Friday, May 18, 2007

You learn something new everyday, right? Today: that other people find garbled-internet-texts interesting too.

Flarf: "An avant garde poetry movement of the late 20th century and the early 21st century. It’s first practitioners practiced an aesthetic dedicated to the exploration of “the inappropriate” in all of its guises. Their method was to mine the Internet with odd search terms then distill the results into often hilarious and sometimes disturbing poems, plays, and other texts."

. . .

I'm interested in writer's appropriation of spam and Google.

Introducing Flarf in the Village Voice, Jordan Davis writes:

"You've been getting their work in your inbox for months. From Darin Tovar (whose "retribution" begins "mouton brett deflate rototill luke deadline satellite Norway") to Kerry Avery (whose "bonjour" includes the compounds "whoreshirkwoodworkdomain" and "troopdispelling"), random-text-generating bots are transmitting weirdly beautiful messages that poets have anticipated and are responding to."

Because I've been compiling my spam lately, I was floored to find out about this work (which has been going on for years apparently).

Some of what I've saved:

"I was able to watch a flow of color reflecting my hand and pen store."

"Visual art is what the artist creates, whether it be a be on alive. Billy has drained the earth of power to create his days of civilization where mediums facilitating communication taking the jobs."

"Memory is stored with an arbitrary numerical address and can only increased rate of miscarriages. Brodeur, Paul, Currents of Death: official, and at the same time vague enough to allow its' use in slaves to entertainment when no such preposterous phenomena has through the INTERNET with someone without physical contact will distribute it world-wide if I so choose. I will be able to design what can be deemed alive."

"Every person at any time may be overwhelming. It may reach the political issues of massive unemployment, demeaning of work, and same music played on a particular radio station: our minds simply possibilities it provides, are virtually endless. There are lots computerized shop is essential to keep in stride with the demands The canyon - daytime. Billy plays with Great Uncle David's great drawings were not the work of the computer, but a creation of my computer. Either that or I'm being too demanding."

. . .

Flarf links:

"The Virtual Dependency of the Post-Avant and the Problematics of Flarf: What Happens when Poets Spend Too Much Time Fucking Around on the Internet":

"Poems made from Spam":

"Awful poems sought and found: From spam to Google, flarf redefines random":,essay,56171,1.html

. . .

Sometimes it seems like there is so much to read (even just contemporary poetry!) that I don't know where to turn first. I find myself on the internet, clicking from one page to another, just sampling, no depth.

Too much has probably been said about our generation’s shared ADD—the internet, media, etc.—but it’s so interesting to watch what it does to our sense of aesthetics. In what sense is collage (from magazines, old text books, now Google) a symptom of our shortening attention spans and our inability to deeply process all of the information at our fingertips? Instead of focusing, we cut it up, look at the juxtaposition of one small unit with another. But then when it’s finished, the act of reading almost becomes an act of meditation. The poem: a tiny world to inhabit for however long. A stream of never ending associations, yes, but also somewhat contained, manageable.

. . .

"Every person at any time may be overwhelming." Indeed.

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