ROULETTE

Language is a vehicle and point of interaction. Wherever language points, so does the body. Language is ultimately a relation between bodies. Let’s not fixate on the computer that we forget about each other. Generative writing is rooted in the desire for a mechanical relation (between bodies); alienation (between bodies) is the soil from where generative tendencies grow. Generative writing proliferates a text, twists and turns fragments and sentences to prove language’s contortionist capabilities. Note the kaleidoscope. And like a contortionist, the body is equally the poet’s demise as it already points toward its own limitation. Generative writing or non-inscription (by way of code) is that which produces space and time to write what is illegible and unwritten. Illegibility here is twofold. For one, the text has yet to be generated by whatever variables. In the case of Roulette, 54,872. For another, one physically can not read all of the possible variations of the text which is a basic metaphor of the internet because one can’t read everything the Internet shits out. The unwritten must also be written in the sense that the potential variables of the re-combined text is never able to fully realize itself. Generative writing must be electrically turned on and off, awake or asleep, digitally alive or dead. The “unconscious” operative (in the generative text) is linked to potentiality. What lies behind the veil of the legible text is the potential for new re-combined text. The “unconscious text” is when lines do not connect, therefore, remain illegible. Unconscious here refers to the potentiality of lines of text “randomly” generated to produce whatever combinations of “poems”. Like poetry, generative writing performs the “reopening of the indefinite”. (pg. 158)

unconscious -> generative -> refrain

In the case of Roulette, three ways to generate text and modes of interaction between body/bodies and language is by hand, roulette (watching and/or playing a game of roulette), and computer program.

by hand = subjective and determined way of generating poems without chance.

roulette = collective game playing/watching & bodily interactions in the process of generating poems by “chance”.

computer = isolated body/the machine generates coded poems by “programmed” chance.

Feliz Lucia Molina

Roulette was published in Volume 2 of the Electronic Literature Collection

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