UNCREATIVE WRITING (managing language in the digital age) Kenny Goldsmith
- Introduction- ‘The world is full of objects, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more’ (Douglas Huebler)
Goldsmith adapts this perspective to writing today. Goldsmith presents a textual landscape in digital networks that’s material form should be understood and preserved with techniques of ‘uncreative writing’. Connecting the human driven literature of the 20th century with the automation of the 21st
-Revenge of the Text –
In 2007 Jonathan Lethem published a pro-plagiarism essay ‘the ecstasy of influence’ describing how every idea is a patchwork of creatively ideas borrowed with each idea being a multitude of refrences. With the rise of the web, writing has met its photography (in comparison to photography’s effect on painting) Because photography was more life like and realistic painting had to reinvent itself as an abstract – non representational medium. Goldsmith argues that we must learn to negotiate the vast quantity that exists, rather than write more.
The rhythm of computer code – it is an alphanumeric language. Goldsmith compares rhythmic poetry with the structure of computer programming languages to present similar intonations, and a priroty over structure that content. (Textual abudance) ‘What we are experiencing for the first time is the ability for language to alter all media’ pg34. This textual landscape that is the infastructure of the digital age flows passed us mostly undetected, we need to begin to sort which is signal and which is noise. ‘Data in the 21st Century is largely ephermeral, because it is so easily produced: a machine creates it, uses it for a few seconds and overwrites it as new data arrives’
Goldsmith does small experiemtents like emailing himself a nusery rhyme and examining the textual additions made from the technology and obseres that all the data on his hard drive forms a local textual ecosystem Appropriatian – Walter Benjamin The Arcade Project -Language as Material- Net neutrality, daya, like language flips back and forth between meaningful and the material, we can choose to weigh it or to read it. Goldsmith refrences the situationists and ‘detournement’. The psychological act of ‘derive’ and drifting through a city, making the environment and open ended theatre that you explore without direction. Vito Acconi’s following piece is a lot like hypertext – following someones conversation before jumping onto a next person. Goldsmith talks about the language that encaptulates the urban environment and presents visual artists that expose and play with this. He presents many examples of how visual artists have worked with the form and material of language, in advertising text and image. The modern city now has an added dialetic – the mobile phone, public language is continually poured out of peoples personal conversations.
Language art Goldsmith insists that language should learn a lot from the appropriation techniques of visual and conceptual art practices. Language removal services are an art collective formed from Hollywood sound editors who would manually remove the gaps between language from celebrities recordings.
“The art itself is one vast library, on whose pages are forever written all that man had ever said or woman whispered” Charles Babbage.
-Anticipating Instability – “Language is never neutral, never stable, and can never be truly objective” The evolution of readership – we no longer read but parse text The word parsing is of latin origin latin ‘parts of speech’ all language is being parsed by technology and the reader as we scan text before resending through other channels. “We parse text – a binary process of sorting language – more than we read it to comprehend all the information passing our eyes.” Look at online text generators, parsing text to generate new meanings.
“Ever Tried, Ever Failed. No Matter. Try Again, Fail Again. Fail Better”
In 1874 Edwin A abbots wrote ‘How to Parse: An attempt to apply the principles of scholarship to English grammer’
Derek Beaulieu draws lines between matching letters on a page till all letters are accounted for. http://writing.upenn.edu/pepc/authors/beaulieu/Beaulieu-Derek_Flatland.pdf Alexandra Nemerov’s “first My Motorala” is a list of every brand the artist touches in one day in chronological order.
-Towards a Poetics of Hyper-realism- The Xenotext experiment http://www2.law.ed.ac.uk/ahrc/script-ed/vol5-2/editorial.asp is storing language in a DNA cell, my making a code for the 4 letters of chromosones (A,C,G,T)
Seeding the data cloud “Tweets Scroll in real time across the screen the way tickertape used to spew stock qoutes’
John Barton Wolgamot – changes text and replaces with peoples names presenting names as the basis for rhythm in speech.
Status Update by Darren Werthler and Bill Kenedy repost Statuses and re-author them as a famous poet. Also ‘The Apostrophe Engine’ culls, organizes and preserves chunks of language from the internet. It collects phrases beginning with ‘you are; and ending in a period.Each new poem becomes a new hyperlink.
‘Our digital footprint, when rendered visible by data trails makes for compelling narrative’
Thomas Claburn – ‘I feel better after I type to you’ http://superbunker.com/_/i-feel-better/ The published private searches of an AOL user, each line becomes part of a deeply personal narrative.
Rene Vienet – Detourn – resubtitling genre films
“We’ve constructed and projected certain notions of who we are through a process of accumulating seemingly insignificant and ephemeral gestures, fashioning identities that might or might now have something to do with who we actually are”
- UNCREATIVE WRITING IN THE CLASSROOM – Goldsmith decribes the curriculum for his program ‘uncreative writing’ at Yale University.
Through adapting conventional transcribe techniques the phonetics of voice looks like code, you can bring the voice out of the text and in the typography. http://fave.ling.upenn.edu/downloads/Transcription_guidelines_FAAV.pdf They also do live transciribng to accompany a tv show and write new screenplays for existing films.