Between Code and Motion: Generative and Kinetic Poetry in French, Portuguese, and Spanish

Critical Writing
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This article looks at works of electronic poetry in French, Portuguese, and Spanish. While video and digital experiments in these languages date back to the 1970s and 1980s, the works considered here are mostly post-World Wide Web, i.e., produced between the mid-1990s and 2009. The article discusses the work of Philippe Bootz, founding member of Lecture, Art, Innovation, Recherche, Écriture (LAIRE) and theorist of programmed literature. It comments on the relationship between digital computer code and literature, addressing the materiality of the display and poetics. Other topics explored include programming poetry, patterns of specific writing processes, and automatic text generation. Through analysis of computer-assisted multimodal and retroactive forms, this essay discusses the role played by code and motion in digital works. It also stresses the function of language as cultural form in electronic literature.

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Scott Rettberg