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· The anxieties of attending the 2011 E-Poetry Festival.

By CHRIS FUNKHO– USER [Jacket2] – I’m completing this book having recently participated in the 2011 E-Poetry Festival. For my own part, as a performer, I assembled a panhemispheric musical group named grope uSurp, comprised of other multimedia artists and friends attending the festival; Lucio Agra, John Cayley, Stephen Cope, Andrew Klobucar, Siew-wai Kok, and Eugenio Tisselli  joined me onstage. One of our pieces, proposed by Cayley, remade a Neil Young lyric (“Albuquerque”) that was particularly apt to the gathering. In one verse Cayley sings, “I’ve been flying / through the code / Words are starving / to loose their hold” (E-Poetry). This sensibility happened to echo observations presented in my talk at the event (“Bearing the Fruits of E-Poetry: A Personal Decennial View”), which describes how my 2001 E-Poetry band “9 way mind” strove to emphasize language in its performance, whereas this year’s band’s preparations largely focused on using MIDI technology to compose images and language interactively — a transition indicative of the aesthetic course the field as a whole has taken. In the period between the first (2001) and most recent E-Poetry festivals, a shift in the prominence of language occurred. Authors present language — indeed, each work discussed in this book and at the Festival features words — but verbal components are today fully balanceable with mediated components. In programmatic compositions such as those permitted by computers and on the WWW, words hungrily invite, and may require, extratextual supplementation to thrive In this new poetic paradigm, words do not surrender their power, but share it with other expressive elements. Reading now happens on multiple registers.

I anticipated attending E-Poetry might bring apprehension, a type of crisis to my research — that a new slew of dynamics might be unleashed, deviating beyond contexts I consider for the genre. They did not.

Continued at Jacket2 | More Chronicle & Notices.

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