would do so in either print or kindle format.

Resources: Mary Ellen Solt: Concrete Poetry: A World View: Introduction

Works: Stéphane Mallarmé, Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard; Steve Mcaffery: Carnival; Mary Ellen Solt: Elegy for Three Astronautsubuweb visual poetry; bpnichol: First Screening; Ted Warnell & others: Poem by Nari; Maria Mencia: Birds Singing Other Birds Songs; Joycean roots of verbivocovisual

Task: {Dirty} Code

Week 5: September 30: Unnatural Language

Assigned Reading: Florian Kramer: Words Made Flesh: Computations of Totality

Works: Mez:; JODI: %Location; Nick Montfort: ppg256; Bjørn Magnhildøen: Plaintext Performance; Hannah Weiner: Code Poems; Sophia Le Fraga: W8ING

Week 6: October 7: Sculpting in (Machine-) Time

Assigned Readings: Jessica Pressman: Speed Reading: Super-Position and Simultaneity

Resources: Bob Brown: The Readies

Works: Young Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Dakota; Bust Down the Doors!

Week 7: October 14: Birds Singing Other Birds Songs: From Allusion to Data-Acquisition

Optional Readings: Jessica Pressman: Reading Machines: Machine Poetry and Excavatory Reading in William Poundstone’s Electronic Literature and Bob Brown’s Readies

Works: Nick Montfort & Many Others: Taroko Gorge; Jhave: Mups; Danny Snelson: Epic Lyric Poem

Project 1, week 1

Week 8: October 21: ReadWriting

Assigned Reading: Lori Emerson: The Googlization of Literature;

Resource: An Interview with John Cayley & Daniel Howe; John Cayley: Writing to be Found

Works: John Cayley & Daniel Howe: How it Is (In Common Tongues); John Cage: Writing For the Second Time through Finnegans Wake; John Cayley & Daniel Howe, The Readers Project

Project 1, week 2

Week 9: October 28: Quantum  Poetics of Erasure

discussion of Emerson, Cayley, Howe and readwriting
exercise in auto-erasure
artist’s talk by Abraham Avnisan
Amaranth Borsuk, Nick Montfort & Jaspar Juul: The Deletionist

in-class files: reading_loops

Task: poetic manipulation: parse / proliferate / delete

Week 10: November 4: Language of Crowds

resources for lab in collaborative composition
in-class files: antecedent/consequent
Task for week 11: Using our in-class files as a foundation and perhaps considering the idea of an “infinite staircase,” sculpt the collaboratively written data into a dynamic poetic form.

Suggestion: review javascript basics as-needed, especially functions, strings (substrings, split), arrays, events, for-loops, conditions, math, and HTML DOM.

(additional code) ++ forms (random, circle, spiral); ++ Strange Loops (composing with iteration)

Optional Reading: Laura Goldstein: Mobilizing the Poli

Works: Andrei Gheorghe: The Longest Poem in the World; Mark Hansen & Ben Rubin: Listening Post;

Week 11: November 11: Performative Parsing

parse-poetics lab: download digipo_parsepoetics

Task: 5-minute presentation of final project ideas — contexts, sources, forms, processes.

Assigned Reading: Caroline Bergvall: What do we mean by performance writing?

Artists: cris cheek; JR Carpenter; Jerome Fletcher; Ian Hatcher

Week 12: November 18: Mobility, Location & Gesture

download: mobile/gesture code samples

Works: Stephanie Strickland & Ian Hatcher: vniverse; Jorge Piringer: Konsonant & abcdefghij…; Samantha Gorman: Pry; Amaranth Borsuk with Brad Bouse: Whispering Galleries, Between Page & Screen; Abraham Avnisan: Collocations

Task: Final Project

Week 13: November 25:: NO CLASS

Week 14: December 2: FINAL PROJECTS

Week 13: December 9:: NO CLASS

Week 15: December 16: FINAL PROJECTS

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