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December 11, 2006

Jim Andrews' Vispo.com


Guest Work and Collaborators

VISPO.COM GUEST WORK AND COLLABORATORS :: I've been publishing vispo.com since 1995; there's a great deal of work on the site. Most of it--by 'volume'--is my own work: vispo.com is the primary way I publish my work--but over the years the site has come to house a significant body of work by other people and also collaborative work between myself and others. I've collected and annotated a page of links to that onsite work at http://vispo.com/guests.

The most recent works on this page are from 2006, and the oldest is from 1988. Soon to be 1984, actually: I'm working with Geof Huth, Dan Waber, Marko Niemi and Lionel Kearns to recover the animated computer poetry bpNichol did in 1984, and we will eventually get that up on vispo.com. Anyway, http://vispo.com/guests links close to twenty years of work. I have a sense now of working both forward and backward in time. Still trying to forge ahead with new and, hopefully, innovative, fresh projects, but also doing projects such as the bpNichol project and 'On Lionel Kearns' that look back and either recover work relevant to digital poetry now or present the work of artists who have been a big influence on me.

Most of the pieces are explorative of digital writing. The 2006 works are by Lee Worden and Marko J. Niemi, both of whom are programmers as well as writers. Lee, who has a doctorate in math from Princeton, has re-written his Cutup Engine that some of you will be familiar with. This is an excellent tool for exploring the interzones of texts. You paste text or URLs into the Engine and it dices them in a configurable way. Marko's 2006 works are the Concrete Stir Fry Poems. These deal with cutups also, but in a lettristic, visual poetic manner. Marko is a remarkable poet-programmer from Finland; his work bodes well for the future of digital poetry.

Also, the page links to the work of the Argentine poet Ana Maria Uribe, who passed away in 2004 and whose Typoems and Anipoems are, in their entirety, housed on vispo.com. She also collaborated in the production of Paris Connection, a project in critical media that examines the work of six French net artists. There are other projects in critical media such as Defib, a series of sixteen chat interviews produced with Dan Waber; in 1999-2000 we produced chats with writers who were attempting to produce work on the Web. The page links also to Strings by Dan Waber, which is a project in kinetic poetry that has been wonderfully successful; Strings is taught in many Universities that deal with digital poetry.

The oldest links on the page are from my pre-Web days as a writer and audio producer. There's a radio show I produced on the poetry of Seattle's Joseph Keppler (there are over 100 other shows in the vault, not online). And the page links to some of the music of The Laughing Boot Quintet, in which I was the drummer and audio engineer. There's also a link to a Paul McKinnon recording done at Mocambopo, a reading series I organized and hosted in Victoria Canada in the nineties (Mocambopo kept going like the Energizer Bunny for years after I left and only recently moved venues).

And there are links to other work such as collaborations with Brian Lennon and Pauline Masurel concerning stir fry texts; a link to my page featuring some of Ted Warnell's work; a link to Jorge Luiz Antonio's page that he maintains on vispo.com on Brazilian Digital Poetry on the Web; a link to Shuen-shing Lee's translations into Chinese of some of my work; and a link to work by Uruguay's Clemente Padin.

There's also a link to PRIME, the Peace Research Institute in the Middle East, which I maintain on vispo.com with my friend Sid Tafler. PRIME is headed by Sami Adwan, a Palestinian, and Dan Bar-On, an Israeli. Together, they work on some fascinating and incredibly worthwhile projects in peace-building between Palestinians and Israelis. Sid edits the site and I do the HTML.

Anyway, all this work by others and in collaboration with others has been a true joy in my life. The page is ongoing, as mentioned--it isn't finished yet--nor am I, I hope. But I wanted to acknowledge this work and thank those who have contributed fine work to vispo.com and collaborated with me on other work. You discover alternative approaches to poetry in just about all this work, that attempt some synthesis of arts, media, and fields such as programming and mathematics or music and recorded sound. As well as attempts to write of the poetics of such practice. It's about putting it all together, connecting, staying human, discovering the nature of our altered humanity and language so that we can address life with fresh insight and communicative power.

Vispo.com is an attempt to create a literary work alternative but related to the book; to create works and experience imaginatively attuned to the media and methods of the Net. Being truly literate involves not only reading but writing; vispo.com is an attempt to write through new media. It is my life's work; and the work on vispo.com by others and in collaboration with others is a huge part of the nature of that life and work to put it all together, to make strong connections. The French poet Isou said "Each poet will integrate everything into everything." And this was way before the Net. Same job, different time and circumstances.

Again, many thanks to those whose work is on http://vispo.com/guests, and to you for reading.

ja (Jim Andrews)

Posted by jo at December 11, 2006 10:30 AM