Francesco Levato, a new media artist, poet, and director of The Chicago School of Poetics, wants to turn the Twitterverse into a creative experiment. So just last month, he launched #pxc001—a collaborative, long-form poem that turns Twitter into a writer’s slate.
Lacking any principal author, the poem evolves anarchically, mutating with every interaction.
I’m interested in working on a series of collaborative, long-form poems using Twitter as a writing platform. As a constraint-based system (140 characters, one line at a time), Twitter lends itself to exquisite corpse-like compositions, and for this project I would like to extend that work to include appropriated language, chance operations, overwriting of each other’s texts, defacements, collages, erasures, etc., however, the way in which the collaboration unfolds is ultimately up to each participant.
The project takes as inspiration Louis Armand and John Kinsella’s Synopticon: a collaborative poetics, a collaborative project written via email exchange between the authors over the course of a 10-year period. In an investigation of authorship and authenticity, Armand and Kinsella engaged in a number of experimental practices when writing the poems, from exquisite corpse-like additive games to radical revisions of each other’s texts.
The current poem is #pxc002. To participate in this poem, tweet your line to me at @_levato using the hashtags #pxc002 #poetry (no need to DM me first). Please note: if you build on another participant’s lines, tag them in your tweet (if there’s enough space).
The original poem is #pxc001 and the first line was based on my ethnographic notebook from a recent stay in Bolivia.
A live feed of both poems can be viewed in full on Twitter at: #pxc002 and #pxc001.
On November 17th, 2015 I’ll be reading at the Poetry Foundation for their Open Door reading series along with an awesome former student of mine, Benjamin Busch.
The Open Door series presents work from Chicago’s new and emerging poets and highlights the area’s outstanding writing programs on a monthly basis. Each hour-long reading features two Chicagoland college and graduate writing program instructors and two of their current or recent students.
My chapbook, jettison/collapse, is coming out in the fall of 2015 from AngleHousePress, many thanks to publisher Amanda Earl.
jettison/collapse is a mash-up of poetry, linguistics, and critical/cultural theory. Two streams of textual production form the mash-up: a series of linked poetic sequences composed through chance operations applied to appropriated source material, and a series of linked critical sidenotes; each interwoven and in dialogue with the other. The source texts range from Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, and the collected works of Emily Dickinson, to discourses on aesthetics by Benedetto Croce and linguistics by Ferdinand De Saussure, to critical essays from the conflict between affectual and conceptual poetries by Calvin Bedient, Rachel Galvin, and Drew Gardner.
My submission, When Worlds Collide: A 3D Videogame Exploration of Poetry and Critical Theory, was selected for the Digital Humanities panel at the 2015 MMLA convention.
Semi-peripheral (3D) is an expansion of my hybrid text, Semi-peripheral: Spaces of Deviation, Abjection, Madness that utilizes a videogame development platform to immerse users in a 3-dimensional exploration of the theoretical frameworks that inform the hybrid text. The original project was conceived as a mash-up of critical theory, poetry, and science that examined the works of H.P. Lovecraft as an (other)world-system, through the theoretical frames of world-systems analysis (Immanuel Wallerstein), heterotopic spaces (Michel Foucault), and abjection (Julia Kristeva). This new phase of the project extends that work into a virtual space that symbolizes a Wallersteinian semi-periphery, and also serves as overlapping heterotopias of deviation and crisis, where incongruous objects are juxtaposed and in tension with both the desire and threat of penetrating borders.Users navigate this 3-dimentional world from a first-person perspective where they can engage with the original texts through the various assemblages of symbolic objects and also through the actual texts themselves, which are scattered throughout the environment and can be picked up and read. The presentation will consist of a performance of the hybrid text, Semi-peripheral: Spaces of Deviation, Abjection, Madness, within a real-time projection of Semi-peripheral (3D) gameplay.