Friday, November 21
5:00 – 7:00
#! (pronounced “shebang”) consists of poetic texts that are presented alongside the short computer programs that generated them. The poems, in new and existing forms, are inquiries into the features that make poetry recognizable as such, into code and computation, into ellipsis, and into the alphabet. Computer-generated poems have been composed by Brion Gysin and Ian Sommerville, Alison Knowles and James Tenney, Hugh Kenner and Joseph P. O’Rourke, Charles O. Hartman, and others. The works in #! engage with this tradition of more than 50 years and with constrained and conceptual writing. The book’s source code is also offered as free software. All of the text-generating code is presented so that it, too, can be read; it is all also made freely available for use in anyone’s future poetic projects.
Nick Montfort develops
computational art and poetry, often in collaboration. He teaches at
MIT and is the Electronic Literature Organization’s faculty advisor. He
wrote #! and Riddle & Bind and co-wrote
2002. The MIT Press also published four of his books, most recently 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10, a 10-author book Montfort organized.