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concatenation
by geniwate

A disintegrating elegy. This poem wonders whether the old line about 'sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me' is really true — ie, it explores a nexus between language and violence, contextualised by contemporary world events.

Baxter, Port Hedland and Nauru refer to detention centres run by the Australian Government to prevent refugees from experiencing hope or gaining relief from their situation.

The principle is to bring the Gysin/Burroughs' cutup principle into the computer. It's been done before, by Florian Cramer among others, but I like to think mine enjoys some level of visual sophistication ... Of course it's not as random as a cutup; there are heaps of rules determining what gets generated. I'm not so much interested in the surreal aspect of the cutup principle, but in the performative aspect.

The other precursor is the OuLiPo (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle) school, the most famous exemplification of which is Cent mille milliards de poèmes by Raymond Queneau, about which the expression 'combinatory literature' was first used (Berge 1961 p.177). Fournel went on to suggest that the computer could combine with the combinatory principle to create an algorithmic literature in which 'The pleasure of play and the pleasure of reading are ... combined' (Fournel 1961 p.182). I have attempted to do that.

References
Berge, Claude (1961) 'For a potential analysis of combinatory literature'. Reprinted in The new media reader (2003) Edited by Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Fournel, Paul (1961) 'Computer and writer: the Centre Pompidou experiment'. Reprinted in The new media reader (2003) Edited by Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.