Máquinas Pensantes by Pedro Barbosa

Open "Máquinas Pensantes" by Pedro Barbosa
Open “Máquinas Pensantes” by Pedro Barbosa

Barbosa’s theoretical-practical trilogy closes with Máquinas Pensantes: Aforismos Gerados por Computador [Thinking Machines: Computer-Generated Aphorisms] (1988), as it can be understood as the third volume of A Literatura Cibernética. Here, the author presents a long series of literary aphorisms, in which the generation of texts is said to be “computer-assisted” (Computer-Assisted Literature) in BASIC language. The “A” series (Re-text program) deals with combinatorial “re-textualizações” [re-textualizations] (1988: 59) of a fragment (“matrix-text”) by Nietzsche and the “B” series (Acaso program), which had been partially published in the Jornal de Notícias (1984), draws upon the conceptual model created by Melo e Castro’s poem “Tudo Pode Ser Dito Num Poema” [Everything Can Be Said in a Poem], included in Álea e Vazio [Chance and Void] (1971). Melo e Castro himself would write an early review on the aphorisms, in the Colóquio Letras (1986) literary magazine, revealing Barbosa’s outputs as undeniable literary productions. Finally, the “C” series (Afor-A and Afor-B programs) comprises reformulations of traditional Portuguese aphorisms, which result in new interpretations, sometimes ironic, sometimes surreal.

One of the most important features of these three volumes is the highlight given to computer code – showing the importance of programming for Pedro Barbosa – inasmuch as in the end section of each volume the author publishes all the source codes, which today becomes a rich and open archaeological finding, insofar it documents the coding practice and it enables further critical and creative analysis.

Read more about this work at:

PO-EX.net: http://po-ex.net/taxonomia/transtextualidades/metatextualidades-autografas/pedro-barbosa-maquinas-pensantes-indice

ELMCIP: http://elmcip.net/node/8944

A Literatura Cibernética 2 by Pedro Barbosa

Open "A Literatura Cibernética 2" by Pedro Barbosa
Open “A Literatura Cibernética 2” by Pedro Barbosa

In A Literatura Cibernética 2: Um Sintetizador de Narrativas [Cybernetic Literature 2: A Narrative Synthesizer] (1980), Pedro Barbosa advocates the same analytical perspective of literary machines, which he had begun in the first volume. Influenced by Max Bense and Abraham Moles, the author develops the idea of “artificial text,” which would be later challenged by E. M. de Melo e Castro (1987), in the sense that Castro’s transmedia stance considers that all texts, produced over time with the aid of various technological tools, are always artificial.

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[Untitled] by Jeremy Hight (Part 1 of ?)

Hight's announcement
Hight’s announcement

On Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 6:45 pm Jeremy Hight announced that he had begun a new series that would be “published” on his timeline and allowed to “float away down its river.” To think of the Facebook timeline as a river is a substantial change in the metaphor Facebook has implemented as an organizing principle for the mass of status updates, photos, and other material people share on this social network. A timeline can be explored with considerably less metaphorical effort than navigating upstream. There are no ancient philosophical pronouncements about never being able to step into the same timeline twice. To think of Facebook as a river is to highlight its endless flow and the irretrievable nature of a moment– correctly so– but that isn’t the only metaphor Hight is activating here. He refers to these posts as “publication,” a word that comes charged with centuries of print history and the circulation of the written word in ways that suggests a modicum of permanence, the slice of immortality beyond the ephemeral moment that Shakespeare wrote about.

The problem is that Facebook posts aren’t ephemeral. They are digital objects stored and backed up in Facebook servers with timestamps and a unique URL, which like Twitter posts, can be embedded into WordPress blogs (as of September 2013). So there is a way to circumvent Hight’s intention of having this narrative exist only on Facebook, and here it is, embedded into this post:

https://www.facebook.com/jeremy.hight.3/posts/10152064227364177

Hmm. Well played, Mr. Hight, well played.

Okay then, let this be a reminder that just because while the entry is published, it isn’t public. Upon closer inspection, I (who have the privilege to be his Facebook friend), noticed that the entries for this narrative are shared only with his friends, so even if you “follow” his entries, he needs to become “friends” with you to grant access to this narrative. Perhaps this is an oversight, since he does post public entries in his timeline (I tested this by following him with a different account). Or perhaps, like Emily Dickinson, who shared her poems with her friends and acquaintances by copying them by hand and mailing them in letters, Hight wishes to share this work with a select audience of people he knows and trusts enough to establish bilateral communication with in Facebook.

The preservationist in me wants to capture these entries and it would be easy to do so, by screen capturing the posts or by cutting and pasting their text into a new document, but as discussed in my series on William Gibson’s vanishing poem Agrippa,  I would only be capturing an aspect of the work by creating different computational objects. Besides, it begs the question: do I have the right to copy his work? Would this act be a violence against Hight’s intentions? I don’t wish to betray our friendship. I could provide links to the entries so fellow Facebook friends can access them, but it would be better to direct people to February 16, 2014 on his Timeline, which would provide a fuller context. Perhaps when it’s over, I’ll ask Hight to download his Facebook Archive and share the data with me, or archive it somehow.

Or perhaps I should enjoy it as it happens, share the experience with fellow friends, and appreciate it more for its “lability.”

You’ll note that I haven’t mentioned what the story is about. That will be the focus of the next entry in this series.

“Occupy MLA” by Mark C. Marino and Rob Wittig

Occupy MLA is back!

Screen capture of “Occupy MLA” by Mark C. Marino and Rob Wittig. Twitter cover is a picture of an empty journal with a big, red "O" on it. Twitter profile picture writes "occupy MLA," followed by a lengthy description of the twitter account.
Open “Occupy MLA” by Mark C. Marino and Rob Wittig

But don’t be alarmed just yet, since this resurgence of the controversial netprov, takes the shape of a published archive (linked to in this entry’s title). This documentation is exemplary, including a 3-minute introductory video, a link to an artists’ statement at The Chronicle of Higher Education (with a fascinating comment thread), an indexed and color-coded archive of the tweets, and an Excel file with the raw data from the four Twitter accounts that form the heart of this work. With this resource, you can read most of this timely performance that blurs the lines between fiction and reality, satire and activism, and virtual and embodied spaces.

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“24-Hr. Micro-Elit Project” by Dene Grigar

 

“The River Dart” & “Babble Brook” by J.R. Carpenter

Screen capture from “The River Dart” & “Babble Brook” by J.R. Carpenter.  A twitter account with the picture of a river in the background and profile picture. Some of the postings read: “Hail on magnolia leaves. These and other improbably sounds.”, “All hail the cold rain”, “It can halt in the sun for longer than one might imagine”, “Sudden sun hail shower”.
Open “The River Dart” & “Babble Brook” by J.R. Carpenter

This poetic performance on Twitter is a series of observations focused on the Dart river and its environs in Devon, England. The earliest tweets on this account, which started on November 19, 2009, focused on the practicalities of walking along the river, and rapidly settled into a language based study of the river and its environs. The tweets exhibit a curious mixture of subjective and objective perceptions, writing from a very personal perspective without falling into Romanticism. It is more like Olson’s dictum that “ONE PERCEPTION MUST IMMEDIATELY AND DIRECTLY LEAD TO A FURTHER PERCEPTION,” but captured and delivered over time via Twitter.

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“@everyword” by Allison Parrish

Screen capture of the "@everyword" twitter account created by Adam Parrish. Text "Twittering every word in the English language. Task will complete in 2013. Tweet 1: skirling. Tweet 2: skirl"
Open “@everyword” by Allison Parrish

This bot has been on deceptively simple mission since it was launched in 2007: it is tweeting the English language, one word every 30 minutes, in alphabetical order. This work of conceptual poetry is delightfully absurd because it claims to be “twittering every word” and even offers a termination date in which such a project would be complete— when even the concept of what constitutes the English language is subject to debate, even if it wasn’t changing on a daily basis. To make such a feat even possible (unless you’re Wowbagger The Infinitely Prolonged) requires setting constraints—such as a choice of dictionary— though it is to Parrish’s credit that she doesn’t disclose the source, because it enhances the project’s conceptual claim.

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“Feral C” by Mez Breeze

Screen capture from "Feral C" by Mez Breeze. Arrangement of profile pictures for the accounts associated with the work: Text: "GOSSAMA, HUD_B, SHADOW, QUENTIN READA"
Open “Feral C” by Mez Breeze

This work is a series of live Twitter performances of characters, each of which has an account and interacts in this social network to form what Breeze describes as a “socumentary.”

“A “socumentary” is an entertainment form that merges Choose Your Own Adventure /Alternate Reality Drama/Social Game and Social Networking conventions. The result is a type of synthetic mockumentary that exists entirely within social media formats.

“#OutsideUrDoor” by Mez Breeze

 

“Twitterwurking” by Mez Breeze

Screen capture from “Twitterwurking” by Mez Breeze. White background with various lines of black text written on it. Text: "-Twitterwurking Transcript" "1:go To [to+Doro.thee+Wiicked.White(t{e})ches(s)]. / dop[p]wn.the.ra[bbitten].hole.we.go || twitter_set[tlers,all]." "2. shiver[me.tym(panies)burrs]ing.s[t[l]one arms t.witching granite / blo.od[d?].r[sh]iver.me + t[oxic]all[Ice].tale.u=...." "3. ...=_allIce_[born.of.gra(vity)nite].AllIce mewls+slTl+we[s]igh.ts//all l fLes[ion]h_grAve[L.rashed]. + [user]Pine.like..." "4. i spy_Wh[n]ite.Which_.Sug[l]arings.i aSP+gr[K]oan; u c+ / [+]d[ice]rink.me. up[per+AllIce.Downer].." "5. AllIce.s[epia]tinks: c[sh]aving.bromidal. @if = @then [u:kno:u:want.2]; @u / fade_in+fLip[.out]." "6. i s t [h] u m b l e U p [on] + f l i c k_r_i n g > < o f f . / soniKal[l]i_scr[sandstone_h]atching in_the @keyofnite."
Open “Twitterwurking” by Mez Breeze
This guest performance in the New Media Scotland Twitter account during her residency in July 2008 featured a daily tweet for each day of the month— making a sequence of 31 silky lines mezangelle.

_Twitterwurking_comprised of sequential “tweets” posted via a microblogging platform called Twitter. The work itself was written in my mezangelle language- a type of merging of programming languages/code with poetic elements. The Twitterwurk sought to incorporate specific users into the narrative by typing the “@” symbol before their name. The users were then made aware of this focused reply and thus deliberately enfolded into the tweetstream/project.

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