Computers & Art: Digital poetry

Computers & Art: Digital poetry – Zuzana Panák Husárová
The literary expression present in digital media often requires an active reader and her physical and sensorial involvement in the experiential process. N. Katherine Hayles answers the ontological question in her article Electronic literature: What is it? by stating that it is "generally considered to exclude print literature that has been digitized, is by contrast "digital born,” a first-generation digital object created on a computer and (usually) meant to be read on a computer" (Hayles, 2008, p.3). The Electronic Literature Organization explains the ontology of e-lit as a "work with an important literary aspect that takes advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the stand-alone or networked computer". Among the attributes that often define a particular practice in e-lit production belong: flickering signifiers, kinetic texts, generative, hypertextual, animated, playful nature, programmable languages, intermedial/transmedial relations, performative and interactive aesthetics, and others.’ The first example is Christopher Strachey´s Loveletters. They were programmed on the computer Mark 1, in England in 1952 using an algorithm that created love letters by combining words according to a pre-programmed scheme. Another cult work of electronic literature is Stochastic Texts, programmed by Theo Lutz on the Zuse Z22 computer in Germany in 1959. As Chris Funkhouser states in his book New Directions in Digital Poetry, "Digital poetry always exploits elements of mathematics, computer science and art, but many other conceptual approaches are applicable. Combining files and presenting them via computer screens multiplies possibilities for poetry and, considering the sum or sums of the artistic equation used to distinguish meaning, requires work from the author and the viewer" (Funkhouser, 2012, p. 227).

Case study I.
Digital sound poetry – Zuzana Panák Husárová
This case study focuses on the sonic elements of poetry and language, on the performativity of poetry, and on the possibilities of sensing expressions that have a rhythmical or physical potential and were programmed in digital media. The study is framed around various approaches to connections between poetic expression & sound/music: Lautgedichte, poésie sonore, noise poetry, and focuses on the possibilities and frameworks that the creation through digital programmes provides for poetic, performative and musical forms.

Case study II.
Artificial Intelligence in Creative Writing – Jiří Materna
Have you ever thought of artificial intelligence smart enough to write novels or poetry? Meet the future. I will describe you a machine learning model which is able to write an entire book or assist you in writing your own fictional literature.

Lectures and case studies will be held in English. Full syllabus available here, the list of all lectures available here. Lessons take place every Thursday at 14.00 as a part of New Media and Entertainment (M_VIRTUAL) course held at TIM FF MU. In case of any questions, please contact us at

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