Tag Archives: Snippets

Small Cutup Poem from Work in Progress

I’ve been working on variously formed scripts to parse large amounts of text as a starting point to write some content for a larger piece of work. I’m trying to produce the content first this time, and then focus on the transformations, functions that will become essential in that work.

Anyway, I’m experimenting with some cutup engines and throwing together some deliberately disparate yet thematically related texts, and coming up with some pretty decent rough texts. I’m using some Shakespeare texts that have mistaken identity as a theme, combined with some deconstruction theory texts. I will be incorporating many more texts as I go, the idea being to bring in sources that deal with various forms of assumption based on limited information. I wanted to produce a ‘posthuman’ text – one that constructs you as you construct it – and this happened to fall at the same time as the whole PRiSM scandal landed. It made me think about algorithms being responsible for people becoming ‘people of interest’ based on quite bizarre and seemingly arbitrary choices of vocabulary, and how these relate to a very limited picture of a human being that might nonetheless be framed as a ‘terrorist’ or some other danger to society based on a purely quantitative set of data. This seemed fairly naturally to relate to the sense of inadequacy in language to assert certainty onto what is a persistently relative, metaphorical system.

This cutup system cuts and joins based on fairly standard joining words (” as “, ” and “) but also “a” – without the space – meaning that many instances occur where words become split and fused. Some of these words sound like they¬†should mean something, and I’d like to work with these elusive but kind of weighty words more in the work. Certainty vs. confusion. Not such a clear boundary.

Oh here’s the short poem:

Ma song. Come on; there is ass. Now let’s hail responsibility
the fool has an endless calculus
he shall tear and hear; your contagious, logico-empirical Latin
and make distro God
observe his construction of this uncivil rule: she shay, though she hace, the detours,
[ ]atches. Sneck up!