06/02/2007

"mez's writings are, in my view, examples of reflecting the virulence of digital text without actually coding in programming language. - The beauty of 'mezangelle' is that it uses elements of programming language syntax as material, i.e. reflecting formal programming language without being one. Of course, many other aesthetic options in Internet poetry exist, and many of them may have an aesthetics which totally separates the textuality of the digital poem from the internal textuality of the machine. I just prefer if the latter is the product of an aesthetically conscious decision _against_ algorithmic coding (i.e. as its negative reflection)."
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"If it doesn't (conceptually, aesthetically) matter at all for a work whether it resides on the CD-ROM or in the Internet, then I have difficulties calling it "net literature". The fact that something displays in a browser isn't enough to make it, to quote mez, a "net wurk". You might consider it picky, but in my view "net literature" and "digital literature" aren't synonymous per se,
although they frequently intersect today. I could, for example, think of a lot of analog "net literature", like Mail Art or even 18th century letter novels, or Japanese renshi poetry."
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"The code poetry of, among others, mez, Alan Sondheim and Ted Warnell seems to build on two developments a) the re-coding of traditional pictorial ASCII art into amimetical noise signals by net artists like Jodi, antiorp, mi-ga and Frederic Madre, (b) the mass proliferation of programming language syntax through web and multimedia scripting languages and search engines. For the reader of mez's "netwurks", it remains all the more an open question whether the "mezangelle" para-code of parentheses and wildcard characters only mimics programming languages or is, at least partially, the product of programmed text filtering."[in cream 1: Collaborative Research into Electronic Art Memes]

-Florian Cramer, lecturer in Comparative Literature at Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin.