"...To grasp the difference between ludic and experimental dysfunctionality, let's compare the Shakespeare program discussed...with the use of graphic elements inspired by computer code in Mezangelle, the hybrid language developed by the Australian author Mez:

($gene (x y)


((not? (promise? y))


(set-(h)eart(h)! (var x) y) ;

(set-earth! (var x) ()) ; delete y)

(quoted from Net Behaviourexternal link)

The Shakespeare program tries to hide that it is a piece of computer code, by imitating a dramatic script. Here it is the other way around. The poem tries to pass as computer code, by imitating the syntax of a computer language (it most resembles LISP), and by using special graphic elements, but it cannot be executed: there is no compiler for this pseudo language. The purpose here is not to communicate with the machine, but rather, following a tradition that runs from nineteenth century Symbolism to twentieth century Dadaism, Surrealism, Lettrism, and concrete poetry, to produce a new poetic idiom. The use of parentheses is symptomatic of an ambition to fight the linearity of language by rendering symbols semantically polyvalent: for instance, in the Mez example, " (h)eart(h)." can be read as "heart," "earth" or "hearth." Whether of not these language experiments produce dysfunctionality or a functionality of a higher order depends on how much effort readers are willing to devote to their decoding, and on whether this effort is found worthwhile. Similarly, there are people who find the language of Finnegans Wake highly dysfunctional, and others who admire it as a synthesis of different languages that overcomes the disaster of Babel. (Incidentally, Mezangelle has been widely compared to Finnegans Wake.)"

From _Between Play and Politics: Dysfunctionality in Digital Art_, electronic book review
Marie-Laure Ryan