Oct 30, 2002

Digital poetry and periphery (2002)

Exchange during empyre- soft_skinned_space / cofa unsw

I am interested in what is being said regarding digital poetry and the idea of periphery.

Digital poetry and music:

Popular music satisfies our need for any poetic experience. Societies have willingly granted the pop music actors the responsibility of inventing the bulk of our poetic substance. If poetry did not lose in the exchange (with music) it did not gain the liberty to freely explore on its own. The digital revolution has given poetry another chance to grow without being weighted down by the musical form. At the same time it has allow writers to not be subjugated to the vision of an editor. Poets and have become writers and editors at the same time.

This shake up also happened with computer music. During the 60’s and 70’s the devices for creating computer music were huge and expensive. There were only a few of those big machines dispersed at the biggest universities and research centres. The big change happened in the early 80?s with the availability of the personal computer, which enabled many musicians to start exploring on their own, without the need of being supported by big institutions. We have seen the results: from that moment the field of computer music grew in an exponential manner.

A reading, a few years ago, filled me with hope that things were changing, that everything was not doomed to stay always the same way it always was. A writer of a New York-based music magazine was saying that the most promising bands were to come from small places outside of the big centres. The writer was talking about the empowerment given to people by new technologies. It was going to be possible, in the years to come, to produce and distribute creative work from the peripheral zones of the world.

This empowerment has given us a chance to re-evaluate the idea of the importance of the location of creators in relation to their audiences / markets. As the revolution continues, we are seeing evidence that a far more fundamental questioning is taking place, that is the questioning of? What is an artwork?

The expanded terrains:

When Valerie LeBlanc and myself decided to use wireless technologies in our project Location, Location, Location: We are getting closer ( www.wearegettingcloser.com ),we wanted the people to be the ‘visitors of the gallery’ and the curators of the show(s). Ben, Birgitta, Valbert, Warren, Lynn and the others became the input and the output at the same time. Obviously, the mobility offered by the technology gave us the possibility of leaving the constructed world of galleries to immerse ourselves in a more chaotic setting, thus closer to a real world environment.

In a way, whatever is outside the galleries is in the peripheral zone. But the idea of periphery is one loaded with bias to begin with. A periphery always defines itself to a center. In other words, it is rarely that a centre defines itself by its peripheries. Jean-Marc Dugas, businessman / poet / performer and, also my brother, wrote a collection of poetry entitled: Notes d’un Maritimer à Marie-la-mer (1993). The last sentence of the book is: Le régionalisme c’est le bout du monde à la portée de la main. Regionalism is the end of the world at fingertips reach – I think this speaks for a more dynamic nature to the peripheral zones than what it is usually given.

Speaking of poetry and of digital poetry in particular, there is something to learn by looking at computers and the way they work. On one hand we have the Central Processing Unit located in the tower, the device that interprets and executes instructions. On the other hand we have the peripherals inputs and outputs: the keyboard, the printer, the joystick, the scanners, the webcams, that are used to bring meaning to the CPU’s. i.e: No peripherals = no fun; just the silence of electronics crunching the void: an electronic stand still. Following this reasoning, and given the world of Internet connectivity, geographical peripheral locations potentially enjoy the same power of input. The questioning of what is an artwork is also being applied in redefining the relation of power between the centres and the off-centres, whether it is a city in relation to a suburb, a curator in relation to an artist or an artist in relation to a viewer.

Being curated gives the impression of being relevant to the world. It gives the impression of being necessaire. It provides a certain level of accreditation and exposure. The authorization of the Curator(s) says: We, the specialists, have digested the proposed product and deemed the item to be highly consumable, for whatever audience the product is being designed for. But let’s face it – the world is made mostly of peripheries. There is more than one way of being relevant and net art offers poets / artists, possibilities and strategies that do not exist outside of the cyberspace.

Daniel Dugas, 2002

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Daniel H. Dugas

Artiste numérique, poète et musicien, Daniel H. Dugas a participé à des expositions individuelles et de groupe ainsi qu’à plusieurs festivals et événements de poésie en Amérique du Nord, en Europe, au Mexique et en Australie. Son treizième recueil de poésie « émoji, etc. » / « emoji, etc. » vient de paraître aux Éditions Basic Bruegel.

Daniel H. Dugas is a poet, musician, and videographer. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions as well as festivals and literary events in North America, Europe, Mexico, and Australia. His thirteenth book of poetry, 'émoji, etc.' / 'emoji, etc.' has been published by the Éditions Basic Bruegel Editions.

Date : Mars / March 2022
Genre : Poésie / Poetry
Français / English

émoji, etc. / emoji, etc.

Date: Mai / May 2022
Genre: Vidéopoésie/Videopoetry