Interferences: [Net.Writing] and the Practice of Codework

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

Codework refers to the use of the contemporary idiolect of the computer and computing processes in digital media experimental writing, or [net.writing]. Some of the prominent practitioners include Alan Sondheim, who has given the practice and genre its name, Mez (Mary-Anne Breeze), Talan Memmott, Ted Warnell, Brian Lennon, and John Cayley. These writers also use different terms to refer to work: Mez composes in a neologistic "net.wurked" language that she has termed m[ez]ang.elle; Memmott uses the term "rich.lit"; Warnell names some of his JavaScript poems "codepoetry"; Lennon refers to "digital visual poetics"; and Cayley produces algorithmic, generative texts, or "programmable poetry." Writers and artists who have taken up the general practice of codework heed the mandate - "use the computer; it is not a television" - and strive to foreground and theorize the relations between interface and machine and so reflect on the networked environment that constitutes and is constituted by a digital text. The precise techniques vary, but the general result is a text-object or a text-event that emphasizes its own programming, mechanism, and materiality.

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Rita Raley