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      Temporal Irritations of Code in Ben Lerner’s Mean Free Path poems

      proceedings-article
        1
      Politics of the Machines - Art and After (EVA Copenhagen)
      Digital arts and culture
      15 - 17 May 2018
      Glitch, poetics, code, digital, temporality
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            Abstract

            In this paper, I explore the unconscious effects of computer code, by reading how it is rendered — or ‘negatively figured’ — in the work of the contemporary lyric poet Ben Lerner. Lerner’s book of poems Mean Free Path (2010) provides clear indications of a relatively rare post-digital tendency in contemporary poetry: it is a literature that emphasises the instabilities and problems of digital age communication, even as it admits to the absolute saturation of contemporary experience in digital processes, and therefore the impossibility of writing (reading) outside of them. The presence and pervasiveness of computer code, I suggest, forces the heightened, personalised language of the lyric poet into a new awareness of their role as storing and yielding a expressive intent. What I call ‘Glitch Poetics’ is a form of reading and writing with error that is sensitive to contemporary language as a system. In this case, I observe that language is infected, perhaps compromised, by the temporalities and structures of computer code. This short paper is an example of the way that Glitch Poetics readings of traditional forms of literature can help explore what the digital means to us at this historical juncture.

            Content

            Author and article information

            Contributors
            Conference
            May 2018
            May 2018
            : 1-4
            Affiliations
            [1 ] Lancaster University

            UK
            Article
            10.14236/ewic/EVAC18.21
            d29d8758-83ba-41af-b6e1-9b3d8eac048d
            © Jones. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of EVA Copenhagen 2018, Denmark

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            Politics of the Machines - Art and After
            EVA Copenhagen
            7
            Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark
            15 - 17 May 2018
            Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
            Digital arts and culture
            History
            Product

            1477-9358 BCS Learning & Development

            Self URI (article page): https://www.scienceopen.com/hosted-document?doi=10.14236/ewic/EVAC18.21
            Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
            Categories
            Electronic Workshops in Computing

            Applied computer science,Computer science,Security & Cryptology,Graphics & Multimedia design,General computer science,Human-computer-interaction
            Glitch,digital,poetics,temporality,code

            References

            1. 2005 Words Made Flesh Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam

            2. 2017 Contemporary Condition - The Delayed Present Media-Induced Tempor(e) alities & Techno-traumatic Irritations of “the Contemporary” Sternberg Press Berlin

            3. 2006 Traumas of Code Critical Inquiry 33 1 136 157

            4. 2010 Dialog on Love: Ben Lerner and Aaron Kunin in Conversation Jacket2 http://jacketmagazine.com/40/lerner-kunin.shtml 02 06 2018

            5. 2010 Mean Free Path Cooper Canyon Press New York

            6. 2010 Ben Lerner [poet, novelist] The Believer https://www.believermag.com/exclusives/?read=interview_lerner_2 02 06 2018

            7. 2010 A Vernacular of File Formats https://www.slideshare.net/r00s/rosa-menkman-a-vernacular-of-file-formats-4923967 02 06 2018

            8. 2012 Algorhythmics: Understanding Micro-Temporality in Computational Cultures Computational Culture, 2

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