The Poetics of Technology: Allison Parrish, Zaïneb Hamdi & Cecilia Verheyden
That writing and reading are no longer limited to paper supports alone, is old news. Most contemporary authors' writing practice is intimately interlinked with software and networks. But what does it mean to consciously integrate that technological context in the creation process? How does the (active or passive) use of code change the notion of literature? What does it mean to be an author under those circumstances? And what of the role of the reader? Allison Parrish, Zaïneb Hamdi & Cecilia Verheyden, who are topic experts, guide us through this brave new world.
Auto-writing as a form of criticism
Allison Parrish, a poet who teaches ‘Literary creation with code’ at NYU, suggests that computer-generated writing is a continuation of the ‘auto-writing’ practiced by surrealists to let the subconscious speak. Her starting point was the experimental work of Gertrude Stein. For Parrish, computer-generated literature is also a way to criticise the materiality of writing and the physical and social context in which technologies live.
Instagram poetry and online directing
Young writers today don’t hesitate to use software and network technology in their work, even without actively programming. Poet Zaïneb Hamdi publishes her poetry on Instagram, where she has a growing virtual readership. Director Cecilia Verheyden created wtFOCK, a narrative universe which exists exclusively online. They invite us to take a closer look at the various forms virtual texts can adopt and tell us about their work as Instagram poet and virtual director as a second part to the evening.
young editorial board
Nicolas Baudoin, Lisanne De Gendt, Rebecca Ndifo en Tessel Veneboer composed this evening's programme. They are the members of Passa Porta's young editorial board, a platform through which we give creative young people the opportunity to hone their talents as literary programme makers. The young editorial board is behind three of this season's programmes and receives organisational and financial support to realise them.