Author Archive

On using tools made by comrades

Notes and memoirs on using digital poetry tools engineered by other digital poets.

Funkhouser using Tisselli's Midi Poet tool

With regard to digital tools, there are makers and there are users. As an artist, I feel lucky to be living at a time when artists who are making terrific tools make them available to use. Without any sort of conscious (premeditated) intention to do so, I began a period of intense creative “collaboration” involving software programs made by other digital authors (Jim Andrews, Charles O. Hartman, Eugenio Tisselli, Andrew Klobucar/David Ayer) in early 2009. These poetry-oriented tools have been part of my practice in various ways since.

Results, from my perspective, have been extremely positive. Will writing about the experiences of using them have value? I do so to provide compositional examples to the larger community, to show how working with such tools holds a range of possibilities for asynchronous—if not autonomous—collaboration people are capable of across the network, despite physical separation. Works described below are successful experiments, outcomes of which surpassed my expectations of what would be achieved. In all of them, personal filters are present, in most so is direct artistic/authorial input. In two examples, output made with these tools is visually combined with other experiments (layered as montages with other animations) in performance settings.

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