Monday, July 14, 2008

The possibilities of a postmodernism.


Flarf poetry can be characterized as an avant garde poetry movement of the late 20th century and the early 21st century. Its 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.--Wiki.

In this instance there is an intrusion of technology to replace the dominance of "I". The author is reduced to the role of clerk, sorting and filing stray bits of information. He becomes slaved to the technology at hand; and the poem depending on the amount of "self" allowed by the clerk is a report on the current state of affairs between the "I" and the available technology. Coherence is mostly often left to the audience. The poem becomes a partnership, a collaboration. Truth becomes a collection of the best available information.

--a central question arises as to the nature of the Muse. In a traditional sense, it may regarded as a sense of the Other, something beyond the self which might be called upon for guidence--in this new modern evolving sense it can be regarded as a reality based source of assembling thought which arise from a variety of sources which is based in the collective mind represented by technology. It is necessary to acknowledge that both are creations, tho the first has long been thought to be outside of Nature and the second has from its inception been a product of specific hardware. Nevertheless, occasionally something happens, either an existing wire gets snipped or a neuron makes a new connection and a poem comes into being.

It seems evident to me that the central tenet in all these instances of "automatic writing," by which I mean techniques, and not movements--is simply the debate on how to draw the "Not I" into existance, to suppress
"I"--in one interpretation to reduce the poet to Zombie; i.e. an automoton.


Nada said...

Nonsense, I'm not slave to anything, least of all technology.

Rethink this, please, including the ideas of AGENCY and MOTIVATION.

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jpc said...

I guess I'm following along with the Tzara reference; after all he did say "The poem will resemble you" when speaking of his little newspaper-snipping assembly method. Even the blurb from Coceau on this site leans that way; the poet isn't out scenting his blooms; he or she is gathering them, arranging them. Discovering them, which is an engagement with the other, whether the words come from Milton (Ronald Johnson) or from some little contraption ending in .py or what-have-you or even if we just (think we) get them from between our own ears. Finally, and I know this is just a blog, these concepts of other, muse, and nature are a lot more complex than they are assumed to be here. Once chooses a definition of teach of these or a set of definitions or moves through definitions. Settling on one and using it to argue makes no more sense than hitting an offensive person with a rolled-up newspaper, as satisfying as you may find it.

Matt said...

Hi. Isn't automatic writing when you just write whatever comes into your head without thinking about it, without editing? That's not the same as choosing and manipulating found texts, is it? I mean, you're not really a slave to the technology if your fingers and your brain are manipulating the technology, right? You're still in control of what you're doing.