Raw brain-heart processes, analogous
to bits and byte-streams of the body that often may seem like nonsense
and hallucinations to our high-level conscious-identity interfaces,
have historically been rich fuel for poets. Contemporaneous with Duchamp's
introduction of a toilet into a gallery, Hugo Ball and Kurt Shwitters
at the Cabaret Voltaire introduced guttural grunts, growls, yelps, and
streams of imaginary languages into their poetry performances. Manipulations
of graphic elements followed, --the page evolved into arbitrarily lush
turbulent horizons. Eventually under the glandular deconstructivist
contortional physics of postmodernism, poetry became whatever we call
poetry. Into this expansive atmosphere, in the mid-80's, Ray Kurzweil
(a renowned programmer instrumental in developing speech recognition
software, the first CCD flatbed scanner, etc
.) launched Cybernetic
Poet, a computerized mathematical modeling system which emulates a diversity
of poetic styles as it spontaneously improvises new creations. Essentially,
it exists at the interstice of a new field of creation where collaboration
becomes analogous to initiating the genetic form of a programmed process
(software) which then develops work independently of its creator. This
perpetual motion would have delighted renaissance theoreticians. This
type of software constitutes one feature of an evolving nascent AI landscape
which will probably soon supercede the creative output of all humans.
Antiorp's verbal play on the listservs is clearly a more-traditional
human-centric evolutionary offshoot of concrete poetry. Resonant comparisons
could be made to b.p. nichol or "Wind" by Eugene Gomringer.
The twisting of context so that words require effort to be decoded as
both visual elements and as signifiers is the primary contribution made
by the concrete poetry school. Analogous to this dispersion of immediate
meaning (in subtle defiance of the ease of gratification favoured by
the products of our entertainment manufacturers ), computer code often
moves in convulsive ways challenging our notions of its linearity.
Example, after signing up to Antiorp's
email list, I received an email which began:
mot!vatd.adapt!v.bhav!our = funda.mentl 2 !ntell!genss
--learn!ng bhav!ourz - 3 parad!gmz (c.note 1)
-ekzposur. 2 relat!onz among. st!mul!
-ekzposur. 2 relat!onz b.tween rezpons.z +
st!mul! | |
Virtuosic deluges of messages of similar style intercut with long samples
of her computer code (interspersed with occasional bitter spasms of
political invective) provoked her banishment from several listservs.
She fulfilled the typical model of the manic artist, the babbling obsessive,
burning so brightly with fevered incandescence of inspiration that online
communities occasionally reluctantly turned against her: she was keeping
everyone awake to too large a spectrum of reality. Her diffusive non-linearity
imperiled the concentrated topics to which technical listservs are dedicated.
From the linguistic evidence, Antiorp would seem to have some personal
knowledge of poetically-extreme states (a subtle clue in her exclamation:
"- ! juzt forget 2 eat.").