403 DIGITAL POETRY
Fall 2007 Prof. Chris Funkhouser (funkhouser [at] adm [dot] njit [dot] .edu)
Office Hours (425 Cullimore) Thursday 3-5 and by appointment
Digital poetry is a genre based in literary, visual, and sonically based arts that began to blossom in the late 1950s. This course investigates the different activities taken up by poets who integrate computer technology in their works. Students will discuss and evaluate virtues of the dynamics presented in an array of works produced by poets and programmers. Poems that include algorithmic programming, graphical artistry, videography, and hypertext designs are introduced and explored, in order to build an understanding of the values of these disparate forms of expression and deliberate on the creative potential of this new genre.
Funkhouser, C.T.: Prehistoric Digital Poetry: An Archaeology of Forms, 1959-1995 (available at NJIT bookstore and amazon.com)
Online Participation/WebCT discussion (30% of grade) Each student is required to initiate and/or participate in substantive discussion on WebCT at least twice every week. Each posting should be at least a paragraph in length (3-4 sentences at minimum). Postings should include specific references/details from the readings (and external references when possible), in addition to your own reflections of, perspectives on, or experience with the material under discussion.
Reading Log (30% of grade) Your diary of the course, which should include notes taken on course materials and general commentary. Reading logs should be as extensive as possible, and reflect your experience with the materials and what you are learning. Logs will be submitted for evaluation (via WebCT Assignments page) three times (Oct. 1, Nov. 1, and Dec. 1). Create logs using Microsoft Word, and post them as .doc files titled yourlastnameLOG1.doc, yourlastnameLOG2.doc, yourlastnameLOG3.doc at the appropriate times. Please note: WebCT discussion postings may be drawn from your logs.
Course Assignments (10% of grade) Periodic assignments relating to topics in the course will be given. Submit through WebCT.
Determination of Grades: All work will be evaluated on a scale of 1.0 to 10.0; this scale roughly equates to: 10 = A; 9 = B+; 8 = B; 7 = C+; 6 = C; 5 =D; < 4=F
S c h e d u l e
Reading: Jorge Luiz Antonio “Digital Poetry”; C.T. Funkhouser, "Foreword," "A Chronology of Works in Digital Poetry, 1959-1995," "Evolving Circuits of Digital Poetry" (pp. i-30 in Prehistoric Digital Poetry: An Archeaology of Forms, 1959-1995)
Note: You are not required to review all of the links presented in Antonio’s essay. In fact, we will review quite a few of these sites during the semester, but for now, unless you have a burning interest in the subject matter, you do not have to review these works. I am more interested in having you recognize the pluralistic context he builds for the genre in the essay.
Use WWW to conduct independent research on topics of interest
Reading: C.T. Funkhouser, "Origination: Text Generation" (pp. 31-84, Prehistoric Digital Poetry: An Archeaology of Forms, 1959-1995)
Tristan Tzara's "Dadaism" http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~jenglish/English104/tzara.html [read for background and spirit]
"How to make a dada poem" http://www.madsci.org/~lynn/juju/surr/games/dada-poem.html [Please follow instructions and make a few dada poems.]
ASSIGNMENT 1: MAKE A DADA POEM, FOLLOWING TZARA'S INSTRUCTIONS. Scan and include images in your log and post to WebCT Discussion Board.
Kurt Schwitters "Die Sonate in Urlauten:" score http://www.ubu.com/historical/schwitters/ursonate.html; recording: track 7, http://www.ubu.com/sound/artist_tellus.html [read and listen to the score, and comment]
Cramer, Florian. "Computational Literature" http://www.hotkey.net.au/~netwurker/fclecture.pdf [Please study the excerpts from Mez's work that are included in this essay and respond (either analytically or creatively].
Permutations http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~cantsin/permutations/index.cgi Explore page; make texts using (a) Free-form text permutation, Cut-Ups, Dada Poem, and one other type [in "Permutation Poetry"] (b) Cent mille milliards de poèmes and one other type [in "Rotary dial texts"] and (c) one type in "Fancies by the Webmasters of this Site;" study how these texts are made. Add these to your log, with commentary, and post your 2 best/favorite texts to WebCT for further discussion.
ASSIGNMENT 2: CREATE PERMUTATION TEXTS USING THE PERMUTATIONS WWW SITE (as described above). Post your favorite examples to WebCT Discussion Board.
WebCT discussion contributions
Reading: "Combinatory Poetry and Literature in the Internet" http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~cantsin/homepage/writings/net_literature/permutations/kassel_2000/combinatory_poetry.html
TRAVESTY GENERATOR: http://www.eskimo.com/~rstarr/poormfa/travesty.html; also read explanation of the work: http://www.eskimo.com/~rstarr/poormfa/explaintravesty.html [choose an input text to run through TRAVESTY, selecting different parameters for the same text (i.e., vary the order and characters of output); copy your favorite examples of output; note: the more text you put into the input box, the more extensive (and interesting) the output will be]
ASSIGNMENT 3: CREATE SEVERAL TRAVESTY TEXTS, USING DIFFERENT INPUT TEXTS. Post to WebCT Discussion Board.
Internet Anagram Server, http://wordsmith.org/anagram/ [experiment with this tool, making your own anagrams]
OuLiPo wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oulipo [read for background, study closely the lipograms and "n+7" method sections; create at least one "n+7" text]
Raymond Queneau, Cent Mille Milliards de Poèmes (Hundred Thousand Billion Poems): http://www.bevrowe.info/Poems/QueneauRandom.htm
Oulipo http://www.growndodo.com/wordplay/oulipo/index.html [read page, and follow the "Dog Sees Ada" and "palindrome" links on this page]
ASSIGNMENT 4: MAKE AT LEAST ONE "n+7" TEXT, and CHOOSE ONE OTHER FORM YOU LIKE AND MAKE CONSTRAINED TEXTS. Post (or paste) the two files to WebCT Discussion Board.
Hartman, Charles O., PyProse [scroll down to Prose and Virtual Muse, download appropriate file]
Glazier, Loss Pequeno, IO Sono at Swoons [requires Java]
Computer generated writing [scroll down to DOS programs, download and explore]
Neologism Dictionary http://www.neologisms.us
Your Personal Poet
[ download and run poet.zip from WebCT ]
Assignments 1, 2, 3, 4 (due 10/8): post to WebCT bulletin board)
Reading: C.T. Funkhouser, "Visual and Kinetic Digital Poems" (pp. 85-150, Prehistoric Digital Poetry: An Archeaology of Forms, 1959-1995)
Geof Huth’s Visualizing Poetics Blog http://dbqp.blogspot.com/ [review material for WebCT discussion and Reading Log]
Solt, Mary Ellen Concrete Poetry: A World View: http://www.ubu.com/papers/solt/index.html [read sections I, III, XIX, XX, XXI, XXII]
Visual poetry. Wikipedia definition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_poetry
Kloppenborg, Paul: "Concrete to Computer: The Future of Visual Poetry"
Funkhouser, Chris: "Augusto de Campos, Digital Poetry, and the Anthropophagic Imperative"
Michael Basinski Electronic Poetry Center author page [review at least 5 of Basinski's "visual works"]
ASSIGNMENT 5: Make a visual poem using typography, image, etc. Post to WebCT. Due 10/15
READING LOG 1 DUE OCT. 1
Jim Andrews, On Lionel [be sure to read/click through all of the narrative, and watch the video at the end]
bpNichol, First Screening http://vispo.com/bp/geof.htm
Brian Kim Stefans "The Dreamlife of Letters"
Thylias Moss LIMITED FORK (podcast, you will need iTunes to view) [look at several of these videos and write a brief report in your log/on WebCT]
http://www.cla.umn.edu/joglars/afteremmett/bonvoyage.html (After Emmett)
http://www.cla.umn.edu/joglars/mesostics/index.html (Mesostic for Dick Higgins)
Alan Sondheim/Reiner Strasser: TAO
Assignments 1, 2, 3, 4 due 10/8WebCT contributions
WEEK 6 (10/9)
Reading: C.T. Funkhouser, "Appendix A: Codeworks," "Appendix B: Holography" (pp. 257-270, Prehistoric Digital Poetry: An Archeaology of Forms, 1959-1995)
http://www.wordcircuits.com/kendall/poetry/softpoet.htm Softpoems [ download and view “Clue” and “It all comes down to ____” ]
Jason Nelson, The Poetry Cube
John Cayley, windsound http://www.shadoof.net/in/windsound.html
Assignment 5 due 10/15
WEEK 7 (10/16)
Reading: Reading: C.T. Funkhouser, "Hypertext and Hypermedia" (pp. 151-198, Prehistoric Digital Poetry: An Archeaology of Forms, 1959-1995)WebCT contributions
WEEK 8 (10/23)
Brion Gysin (at ubuweb), http://www.ubu.com/sound/gysin.html: listen to tracks 3, 4, 5 ("Junk is No Good Baby," "I Am" Machine-poem, "3 Permutations" and read Gysin's statement on this page.
Penn Sound http://www.writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/; listen to materials on Kenning (http://www.writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Kenning.html): Hannah Weiner - from "May from the Journal in June," Purkinge - "Bonne chance"
Charles Amirkhanian at UbuWeb http://www.ubu.com/sound/amir.html [listen to "Church Car," "Mushrooms" and as many other cuts as you can]
jörg piringer - [digital sound visual interactive poetry etc.] http://joerg.piringer.net/ [review all sections, but pay special attention to works in the sound section; see also nam shub, a processing tool]WebCT contributions
WEEK 9 (10/30)
Reading: C.T. Funkhouser, "Alternative Arrangements for Digital Poetry," "Techniques Enabled" (pp. 199-255, Prehistoric Digital Poetry: An Archeaology of Forms, 1959-1995)
Maria Mencia, Birds Singing Other Birds Songs
Aya Karpinska, arrival of the beeBox
http://www.technekai.com/box/index.html [ download and run program ]
Jim Andrews, Arteroids
Neil Hennessey Frogger http://www.ubu.com/contemp/hennessy/frogger/basho_frogger.htmlWebCT contributions
READING LOG 2 DUE NOV. 1
WEEK 11 (11/13)
Final Project proposal due Nov. 19
WEEK 12 (11/20)
Chris Funkhouser, "Electronic Literature circa WWW (and Before)"
Marko Niemi, Stud Poetry
Deena Larsen, "Carving in Possibilities" http://collection.eliterature.org/1/works/larsen__carving_in_possibilities.html
Lucio Agra http://www.geocities.com/agraryk/agrindexeng.htm; review 3 of 5 of the "poems in PPS" sectionWebCT contributions
WEEK 13 (11/27)
work on Final Paper/Project
Jim Carpenter, Erika
Dan Waber and Jason Pimble, "I, You, We"
READING LOG 3 DUE DEC. 5
WEEK 14 (12/4)
Work on Final Paper/Project
WEEK 15 (12/11)
All work for course is due 12/12
The NJIT Honor Code will be upheld in this
course, and that any violations will be brought to the immediate attention
of the Dean of Students.