One of the most pleasing but unexpected things to happen of late has been a mention for Seaside Special in Lee Jenkins' essay 'The Strands of Modernism: Stevens beside the Seaside' in the just published Poetry and Poetics after Wallace Stevens, edited by Bart Eekhout and Lisa Goldfarb. Seaside Special is a series of literary postcards produced by Chris McCabe and me in 2012 for SJ Fowler's Enemies Project. The essay discusses the two postcards below. The first is by Chris and the second is by me.
The Strawberry Moshi Collection is a short sequence of short prose pieces using text from Moshimoshikawaii: The Strawberry Moshi Collection, which is a book my daughter has. I like the slightly off, oddly flat language of the original which comes partly, I think, from it being originally in Japanese. Some of the pieces, although not this one, appear in Paratext issue 3.
An online generative piece describing eternal conflict on the planet of the ants, here.
This is the first piece of text generation I've done for around a year. My earlier examples include oXology, Ranges and You don't need to know that. As the French computer literature pioneer Jean Baudot pointed out, the point of such procedures is setting up the conditions for “accidental word associations” that have a “stylistic effect” and “aesthetic value”, although you could argue that there's nothing accidental about it. For Baudot, generating these random collisions is something more suited to a machine than a human. He states that “it would be impossible to perform such a task ourselves, because man is essentially opposed to randomness and incapable of behaving or performing in a random fashion”. We could, of course, implement such a procedure using dice or coins, but we couldn't do it every four seconds, as I do here in Ant Wars. The role of the machine, therefore, is not so much to do what we can't, but to do it faster, automatically and repetitively, without the complications of fatigue or boredom. Machine as collaborator. Machine as extra brain.
Baudot quotes are from Baudot, J. (1968). Automatic sequence generation. In: Reichardt, J.Cybernetic Serendipity: the Computer and the Arts. London: Studio Internation. p. 58, which is available online here.
Volume 1 [M] of Marjorie, the mansplaining fauxbot I have the privilege of communing with daily, is now available in book form. This comprises Marjorie's first 100 tweets, covering everything from alligators, shamanic trances and whether tomato puree on a pitta bread can truly be called a pizza. To buy the book or read more about Majorie, click here.
With Comma Press, If P Then Q, Michelle Green, Holly Pester & ZimZalla
MANCHESTER CENTRAL LIBRARY, Performance Room, Ground Floor, St Peter’s Square, City Centre, M2 5PD.
11am to 4pm, 12 November 2016. Tickets £3 before 1 November / £5 after
The last few years has seen an explosion of new small presses and independent publishers around the country, publishing new and exciting fiction and poetry. If you are a keen reader and want to know more about the difference being a small press makes to how they work and what they publish, come along to hear from local small presses, Comma Press and If P then Q. The day will feature readings from two writers, Michelle Green from Comma Press and Holly Pester from If P then Q.
More here. There's also an interview with me here and another with if p then q's James Davies here.
New from me on Peter Hughes' excellent Oystercatcher Press, a 24 page pamphlet. More here.
I have some poems from my Sublunar sequence in issue 16, along with a range of great writers.
I've got a few poems in here, plus a review of Steve McCaffery's excellent Parsival. More here.
7 July, 7–9pm. Zabludowicz Collection, 176 Prince of Wales Road, London, NW5 3PT.
An evening of spoken word performance by artists, writers and poets exploring the promotion and consumption of empathy in networked culture. Contributors include Helen Benigson, Tom Jenks, Seraphima Kennedy, Ella Plevin, Flora Parrott in collaboration with Gustavo Ferro, and Sam Riviere.