Join us as we welcome Nick Montfort, Associate Professor of Digital Media at MIT, for a reading from his new book #!, a collection of poetic texts presented alongside the short computer programs that generated them. This reading is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Thea Djordjadze.
#! (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 literary generators and other computational art and poetry. He has participated in dozens of literary and academic collaborations. He teaches at MIT and is faculty advisor for the Electronic Literature Organization, whose Electronic Literature Collection Volume 1 he co-edited. Montfort wrote the books of poems #! and Riddle & Bind and co-wrote 2002. The MIT Press has published four of his collaborative and individually-authored books: The New Media Reader, Twisty Little Passages, Racing the Beam, and 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10, a collaboration with nine other authors that Montfort organized.
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