statement: Are avant-garde practices still important to you?
The surrealist games of the past provided the basic mechanics of the techniques. It is only the means by which they are employed that has changed. What was, in the past, performed by human operators is now performed by computer programs.
project: I AM ERROR
My glitch poetry project uses the surrealist games “translations” and the game of “telephone,” but uses modern technology to do so.
The “translations game” is replicated by using online translation programs. I found that the programs with the most undeveloped artificial intelligence gave the best results. I translated primarily between English/German. Because English is a mixture of many languages but originated as a Germanic language, I found that using German as the primary translating language distilled the English phrases and metaphors to an essential core that I liked.
For the “telephone game” I used two programs: a text-to-speech program to have the computer “read out loud” my poems, and a closed-captioning or subtitles program to translate the computer-spoken words back into text again.
This is how my poems used both translation and transliteration to produce the effect. A few additional techniques were used to give the poems the visual appearance of glitching. One technique was to screenshot the poem as a .jpg file. Then, the picture’s filename extension was changed to .txt, and some of the code from that txt file was copied and pasted into the poem.
The word “glitch” is defined as an error that occurs when information is transferred between two mediums. Here the information being transferred is the language and syntax, and the mediums are the languages English/German, the spoken/written word, and file formats .jpg and .txt. This is why I chose to call the project “Glitch poetry”.