November 8, 2006

Jason Nelson Speaks from the Machine

by Nick Montfort · , 7:25 pm

Jason NelsonThe MACHINE team here at Penn just watched Jason Nelson‘s video presentation – a bit later than would have been ideal, but as Autostart was packed with presentations and Jason’s video was sharing a computer with Scott’s head, there wasn’t a chance to see it earlier. Jason cruised through several of his pieces and encouraged us to develop projects that help technical and creative collaborators work together.

Here are some comments from the rest of the peanut gallery…

Jim: Go Jason! I agree completely that if e-writing is to mature, there need to be stronger collaborations between technicians and poets, collaborations that bring to bear deep understanding of the possibilities of large-scale databases, of reusable software components, and new, to-be-developed development tools along with the equally deep and orthogonally distant understandings of the artists of poetry, poetics, and literary theory – just too much to expect from a single mind.

Steve: Too much to expect from an individual mind indeed. If this tiny and marginal e-writing community is to maintain its forward trajectory, we need more and better-connected bridge builders like Jason. It’s a perplexing problem: to encourage aesthetes to nurture their inner technicians, or to actively usher technicians into this aesthetic project? We need well-rounded young go-getters, and we need them now.

One Response to “Jason Nelson Speaks from the Machine”


  1. David Ayre Says:

    To much agreed ! Interdisciplainarity is critical in this realm…. i think for computer poetry, which i think has a more specific definition than “e-writing”, the fields of computational linguistics and humanities computing are extremely informative… I wrote a bit about this on my blog in response to a post by Jim Carpenter:

    http://www.gtrlabs.org/blog/dayre/why_alg_is_hard_interdisciplinarity

    Visualization is important too… as a software developer with no formal education in computer graphics, I am at a loss in how to give visual life to the rich linguistic structures my software creates…. Vancouver’s first dorkbot meeting was yesterday and it was great to meet graphic designers, motion graphics experts, electrical engineers, sculptors and others working in a variety of areas foreign to me, but so exciting and phat with possibility. Dorkbot provides some good trajectories for e-writing to explore…

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