Aesthetic Animism: Digital Poetry's Ontological Implications

Hardcover | June 3, 2016

byDavid Jhave Johnston

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This book offers a decoder for some of the new forms of poetry enabled by digital technology. Examining many of the strange technological vectors converging on language, it proposes a poetics appropriate to the digital era while connecting digital poetry to traditional poetry's concerns with being (a.k.a. ontological implications).

Digital poetry, in this context, is not simply a descendent of the book. Digital poems are not necessarily "poems" or written by "poets"; they are found in ads, conceptual art, interactive displays, performative projects, games, or apps. Poetic tools include algorithms, browsers, social media, and data. Code blossoms into poetic objects and poetic proto-organisms.

Introducing the terms TAVs (Textual-Audio-Visuals) and TAVITS (Textual-Audio-Visual-Interactive), Aesthetic Animism theorizes a relation between scientific method and literary analysis; considers the temporal implications of animation software; and links software studies to creative writing. Above all it introduces many examples of digital poetry within a playful yet considered flexible taxonomy.

In the future imagined here, digital poets program, sculpt, and nourish immense immersive interfaces of semi-autonomous word ecosystems. Poetry, enhanced by code and animated by sensors, reengages themes active at the origin of poetry: animism, agency, consciousness. Digital poetry will be perceived as living, because it is living.

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This book offers a decoder for some of the new forms of poetry enabled by digital technology. Examining many of the strange technological vectors converging on language, it proposes a poetics appropriate to the digital era while connecting digital poetry to traditional poetry's concerns with being (a.k.a. ontological implications). Dig...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.56 inPublished:June 3, 2016Publisher:The MIT PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262034514

ISBN - 13:9780262034517

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David Jhave Johnston has animated the study of digital poetics by surveying a novel field of literature, at a time when texts have begun to speak for themselves, dancing on screens, taking on a kind of inchoate vitality never before seen in writing. Johnston speculates about the future of these texts that now have the capacity to react to readers, engaging with them, evolving autonomously in ways that might lead to literary cultures, capable of writing themselves into existence. Let this book guide you through the terrain of an embryonic ecosystem.