Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Notes and Quotes: New Media Poetics (Watten on page 335)

Notes and Quotes
Barrett Watten (beginning on page 335)

Poetics questions the nature and value of the work of art as it expands the ground of its making into the context of its production and reception (335).

Literariness is in a crisis of new meaning due to its expanded cultural ground (336).

It is the possibility of a univocal/universal literariness that demands an account of poetics as a specific genre (338).

It is important that poetics in the modern era entails equally the positivity of a self-focused mode of organization and the negativity of that which it cannot represent (340).

A paradox emerges where the material text confronts its limits in the alterity of the reader (342).

Corollaries necessary for such an analysis: the genre in question really is structured in relation to a differential field of oppositions, and that this logic of oppositions is productive of new work (349).

Not-language, not-poetry… poetics (349).

The author’s first task in thinking through the question of poetics here has been to disclose a logic of genre that provides a genealogy of poetics and accounts for the range of its practice. The second is to extend this logic to forms of art that have emerged more recently (351).

The interpretive effort, however relentlessly applied, always fails within an overarching architecture of machine interface that absorbs not only interpretation but consciousness and subjectivity into its own orders (364).

We also need to consider poetics’ negative relation to the object and its dialectical or diacritical unfolding as well (365).

Are Memmott’s poetics specified by the nature of new media, or not? And if not, what larger cultural logics inform them? (366).

Notes and Quotes: New Media Poetics (Cayley on page 307)

Notes and Quotes
John Cayley (beginning on page 307)

We must keep asking ourselves, what is code? What is the relationship of code and text in cultural objects that are classified as literary and that are explicitly programmed? (307).

Code that is not the text may instantiate—as durational performance—the signifying strategies of a text (308).

Atoms or instances of language are not things, but processes (309).

For an object to be identified as a process there must be some way for its state to change over time and perhaps enumerate the temporal sequence of such states (310).

Five provisional categories that “code” is used in discussions of codework: Code as language, code as infecting or modulating natural language, code as text to be read if it were natural language, code as a system of correspondences, and code as programming (311-312).

The author wants to read more critically about the code that is hidden, and possibly operating, as we read (312-313).

The idea that the signifier is multilayered, with shifting and floating relationships of correspondence between the layers, is well known and widely accepted in criticism (314).

Coding applied to textuality in new media allows us to perceive, if not the coding itself, then the unambiguous effects and consequences of that coding (315).

What the punctuation does is set up a time-based revision of the atomic meanings of and within the sentence (316).

No reading takes place without a process of reading (320).

Textuality as instantiated in programmable media realizes the potential for a more radical restructuring of the culture of human time (321).

Many hypertext theorists and researchers would say that the Web falls short of even the fundamental requirements for a properly hypertextual system (322).

The author is, more specifically, discussing programmed signification in which codes and coding operate to generate or modulate texts substantively (322).

For Nelson, “a document is really an evolving ONGOING BRAID” (323).

The Nelsonian docuverse and the “permascroll” (323).

The textual event is defined culturally, by cultural institutions and media technologies (324).

Criticism must address the cultivation and articulation of temporality in this work as well as an analysis of the code that guarantees and drives literal temporality (327).

List of reasons for a necessity to elaborate this distinction (distinction on bottom of page 327) listed on 328.

Code is presented to us a special type of linguistic archive (328).

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Notes and Quotes: New Media Poetics (Memmott on page 293)

Notes and Quotes
Talan Memmott (beginning on page 293)

The context in which any given term is used provides the framework for its definition, however tentative or temporary. The terms are conveniences—(perhaps) for the sake of argument (293).

Because digital poetry cannot be reduced to a genre of poetry, we must begin to consider the applied poetics of the individual practitioner (294).

The poetics of this piece, its conceptualization and facilitation, are more important qualities than the poetry it generates. The intertainment is more potent than the entertainment (300).

Interactivity is a slippery concept (301).

Because the grammatological aspects or signifying harmonics of digital poetry are not universal, it is essential to understand each digital poetry application as an environment or poetic microculture with its own grammar and customs (302).

Does digital poetry have the power, not to define thought but to cause thinking? (303).

We not only read the text but assist in its de.scription, or ex.position (304).

To an extent, the idea of taxonomy itself is contrary to the realities of digital practice (304).

There are no guidelines for creative cultural practice through applied technology, and it is therefore up to practitioners to develop their own (anti)methods (305).

Notes and Quotes: New Media Poetics (Morris on page 1)

Notes and Quotes
Adalaide Morris (beginning on page 1)

There is a lag between two kinds of knowledge: what we know because it is what we see and do, and what we know because it is what we think (1).

From a posthuman point of view, we are not the fully self-conscious beings imagined by Enlightenment thinkers but cybernetic organisms joined in continuous feedback loops with media and information technologies (4).

A common element in the use of the term “posthuman” is a synergy between human beings and intelligent machines (4).

The most generative approaches to discussions of the computer as an expressive engine tend to be those that work from bottom up rather than top down (6).

The approach of this book has been to open the hermeneutic circle with texts new media poets and critics of poetry include in the category of new media poetics in order to think about the contexts and theories within which these writings operate (8).

Three inseparable components of a digital poem: data fields, code, and display. Because only the display is visible, critics of print poetry often underestimate the otherness of new media writing (9).

Bush’s “Memex” (11).

Some suggest interactivity is an ideological term… clickable options are preprogrammed, therefore the reader’s claim to compositional agency is a “sham” (13).

Frist-generation critics of electronic literature drew much of their terms from analyses of narrative classics, while second-generation critics of electronic literature invoke strategies developed to read the texts of experimentalist poets (13-14).

The machinic is not to be confused with the robotic (17).

New media texts engage and extend the body’s energies (17).

Part of the reason new media is hard to define is because of the rapid evolution of software and hardware and the variety of uses they can be put to (18).

The author wants to position new media poems in an expanded field that is neither poetry nor not-poetry but an active exchange between two forms of discourse: the late romantic print lyrics, one the one hand, and the networked and programmable poem, on the other (19).

Literal art: they feature not the stanza, line, phrase, or resonant word but tumbling, morphing, graphic, and semiotic letters (20).

Poem games: Interactive (22).

Programmable procedural computer-poems: emerges from avant-garde practices associated with groups such as Oulipo, Fluxus, and the Language poets. They are generated by a database and algorithm (24).

Real-time reiterative programmable poems: the demon coughs up for consideration endless algorithmic iterations of its source texts. It demonstrates on the fly the art of survival by surfing and browsing rather than perfecting and preserving (26-27).

Participatory networked and programmable poems: an inquiry into a global flow of trademarks, gadgets, and images that exists at the intersection of electronic commerce, networked personal computers, and ambient attention spans (27-29).

Codework: Frequently hidden and always instrumental. Its purpose is to facilitate the execution of commands. It scares a lot of people (29-31).

New media artists belong to Stein’s tradition of outlaws who prepare the way for a future that is already here (31).

The coding applied to textuality in new media allows us to perceive the unambiguous effects and consequences of that coding (33).

In the last chapter Watten discusses its dialectical and historical efforts to dismantle customary standards of judgment, on the one hand, and its generation of new cultural meanings and possibilities on the other (34).

                          Watch for this!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Notes and Quotes: Strehovec on page 207

Notes and Quotes
Janez Strehovec (beginning on page 207)

Background on Screen:

Digital poetry turns out to involve several experimental projects (207).

Digital poetry projects challenge literary theory to redefine and adjust its methodological approach by applying concepts and devices taken from other fields (207).

Text is undergoing radical shifts in addressing both the author and the reader (208).

Digital poetry helps to blur the differences between elite and popular arts and it attracts many different types of people—not just people that read books or are a member of the university (209).

The links between digital poetry and net art, software art, browser art, and text-based electronic installations are often stronger than their connection to poetry printed in a book (209).

In digital poetry, experimentation is gaining importance over passionate and emotional poems (210).

What exactly is the very literary nature of this kind of poetry? Can it still be considered poetry or has it already developed into something else? (211).

Defamiliarization enables one to grasp and define the digital literature and poetry author’s effort in arranging her material in a very uncommon fashion (211).

Defamiliarization in terms of digital poetry means that the authors arrange the subject’s feelings, sensations, dreams, etc… in an unfamiliar way in order to ensure a non-habitual and non-automatic perception of an individual’s intimate realm as well as of her language, views, and ideas (211).

Digital texts bring something into the language, its organization, and into reading that did not exist before (212-213).

In digital poetry, you “sculpt again” rather than “read again” because of the fact that it enables the reader to have a very creative and intensive contact with the text (213).

Digital poetry really is about events based on two levels: the internal “unwrapping” of the textual hidden layers as well as on the reader’s/user’s reading in the form of her interactive intervention into the texts (214).

In current television the screen is no longer a sacred space dedicated to a single image (216).

A user of digital textuality needs to focus at the visual aspect of the text, at the digital word-image itself, not purely using it as a point of reference… a literary world with meaning (217).

Instead of the traditional reader, the digital text user is being recreated: she is abandoning the merely linear readings and becomes as capable of complex and non-trivial perceptions and cognitions of such texts as possible (218).

The very principle of plurality and non-conflicting coexistence of heterogeneous elements is characteristically demonstrated by the web site (219).

It goes without saying that naked bodies can also be dressed bodies, landscapes, politics, etc… (221).

It seems correct that the perception of new media contents is a dry run for detecting the consequences of this reinvention of the bodily activities within the new media arts and culture (222).

New technologies of organizing and processing a text emerge with their own conventions and demands of reading (222).

In the moment the words come loose in a 3D virtual environment, each of them speaks to our body, hits it, and challenges its complex behavior (224).

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Notes and Quotes: Goicoechea on page 183

Notes and Quotes
Maria Goicoechea (beginning on page 183) (184). (184). (184).

In this article, the author is attempting to provide an overview of current Spanish criticism regarding the literariness of digital texts (185).

Spanish critics tend to think that it is the social, economic, cultural, and literary history that illuminates technical history, and not the other way around (185).
                          Can we discuss this in class?

Transposing postmodern theory to the digital sphere is necessary but it does impose certain restraints since there is the artificial imposition of measuring virtual texts with structures of the past (186).

Not everybody agrees with the idea that digital literature actually exists, either because it has not reached a certain quality or because its identity as literature is put into question (187).

Technosceptics and technophiles disagree on what constitutes digital literature, which results in much misinterpretation (187-188).

Some critics believe digital literature is an art of its own which will not end up displacing literature (188).

Common definitions of hypertext are imprecise (190).

Vega believes that we have not yet seen hyperliterature and what is currently being made are tests and shy beginnings (190).

In the transfer of concepts from one medium to the other, critics continuously confuse or fail to distinguish between the act of text production and the act of reception (191).

In practice, it helps to distinguish between two types of intertextual relations: those that are part of the textual structure and those which the reader uses as reading strategies (192).

The need for a reading context in which to integrate the hypertextual information becomes redundant since hypertext already is a self-sufficient and self-explanatory unity (194).

The knowledge of the reader starts where the author ends (194).

Pajares compares the reading process of a poem with that of a hypertext (195).

The structure of hypertext admits a forgetful reader at the same time that places the reader in a relation of dependence with the computer (196).

Interactivity is both a property of the text and the reader (197).

Interaction that the print medium allows is “metaphorical” because it is considered less “real” than the interactivity that occurs in the digital medium (197).

Radical technosceptics find it difficult to understand the ways in which the text also has the ability to communicate. Holland argues that people falsely attribute actions to the text that are actually performed by the reader (199).

The degree of interactivity depends not only on the technology but also the reader’s ability to use the technology (199).

The challenge digital literature poses for critics and teachers regarding interactivity is that digital texts also require an adjustment of the interactive strategies both writers and readers are accustomed to share (200).

On-going Spanish research focuses on the concept of intermediality as a key to read digital literature beyond the hypertextual paradigm (201).

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Notes and Quotes: Saemmer on page 163

Notes and Quotes
Alexandra Saemmer (beginning on page 163)

The Dreamlife of Letters:

Digital literature is continuously changing, gradually discovering its specific potential (163).

Texts are regarded as paintings and paintings can be read (163).

French critics refer to pre-hypertextual structures that seem to suggest hypertextual adaptations (163).

“Everything happens as if, with multimedia, literature had finally found the technical devices it suggested and required long before” (163).
                          Not sure I agree with this, but it’s very poetic and thought-provoking.

“Nouveau roman,” first paragraph on page 164. Can we discuss this in class?

The first electronic text generators nevertheless seem tightly linked to the rules that human beings impose on them (165).

The “virtual” unpredictable dimension in electronic texts (165).
                          We have a lot of this going on being unable to access works.

The operation of digital literature on computer screens is always conditioned by the “intentionality of the computer” (165).

Now that digital literature seems more and more aesthetically convincing, the time has come to define its stylistic features with more precision (165).
                          Main purpose of essay?

It is not the clicking gesture that transforms interaction into a figure. It is the relationship between the gesture, the media content, and the media content appearing after the gesture (166).

The style of digital literature is partly based on a discrepancy between the reader’s expectations and the realized events on the screen (166).
                          Possibly one reason why they all seem to avoid the narrative arc? Would a narrative arc remove a piece of work from the category of digital literature?

Two distinct “aesthetics of frustration”:  the resistance of the work against the readers’ habits/expectations and any bugs in the system being used (167).

Retroprojection—the term proposed to characterize the space metaphors described on the end of page 167 to the beginning of page 168.

The semiotic approach has helped to refine the concept of incongruity essential in the definition of a figure (168).

One of the most conventional relationships between a hyperlinked word, a manipulation gesture and an activated content consists in providing an explanation of the word (169).

The repetitive use of hypertext links creates the illusion of a recaptured past in Explication de texte (170).

In The Subnetwork, neantisms and incubations contribute to building a complex metaphor, suggesting similarities between memory and digital network (171).

Multiplication of pop-up windows on the screen can be considered allotropic (172).

Media figures vs. a-media figures—top of page 173.

The Dreamlife of Letters: Edward Picot does not consider it as an avant-garde work. James Mitchell argues that the methods of traditional literary analysis would not be effective to interpret this poem. Marjorie Perloff says it should be considered as lettrist. Philippe Bootz says it refers to kinetic poetry. Lori Emerson thinks the reader plays, above all, a passive roll. N. Katherine Hayles asserts the morphemes and phonemes of this poem are charged with “eroticized graphic imagination” (173).

Kinetic allegories should not be confused with moveie-grams (177).

The interactions of all these figures of animation constitute a kinetic allegory (177).

Saemmer defends the existence of kinaesthetic rhymes in The Dreamlife of Letters (177).

The voice of digital media poetry seems decidedly closer to the surrealist experiences than to concrete or Lettrist experimentations (178).