Thursday, June 11, 2009

META/DATA in Paperback (October 2009)

It looks like META/DATA (The MIT Press), my collection of artist writings relating to the early net art years, VJ culture, electronic literature, and the blurring of fiction with memoir in the embodiment of digital persona, will be available in paperback in the fall.

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Formal Invention

Of all of the American poets to have ever lived, there is really only one who persuaded me that the best way to approach writing was to interface the idiomatic with the visual. William Carlos Williams:
To make two bald statements: There's nothing sentimental about a machine, and: A poem is a small (or large) machine made of words. When I say there's nothing sentimental about a poem I mean that there can be no part, as in any other machine, that is redundant.


When a man makes a poem, makes it, mind you, he takes words as he finds them interrelated about him and composes them -- without distortion which would mar their exact significances -- into an intense expression of his perceptions and ardors that they may constitute a revelation in the speech that he uses. It isn't what he says that counts as a work of art, it's what he makes, with such intensity of perception that it lives with an intrinsic movement of its own to verify its authenticity. Your attention is called now and then to some beautiful line or sonnet-sequence because of what is said there. So be it. To me all sonnets say the same thing of no importance. What does it matter what the line "says"?

There is no poetry of distinction without formal invention, for it is in the intimate form that works of art achieve their exact meaning, in which they most resemble the machine, to give language its highest dignity, its illumination in the environment to which it is native. Such war, as the arts live and breathe by, is continuous. It may be that my interests as expressed here are pre-art. If so I look for a development along these lines and will be satisfied with nothing else.

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