A Platform Poetics: Computational Art, Material and Formal Specificities, and 101 BASIC Poems

Critical Writing
Publication Type: 
Record Status: 
Abstract (in English): 

My digital art is highly computational, or process intensive—it is more about code and symbol manipulation, and less about data, the visualization of data, or multimedia effects. But beyond this, what I do often explores specific computer platforms. In this essay I describe how my project 101 BASIC Poems is part of a platform practice engaging the Commodore 64, the Apple II series of computers, and the BASIC programming language. My project 101 BASIC Poems is an initiative to develop just more than a hundred computational artworks, each one not just a digital text but also a computer program that can and should be run. On the computational end of things, a major inspiration is 101 BASIC Computer Games, a collection of BASIC programs that fired the imaginations and scaffolded the programming ability of many people in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Pull Quotes: 

I hope you have a sense of how my own artistic and literary practice is not just a computational one, not just one in which I share the software as art, but also one specific to particular computer platforms. ... My work is a way of reflecting on these systems, not mainly as components of my individual past and the home from which I came, but as culturally significant developments, intentionally made to widen access to computing.

The permanent URL of this page: 
Record posted by: 
Nick Montfort