Computational Poetics

Computational Poetics is an exhibition exploring deep history of artists shaping and transforming language in ways that emphasize its visual, sonic, tactile, and material qualities goes back at least to the Middle Ages. This rich tradition was technologically suppressed during the early centuries of mechanical printing. In the early 20th century, avant-garde artists and writers revived the traditions as a means of exploring misalignments between literary and technological culture; the historic avant-garde used collage, sonification, and communications technologies like radio to expand what words and books could do. By the 1960s, computers and telecommunications necessitated a fundamental rethinking of the ever-expanding misalignment between literary and technological culture. 
 
Computational Poetics explores how artists and writers in and around Fluxus used mainframe computers in the 1960s to explore this space. By the 1990s and 2000s, new generations of computational poets pressed the boundaries of language further using interactivity and both computational and physical gameplay, and artificial intelligence. 
 
Many artists today see the poetic power of using probability and generative process as a form of expression. These artists have been influenced by the historical examples in the exhibition that share a similar impulse. This exhibition demonstrates that the spirit of systems text-based art does not have to be cool and conceptual, but can also be expressive, generating new and surprising textual combinations. 

Dates: 
October 02, 2022
Opening Reception: 
October 1, 2022 - 2:00pm
Curated By: 
Hannah Higgins & David Familian
Artist: 
Eric Anderson, Baio, Christian Bök, Cesar & Lois: Bhiobrid, Mary Flanagan, Tori Foster, Tiffany Funk, Kenneth Goldsmith, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Jackson MacLow, Alison Parrish, Bill Seaman, Nam June Paik, and Emmett Williams