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Rewriting Walter Benjamin’s “The Arcades Project” April 30, 2011: For the past five years, I have been working on a rewriting of Walter Benjamin's The Arcades Project set in New York City in the twentieth century called Capital. As of this writing, the book is about 500 pages long, approximately half way to the 1000+ pages that constitutes Benjamin's book. The idea is to use Benjamin's identical methodology in [...] by

UbuWeb at 15 Years: An Overview April 26, 2011: It's amazing to me that UbuWeb, after fifteen years, is still going. Run with no money and put together pretty much without permission, Ubu has succeeded by breaking all the rules, by going about things the wrong way. UbuWeb can be construed as the Robin Hood of the avant-garde, but instead of taking from one and giving to the other, we feel that [...] by

The Digital Flood: You’d Better Start Swimmin’ or You’ll Sink Like A Stone April 24, 2011: Stephen Burt is drowning in the digital deluge. He's up to his eyeballs in information and he can't take it anymore. It's just too much. Too many blogs, too many Facebook pages, too much discussion, too many Tweets: "I'm sorry," he says. "I just can't do it. I don't have the energy. Maybe I never did." Burt's complaint is a common one; after all, [...] by

Six File Sharing Epiphanies April 22, 2011: Epiphany No 1: While I could discuss any number of musical epiphanies I've personally experienced over the past half a century, all of them would pale in comparison to the epiphany of seeing Napster for the first time. Although prior to Napster I had been a member of several file sharing communities, the sheer scope, variety and seeming [...] by

Archiving Is The New Folk Art April 19, 2011: The digital theorist Rick Prelinger has proclaimed that archiving is the new folk art, something that is widely practiced and has unconsciously become integrated into a great many people's lives, potentially transforming a necessity into a work of art. Now, at first thought it seems wrong: how can the storing and categorizing of digital (or [...] by

Language’s Newest Role April 13, 2011: Language Alters Imagery While poets have always had a deep and intimate knowledge of language's capabilities — formally and emotionally — the video above demonstrates that technology has made language act in ways that I don't think we've conceived of before. In it, words aren't used to express anything: they don't sing, emote, or pull [...] by

Death of a Kingmaker: A Critical Evaluation of Silliman’s Blog April 8, 2011: Ron Silliman was the Cal Ripken, Jr. of the poetry blogosphere. He was a good player, but more important, he consistently showed up for every game. And by getting up and making the donuts each morning he enacted the Long Tail theory of the web, moving so far out in front of the other poetry bloggers that he, by default, assumed the power position [...] by

The Bounce and The Roll April 6, 2011: Marjorie Perloff has claimed that, often, a poet's career is rarely made on one book, rather it's the long and slow accrual of publications, activities, community service, and so forth that firmly establish one's reputation. A perfect example of this would be the career trajectory of Charles Bernstein. While it's hard to name Bernstein's "best" or [...] by

The Meme Museum April 5, 2011: Darren Wershler has coined a term, "conceptualism in the wild," to describe practices which rage through the internet that are predicated upon earlier avant-garde tendencies without having the slightest knowledge of them. These most often involve memes. A typical "conceptualism in the wild" meme would be the series of re-subtitled Downfall [...] by

Retyping an entire book is one thing. Cutting & pasting an entire book is another. April 30, 2010: Nam June Paik "Magnet TV" (1965) There's been an explosion of writers employing strategies of copying and appropriation over the past few years with the computer encouraging writers to mimic its workings. When cutting and pasting are integral to the writing process, it'd be mad to imagine that writers wouldn't exploit these functions in [...] by