Media Poetry: An International Anthology

Digital poetry
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If you have amazing skills, we have amazing listings. Corp Media Africa has opportunities for all types of fun. Let's turn your little hobby into big bucks! Want to have a go? Post a mJob. Description The companion to the classic anthology Daughters of Africa —a major international collection that brings together the work of more than women writers of African descent, celebrating their artistry and showcasing their contributions to modern literature and international culture.

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Abstract : Review of Armand, Louis Ed. Contemporary Poetics. It does not limit itself to a discussion of a particular school or arena of poetry i. With twenty-five pieces ranging from concrete poetics to cyberpoetics, Armand is neither exhaustive nor necessarily inclusive of various poetics, but rather claims to offer a provisional examination of contemporaneity. While the anthology privileges disjunctive poetics, viewing the contemporary in a continuum with such movements as Futurism, Oulipo, and Fluxus, Armand hopes to delineate "a possible poetics of the contemporary" arising out of the "technological condition" of the present which he calls "the time of writing" xiii.

For instance, Armand gives the example of the transatlantic telegraph in the late nineteenth century as forming New York, London, and Paris as contemporaries, as being of the same time. In the "Editors Introduction: Transversions of the Contemporary," Armand allows that the sense of the contemporary or "the present" is itself a historical formation, a condition arising from the technological shifts in communications, transportation, and production flows that allows for a sense of simultaneity in terms of locations, times, and practices.

If the contemporary according to Armand is the condition for writing, it does not necessarily follow then that writing or poetics is a symptom or unconscious manifestation of dystopian elements of our present global, technological culture. Meanwhile, more innovative work is purportedly able to deviate through crevices and cracks within the system, enabling a more resistant relational schema.

Whereas vertebrate systems work off of traditional nationalist models — propagating symbols, such as flags, and originary stories of the nation-state affiliated with structures national identity — contemporary cellular systems offer more leaky modes of exchanges and mobile borders. These include various cyber communities, including terrorist networks, as well as transnational corporations, producing the movement of people, money, and products outside official regulatory channels. Cellular systems take more abstract, at times predatory, forms, eroding more "unified" national structures through the accelerated and shape-shifting forms of entities such as finance capital.

Contemporary Poetics often seems to follow this more cellular model, even though the "anthology" as an entity often invokes more vertebrate, genealogical systems, producing "nations" of poets or artistic movements or poetic arenas. Divided into five parts "Endgame," "Precursors," "Conjunctions," "Cursors," and "Transpositions" , the section titles nevertheless offer a witty play at progression in which Kristeva's more excitable term for the collision of registers in intertextuality, "transposition," is the privileged last term.

With various iterations of the prefix "trans-", Armand seems to be following a larger trend in contemporary criticism though a fascination with mediating figures and states, in which contemporeinity is associated with a type of global cosmopolitanism as in Armand's example of the rise of various global cities , and in this case a cosmopolitanism of disciplines converging around the ground or time of writing.

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While Armand describes a techno-global substrate as the condition for writing, he offers another optimistic perhaps even utopian "trans"-filter through which he organizes the anthology: the transversal. While Armand does not necessary define "transversal" as such nor does he give the term a particular political spin , he nevertheless offers this idea as a way to move beyond genealogies and hierarchies among and between contemporary aesthetic movements.

Transversality also provides a way to look at contemporaneity without resorting to redemptive fantasies of the new and the concomitant eschatological disappointments of belatedness. Armand not only uses the idea of the transversal in terms of a macro-view of contemporaneity as potential intersections between multidisciplinary practices and ideas accelerated by various technologies, but also associates it with particular formal and technological micro-features of the present, such as the connective hypertext of the internet which links highly disjunctive entities.

In a later essay included in this collection, "Strange Attractors: The Techno-poetics of the Vortex," Armand discusses transversality as "a particular type of punctuation or puncturing, bifurcations, ruptures, discontinuities, cancellations , suggestive of network of what Mark Auge calls 'non-places'" If we understand the definition of utopia as no-place, we get the sense that for Armand the poetics of new technologies have liberatory and transformative potential of incorporating the tangential and the conditional even as these conditions overlap with the operations of print culture.

Transversality, as Armand uses the term, allows for the adjacent connections between disparate sites, but also within the fourth dimension of time, allowing potential conjunctions between the past, present, and future. Indeed, in the introduction, Armand speaks of hypertext in almost Blakian terms as having the potential for providing a conceptual "fourth linguistic dimension between the quasi-infinite and the infinitesimal, as a network of instantaneity between all signifying 'moments'" xxvii.

A number of the pieces in this volume share this giddy optimism or manifesto-like tone. Steve McCaffery in "Parapoetics of the Architectural Leap," uses "para" as an alternative to "post" in order to insist upon the ongoingness of poetics as an indeterminate "contaminatory" endeavor that creeps into the slippages of multiple disciplines. In "Traps or Tools and Damage," artist and poet Allen Fisher weaves together discourses from particle physics, evolutionary theory, and anthropology to describe the aesthetics of the "crowd-out": art works in various mediums — poetry, drawing, art history — which produce overlapping and recurring patterns, releasing tools and traps from their instrumentality, as if to compel a Heiddegarian recognition of the poetics in everysphere, or a "paratopic" clearing.

Huppatz, Nicole Tomlinson, and Julian Savage produce a contrapuntal discussion about the vexed relationship between utopia and poetry: "Poetry is always and never utopian — it is a constellation — caesura — discontinuity: the space through with something else is emerging or evaporating. In this double invocation and refutation of utopianism, Tomlinson establishes poetry's relationship to history as one that at once questions its "inexorable linearity" while refusing any liberatory end-of-history scenarios.

Describing their own gallery installations and works from the collaborative writers' collective Textbase, Huppatz, Tomlinson, and Savage delineate artistic practices that work off the plurality of citation across mediums as a way to overexcite the perpetual belatedness of the "post-era," where plagiarism becomes "the last refuge from the new" These projects interact with concretism such as in Tomlinson's piece "and" , a mobile of numerous typographic iterations of the word "and" culled from various literary and theoretical texts, blown-up on transparencies, and hung together by invisible strings.

Although Armand includes essays by important figures within the U. This decision is understandable for a variety of reasons — partly to demonstrate the entanglement of experimental poetics with various other media and disciplines, and to reterritorialize poetics outside a narrow frame of its marginalization within various institutional settings. One of pleasures of this work is that it provides unusual links between figures not always thought in association with each other or with poetic avant-garde practices.

However, in later sections delineating cyberspace, other precursors appear, so that Mallarme's Un Coup de Des and Joyce's Finnegan's Wake emerge as ur-texts for digital space and computerized mechanizations of chance. While Armand includes works by artists and scholars from Australia, Europe, and the U. S, as well as both an interview and talk by Augusto de Campus of the Noigandres group in Brazil, there is less of a sense of how these transversions operate outside of Western frameworks. However, a few pieces attempt to create such possibilities.

Gregory Ulmer's piece "Image Heuristics" imagines how electrate — or digital media literacy — can produce shifts in consciousness and redefine some of the constructs of Western metaphysics through transforming argumentative literacy about social issues a. Ulmer explains a type of pedagogy of cyberspace in which students create a group web memorial, or an "electrate commemoration" for a disaster:. Ulmer lays out a theoretical web "a choraography" via Lyotard, Zizek, Deleuze, Lacan, and Bataille among others , which involves examining the Ground Zero site in relationship to contemporary tourist spectacles, and viewing the academic essay in relationship to classic tour guides.

Through syncretizing discontinuities between iconic signs and images bridging Western and Arab constructs, Ulmer claims that multiple perspectives can open up, such as with the "arabesque," a feature of Arab architecture that appears on U.

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It is unclear whether or not the students would create hyperlinks between these various "arabesques," or how this abstract figuration of the arabesque becomes a fold or convergence that helps students to understand the links between Osama Bin Ladin and the CIA. While a number of essays in the anthology discuss the entanglements between print and digital poetics along with scientific theory, Darren Tofts's " Epigrams, Particle Theory, and Hypertext" is particularly elegant.

Tofts draws from Ulmer's notion of electrate subjectivity as well as Deleuze and Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus , and offers a future model of digital literacy via a discussion of particle physics and epigrams. Tofts asks: "If literacy is concerned with letters as fundamental, irreducible particles of meaning, then how can we transport the idea of the particle into the digital realm, the online environment and the hypertextul web?

Tofts discusses visual icons as a cyber-substitution for the phonetic alphabet an iteration of Ulmer's icon of the arabesque and as a hypertextual point of departure from print literacy. Even though Tofts is ever aware of the limits of both print and digital form, his poetics of both the print and digital realm becomes a fabular theoretical field. Through his analysis of works consisting of multiple epigrammatic units such as Calvino's If on a Winter's Night A Traveler , Tofts attempts to configure a future digital literacy that can shake off the binary constraints of hypertext.

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