Markovian Parallax Generate: On digital writing and poetics

Another Thought

Posted in Computational Poetics, Poetics by Eric Goddard-Scovel on July 27, 2007

I’ve been having a lot of thought “moments” lately when I space out.  Tonight I drifted off and had the thought again (I had forgotten about it) of the mchain program and programs /tools like it (Gnoetry, Google Poem or Erica T. Carter) as learning tools.  Computational poetics obviously brings up issues of authorship, but it also questions ideas of what a poem is in a way that is very approachable and immediate.  I know that I have discovered a lot of authors and poems that I would not have even thought of looking into if I had not been working with Markov chains, and I wonder if this has been an even greater benefit to me than my work with the program itself.  I think young poets could learn a lot in a class setting from demonstrations and discussions of computational poetics and its implications.  Of course, I’d have to first figure out what those implications are myself.

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2 Responses

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  1. af said, on July 28, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    in all my life of writing poetry i have never been as fascinated, thrilled, or deeply stuck-in…never. never ever. …to work with Gnoetry is just simply *amazing* and you can just sit there and space out forever! seriously, check out the timestamps in Servants and the Slender Thread…they indicate how timeless my work with the machine turned out to be. and not only is it a great kick in the pants, i can guarantee you that YOU WILL EXPERIENCE LANGUAGE like never before, like music that fires newer neurons through your brain…and on and on. the language concentration and the grammatic complexity, while at first disarming the reader/user, becomes taser-like and will trick the mind into many new and fun and shocking ideas. as a portal for exploration of language and if you just wanna have a good time, try it out and see…

  2. escovel said, on July 30, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Gnoetry is a very fun and engaging program. I installed it last week and I’ve been playing around with it. It’s a hell of a lot simpler to use (in a literary way) than the mchain program at this early stage of development. I have already experienced the mind tricks you talk about with both spam e-mails and with the mchain program I’m talking about here: it is very much the same effect, and I think it is leading me and many other people to see more clearly an aesthetic that has been around in poetry now (though not in the mainstream to my knowledge) for several decades now at least. I’m going to post about that in more detail some time later.

    Thanks for the comment!


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