“It’s Not That, It’s Not That, It’s Not That”: Reading Digital Poetry

Abstract (in English): 

"I’m attracted to the openness of interpretation and creation in digital poetry.  With such digital poems as Annie Abrahams “Being Human” and Maria Mencia’s “Birds Singing Other Birds Songs” it’s now commonplace to declare that we cannot say for sure whether these poems are poems, whether the poets are poets.  We cannot even say who is poet and who is machine, who is reader and who is writer let alone what the poem means. We certainly cannot say how to judge these poems, where they fit in relation to literary studies.  I should also say, though, that I dread this openness it at the same time as I’m attracted to it--this struggle to overcome an attachment to sure-footedness, to turn away from the safety of a backward-looking study of what’s been sanctioned as history, and emerge into new modes of relation."

Source: cited from the introduction to the presentation

Pull Quotes: 

It’s true that it’s difficult, probably impossible, while looking, reading, watching a digital poem (for example) to stand outside of ourselves to observe from some sort of meta-level how our relation to the poem has changed, how it brings us to see and be differently than perhaps how we see and be in relation to a poem in paper-based media. Regardless of the difficulty, it does not mean that study of new media writing should remain solely at the level of the reader/writer/text relation as it often does. Not only have these terms themselves emerged from, fully informed by, paper-based technology, but so too are the terms ‘reader,’ ‘writer,’ and ‘text’ dependent upon terms such as ‘reality,’ ‘human,’ ‘machine’ that are also bound to the technology of their inception.

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Record posted by: 
Patricia Tomaszek