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Wasting Time on the Internet? Not Really - The New York Times
"Two years ago, Kenneth Goldsmith, the University of Pennsylvania poet and conceptual artist, taught a creative writing course he called “Wasting Time on the Internet.” Students would do just that, probing the tedium of the internet. But thanks to in-class use of social media, the class also became a creative ferment of improvised dance, trust experiments and inquiries into the modern nature of the self and the crowd.

The constant experimentation changed Mr. Goldsmith into a self-described “radical optimist” about the internet, too. While many of his peers worry about the effects that endless tweets and bad videos have on our minds and souls, he sees a positive new culture being built. The first poet laureate of the Museum of Modern Art, appointed in 2013, he believes we are headed into a creative renaissance, one with unprecedented speed and inclusion.

Meanwhile, the class has evolved into a seminar on collective “time wasting” that Mr. Goldsmith has held in several countries, and it returns to Penn this fall. His new book, named after the course, will be available this month.

Why write this book?

I had cognitive dissonance. Theorists say the internet is making us dumber, but something magical happened when my students wasted time together. They became more creative with each other. They say we’re less social; I think people on the web are being social all the time. They say we’re not reading; I think we’re reading all the time, just online.

I’m an artist, and artists feel things, we distrust these studies. As a poet I wanted to observe, I wanted to feel things.

You compare online experiences with 20th-century philosophies and artistic movements.

The DNA of the web is embedded in 20th-century movements like Surrealism, where artists sought to live in a state like dreaming, or Pop Art, where they leveraged popular culture to make bigger points about society. Postmodernism is about sampling things and remixing them, and that is made real in this digital world.

When I teach my students about the historical preconditions for what they are doing when they waste time together — things like Surrealism or Cubism — the theoretical framework helps them know that the web isn’t a break, it’s a continuity with earlier great thinking.

But if we’re just remixing, are we creating?

When a D.J. brings a laptop full of music samples to a club he doesn’t play an instrument, but we don’t argue that he isn’t doing something creative in mixing those sounds to create his own effect. In the online world the only thing you’re the master of is your collection, your archive, and how you use it, how you remix it. We become digital archivists, collecting and cataloging things. I find it exciting.

What will an educated person be in the future?

We still read great books, and there is a place for great universities. But an educated person in the future will be a curious person who collects better artifacts. The ability to call up and use facts is the new education. How to tap them, how to use them.

If we change as a culture, do we change ourselves?

I’ve got a 10-year-old and 17-year-old. They’re thinking differently from me. They stay connected all the time, and they’re smart, they play baseball, they read, they spend time online. They’re not robots. Basic human qualities haven’t changed. I can find Plato in online life. When I read Samuel Pepys’s diary I see Facebook posts. We just find new ways to express things."
kennethgoldsmith  internet  archives  cv  online  remixing  culture  2016  social  sharing  djs  djing  creativity  creation  curiosity  artifacts  collections  recall  search  samuelpepys  plato  howweread  howwewrite  collecting  cataloging  surrealism  cubism  howwelearn  web 
august 2016 by robertogreco
If You Hear Something Say Something, Or If You’re Not At The Table You’re On The Menu | ENTROPY
"It was the moment when the moderator was edging ever closer to the table where Marjorie Perloff sat, as he waited, microphone in hand, for the end of her answer to the really very truly last question before lunch, so he could bring the session to a close. It was the moment when everyone in the room was beginning to fidget with the awareness that the café serving lunch would close in twenty minutes. It was the moment when the next thing on the agenda was the workshop I was facilitating, which was where my head already was. It was the moment after I’d asked a question that pointed toward Marjorie Perloff’s selective and uncritical reading of critiques of Kenneth Goldsmith as exclusively about who has the right to speak of whom and in which contexts, the moment after the British writer James Wilkes asked a question about narrow channels versus the expansiveness of works that are more porous and polyvocal. It was the moment Perloff chose to answer Wilkes’ question about a poetics of generosity with the statement that we can’t romanticize the victim. What she said, verbatim—at the tail end of the Q&A following her talk at Where Were We, the ArtWriting Festival in Aarhus, Denmark on December 6, 2015—was this:

“I think the romanticization, where everybody kept calling him the poor child Michael Brown, and they constantly showed photographs of him in the media when he had been about 12 years old. That’s what they do. Many of the pictures you saw, he looks like a little kid, he was a 300-pound huge man. Scary. He was scary, I’m just saying, that way. So that things then turn out to be much more complicated. And so I don’t know what’s happened to poetry, or to poetic discourse, I shouldn’t say to poetry, but to poetic discourse, when we have all over Facebook these sentimental things about the poor sweet child and his poor family. Michael Brown himself had said ‘I wish I had a family.’ He didn’t even—he hadn’t seen his father in years, his mother was on crack, he didn’t have much of a family or much of a life.”
I know this is what she said, verbatim. I wrote down her words as she said them, in simultaneous incredulous disbelief and unsurprised belief at her blatant, predictable racism. I also recorded her talk and the Q&A that followed it, so I know for sure that this is what she said. (I’ve transcribed a larger excerpt contextualizing these comments below; feel free to be in touch if you want a copy of the entire recording—it’s poor sound quality and poor critical thinking and nothing you haven’t heard before if you’ve even halfway followed Perloff’s inexplicable or perhaps all too explicable defense of Kenneth Goldsmith’s work, but I’m willing to share the recording with anyone who wants it.)

These hateful, fearful comments were the only information in Perloff’s talk that was new—if not unfamiliar—to me. That is: the open admission that she finds Michael Brown scary, and that she perceives him as not having had “much of a family or much of a life,” as if that might justify (or at least mitigate) his brutal and entirely unjustifiable murder at the hands of the state and more specifically at the end of the barrel of Darren Wilson’s police-issue gun, or Kenneth Goldsmith’s predatory, self-aggrandizing and dehumanizing appropriation of the autopsy report describing Michael Brown’s dead body. As if Perloff should be the judge of what it is to “have a family” or “have a life,” or as if her standards for families and lives should be universal. As if she has some capacity, or some right, to measure how much this particular Black life mattered. I found these comments horrifying yet illuminating—not because it is a surprise that a white woman should express anti-Black sentiment or should feel threatened by and denigrating of an African-American youth, but because Perloff’s perhaps inadvertent honesty in that moment helped me to understand more clearly the backdrop to her willful insistence on amplifying the voices of white supremacist writers in a moment when, on the one hand, such voices need no amplification, and on the other, it could be considered a political and ethical responsibility to make work that explicitly and purposefully counters white supremacy. These comments provided context for the baffling fact that Perloff could speak about and around the fiasco of Goldsmith’s Michael Brown piece for nearly an hour and a half without even once mentioning the Black Lives Matter movement, and without acknowledging the many substantive critiques of that work that extend far beyond the question of who has a right to speak or write about which bodies—her sole, selective, and irresponsibly partial analysis of the criticism of Goldsmith’s piece. This is in no way an exhaustive cataloguing—there’s so much more—but some of the writings that have been most important to my thinking about racial justice in the poetry community have been written by: Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Mahogany Browne and Black Poets Speak Out (there’s a really helpful compendium and notes at Cultural Front), Daniel Borzutzky, Ken Chen, Don Mee Choi, Cura’s “Fulcrum” issue, Joey De Jesús, Hands Up Don’t Shoot, Cathy Park Hong, Bhanu Kapil, John Keene, Eunsong Kim, Amy King, Ruth Ellen Kocher, Kenji Liu, Farid Matuk, and Heriberto Yépez.

Let me be clear: I believe it is my political and ethical responsibility to counter white supremacy explicitly and purposefully, in my creative work and in my teaching and in my cross-language practice and in my everyday conversations and movements through the world—and I don’t actually make much distinction among those realms, in practice or in poetics. I believe, further, that white supremacy is inextricably and intersectionally bound up with heteropatriarchy and voracious capitalism and the kind of anthropocentric consumer mentality that allows humans with privilege to believe that they are somehow immune from the ecological interconnectedness of all living beings (human, fauna, and flora). These are my beliefs, and I work to enact them in multiple ways in multiple contexts, and I often fail, and I continue through failure, and I don’t seek success but rather I seek accountability, porosity, to encounter what is beyond me, to accompany and be accompanied. These are my beliefs, and yet in the moment, as everyone present was being subjected to Marjorie Perloff’s hate speech—or maybe it was less intentional than hate speech? fear speech, perhaps?—I didn’t speak. I heard something and I didn’t say anything. All too often I don’t quite know how to speak. There’s no how-to for making a work or a life that counters white supremacy, nor is such resistance always as clear-cut as responding directly to racism publicly and blatantly expressed. Poetic practice is rarely clear-cut, direct and blatant; this is, in my view, part of its power: to take the everyday often instrumentalized tool that is language and to defamiliarize it in order to make other imaginings, other instigations, and other structures radically and concretely and imaginatively possible.

Marjorie Perloff is a literary gatekeeper par excellence. Many people choose to walk into literary territories through the gates she constructs. Like those who teach, those who declare themselves the arbiters of culture—aside from exhibiting a belief in non-horizontal models I find reactionary at best—have, I believe, a particular responsibility to make choices that are ethical, thoughtful, aware of their social and political implications. Or perhaps it’s not just a question of responsibility, but also one of effects: the choices such gatekeepers make have very real social and political effects. And it is thus crucial for us to understand the scaffoldings on which the gatekeepers build their gates. And to make thoughtful choices about whose work we will use as guide and inspiration. Overt, explicit racism isn’t usually part of the way Perloff constructs her arguments. But it’s crucially important to know that racism is part of what leads her to make the arguments she makes, to promote the work she promotes.

I know there are different forms of speech. I know that our actions both large and small are a form of speech. I know that there was probably no one in that room (save perhaps the infant son of one of the festival participants who has yet to access any language) who did not recognize Perloff’s comments as hideously racist. I know that few if any people in that room needed me to point out how deeply anti-Black her remarks were, how vile they were in their implication that perhaps Michael Brown deserved to die, or at the very least deserved to be objectified by Kenneth Goldsmith after his death. How astounding it was that she could think such comments would be received without protest, as simply another aspect of her argument. How sickeningly predictable it was—perhaps especially in a room where it might have been easy to assume there were no Black people present, but really in any room—to assume complicity with and acceptance of anti-Black commentary. How even more insidious, perhaps, that she should make such comments in a room in Denmark with only a few USAmericans present, a room where it’s quite possible there were people who don’t have broad knowledge about the history of forced African diaspora and slavery in the Americas, and the particular ways that history and its many reverberations continue to shape race relations and racism in the U.S., or about the long-standing and currently glaringly visible plague of state-sponsored violence against Black and Brown people, but particularly against Black people, who are killed by cops and incarcerated in numbers vastly disproportionate to their percentage of the population. All this. All this and more. Yet I didn’t speak, and I wish I had, even just to register out loud my heartfelt and inarticulate this is not okay.

I have some ideas about why I felt so … [more]
jenhofer  2015  marjorieperloff  michaelbrown  racism  race  kennethgoldsmith  poetry  mongrelcoalition  mongrelcoalitionagainstgrongpo 
december 2015 by robertogreco
"I got off Facebook way before Kenneth “Solid” Goldsmith decided it was time to find something to re-say about the deadly way we’ve always been living now. If only someone had whispered in his ear: if you can’t find something good to re-say then don’t re-say anything at all. In any case, the last thing I would have asked him, on Facebook or anywhere else, is “What the fuck are you doing?” I know what the fuck he is doing. Unfortunately, as a matter of life and death, I have to know that kinda shit. It’s part of what you have to do to survive the ancient and continuously present attempt to erase our ancient and continuing presence. But because he doesn’t have to know what the fuck he is doing, I was wondering if he did, or if he cared. Over the course of time the answer has become clear. Meanwhile, we seek after a commonness in how we breathe that would correspond to a commonness in that we breathe. This under-respirational aspiration is Juliana Spahr’s portfolio. It’s an essential object of desire and criticism.

I breathe some air that Marjorie Perloff breathes. I like some poetry that Marjorie Perloff likes. At the same time, we don’t like one another, even though we don’t know one another; at the same time, even though I don’t know her, I know a lot about her. As a matter of fact, I know a lot more about her than she knows about either me or herself. That’s a function of our education. I had to learn about her and many of the things that have gone and continue to go into the making of her. She has never been so obligated, a condition that induces not only ignorance but also cold-heartedness. And now she wants to leave the poetry world because she thinks we’ve entered it, bringing all that loud talk, nastiness and indecorum—cars on blocks in the front yard; the unsavory smell of low-class savories wafting over the universal manicure and its intubated concepts. But this is her world; she can’t leave it. She thought it up so she can have it. She gotta have it. She couldn’t withdraw—or, to be more precise, shut the fuck up for a minute and feel—if her life depended on it. Actually, her life—to which brutal and immaterial abstraction she assumes an absolute right in refusing to assume the same for big, black, scary Michael Brown—depends upon her continuing to speak, even if it’s just to her tight-ass circle, even if all she and they can speak about is her and their right to speak. Deeper still, sadly, pitifully, Marjorie Perloff claims her Jewishness in order freely to speak whiteness, exercising her right to say whatever horrid anti-semitic shit she wants in order to exercise her right to say whatever horrid anti-black shit she wants. There’s something painfully and shamefully typical about this violence and hatred directed towards the victim, which is announced as some kind of clear-eyed anti-romanticism rather than the surreptitious romanticization of the victimizer, a (ser)vile fealty that takes the form of a loose, unthinking theology of strength. Perhaps this is what it is to love the (poetry) world as it is: a possessive rejectionism, an anti-intellectually callous insistence on valuation in separation, an imperial refusal to feel that constitute a tragic and all but absolute reduction of what we are and what we’re supposed to be.

To speak, however obliquely, of the making of Marjorie Perloff is to speak also of her unmaking. It may well be that there’s no longer any such person as Marjorie Perloff. Perhaps now Marjorie Perloff is just a concept. Further investigation is required. For the time being, let’s just say, with as much accuracy as is possible, that there’s a venal susceptibility to such unrequitable love of the (poetry) world to which finally we are enjoined to assign the name Marjorie Perloff. It’s not Marjorie Perloff that must leave the poetry world; we must leave it, a condition that ought to fill us with pride and joy. Marjorie Perloff rightly intimates the distinction between the violation and the rejection of taste. Marjorie Perloff has bad taste. Marjorie Perloff is in bad taste. On the other hand—the hand that’s steady flying all the way off the handle, careening out of body and out of this world—we sing the earth with flavor: dust in our mouths, water in our lungs, blood in our eyes, hands in our hands. Marjorie Perloff, we been studying you so long that we ain’t studying you; we been thinking about you so hard that we ain’t thinking about you. Stay right where you are."
fredmoten  2015  marjorieperloff  kennethgoldsmith  poetry  race  culture  racism  michaelbrown 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Reading and Rumor: The Problem with Kenneth Goldsmith - News - Art in America
kennethgoldsmith  michaelbrown  2015  briandroitcour  alisonflood  jilliansteinhauer  jaquelinevalencia  heribertoyépez  michaelhessel-mial  brandonbeaulieu  poetry  art  conceptualism  race  racism  sonnetl'abbé 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Venepoetics: El escándalo del sujeto-concepto: Kenneth Goldsmith / Heriberto Yépez
"On March 13th, the well-known writer Kenneth Goldsmith read a poem titled “The Body of Michael Brown” at Brown University. It was an appropriation of the autopsy report for the African American young man murdered by a police officer in Ferguson in 2014; this lynching has provoked huge protests against persistent racism in the United States. As soon as news of Goldsmith’s poem circulated, the polemic exploded on the Internet.

On his Facebook page Goldsmith justified that the poem gives continuity to his work, based on the appropriation of texts. Then he asked the university to not make the video available.

I’ve already written about my political disagreement with Goldsmith. Now I’d like to make note his conceptual inconsistency.

Goldsmith advocates for an uncreative writing derived from textual appropriation in the era of electronic distribution. But his work is actually a re-creative writing of the manner in which the gravity of reports is destroyed by the neoliberal system.

Goldsmith has transformed into art the kind of appropriations usually conducted by media, corporations and the U.S. government.

A key tactic of this conceptualism is to deny the geopolitics that make this re-creative aesthetic possible; applauded, literally, by the White House.

In the face of the indignation provoked by his re-creation of a report about the cadaver of a victim of racial ultra-violence, Goldsmith tried to allege there were no bad intentions.

This is an inconsistency because Goldsmith himself has insisted for years that his works are derived from concepts removed from the Romantic subject. But by defending himself morally, Goldsmith recurs to the poetic subject he claims to have left behind.

In order for Goldsmith to be consistent with his art he should stop feigning innocence or justifying his re-creations.

If Goldsmith wants to be consistent he should let him himself be completely appropriated by the logic of the U.S. government. He should become a subject-concept ruled by neoliberalism and rigorously embrace the brutality, the looting and the total program of capital.

The legacy of Goldsmith will be to have emptied North American literary experimentalism of any anti-capitalist critique. If he doesn’t want to undermine that legacy, he should take it to its final consequences instead of appealing to personal motivations or retreating into alleged misunderstandings or good intentions.

Goldsmith will make a contribution to the history of poetry if he finishes the job of burying the last remnants of the lyrical I and transforms it into a conceptual-subject predetermined by capital.

Kenneth: you shouldn’t abandon the inner logic of your work. On the contrary, you should allow capitalism to completely appropriate your literary-persona, instead of trying to justify it by means of your moral-persona. You’re a neo-imperial artist. Don’t sabotage that function with a retro-romantic artist’s discourse.

Besides, that literary work and persona already incarnate the desire for beautifying the Capital Concept.

And don’t forget, the crisis will be transnational —or will not be at all.

{ Heriberto Yépez, Archivo Hache, Suplemento Laberinto, Milenio (México D.F.), 21 March 2015 }"
2015  kennethgoldsmith  heribertoyépez  uncreativewriting  capitalism  neoliberalism 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Venepoetics: Goldsmith y el imperio retro-conceptual / Heriberto Yépez
"When someone reads Kenneth Goldsmith acritically I think: you need to inform yourself better.

Goldsmith is emblematic of the decade of war against “terrorism.” His work consists of accepting and retransmitting (as is) what power emits, finding it beautiful without having to read it. Using the ready-made as take-over.

He transcribes texts, makes books of pure copy-paste, runs, his celebrity prospers. “Uncreative Writing” is already a part of the canon he desired.

His innovation is questionable. One example among others: three decades ago, Ulises Carrión did things that are championed by North Americans today.

They reiterate colonialist practices. By means of manifestos, anthologies and membership, they erase or take over other histories.

His politics attracts students, academics, writers and readers who are undecided between the consensual and the arty. Conceptualism is a cultural manifestation derived from expansionist North American politics. That’s why appropriation is its foundation.

His campaign for stardom and an enterprise of symbolic capital uses a retro-frivolous look as a system of self-defense.

Goldsmith in the White House or on the Colbert Report isn’t the problem, but rather his promotion of a “silly” conformity, complicit with capital and laugh tracks. By depoliticizing writing, he disempowers emerging critical communities. His defect is ethical.

His aesthetic achievements, measured on an international scale, are scant. It’s not conceptualism but a pastiche of other conceptualisms.

Vanessa Place or Goldsmith embody North American expansionism and they give it good taste, post-experimental refinement, radical-soft.

They demonstrate what’s happening with critical post-theory writing that chooses to embrace capitalism while boasting about the twist. A performance of hegemonic possession? No. That would threaten its institutional click.

By denying its apology for capitalist logic and leaving a supposed irony open, a referential machine or a could-be role play, retro-conceptualism collapses. They could have been a performative denunciation but they wanted spectacle and approval, they prefer cynicism to criticism.

Andy Warhol lost his edge. Wharholism today in literature can be successful in the United States or in very colonized countries, mouth to mouth resuscitation among white elites.

By increasing its adhesion to cool conservative values and poses, their text appeal grows in the Globalized South.

One should note the exquisite tone of Goldsmith’s voice: he creates a position familiar with hegemony. The complicity of conceptualism increases as it plays hide and seek with the implications of its program.

An opportunity was lost —if it ever existed— after Language Poetry: a recovery of leftism in North American poetry. It didn’t happen. Love-Obama-tomy arrived.

The Language poets themselves lost credibility by encouraging heirs with reactionary ideals.

North American experimentalism became a fine jewelry shop."
2013  kennethgoldsmith  heribertoyépez  ulisescarrión  colonialism 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Kenneth Goldsmith - Talks | Frieze Projects NY
[Direct link to .mp3: ]

"‘I Look to Theory Only When I Realize That Somebody Has Dedicated Their Entire Life to a Question I Have Only Fleetingly Considered’

A keynote lecture by the poet Kenneth Goldsmith, whose writing has been described as ‘some of the most exhaustive and beautiful collage work yet produced in poetry’ (Publishers Weekly). Goldsmith is the author of eleven books of poetry and founding editor of the online archive UbuWeb. In 2013, he was named as the inaugural Poet Laureate of MoMA."
kennethgoldsmith  copying  uncreativewriting  mercecunningham  writing  internet  web  online  remixing  culture  art  poetry  originality  appropriation  quantity  quality  curiosity  harrypotter  poetics  digital  reproduction  translation  displacement  disjunction  corydoctorow  change  howwewrite  pointing  data  metadata  choice  authorship  versioning  misfiling  language  difference  meaning  ethics  morality  literature  twitter  artworld  marshallmcluhan  christianbök  plagiarism  charleseames  rules  notknowing  archiving  improvisation  text  bricolage  assemblage  cv  painting  technology  photography  readerships  thinkerships  thoughtobjects  reassembly  ubuweb  freeculture  moma  outreach  communityoutreach  nyc  copyright  ip  intellectualproperty  ideas  information  sfpc  vitoacconci  audience  accessibility  situationist  museums  markets  criticism  artcriticism  economics  money  browsers  citation  sampling  jonathanfranzen  internetasliterature  getrudestein  internetasfavoritebook  namjunepaik  johncage  misbehaving  andywarhol  bobdylan  barbarakruger  jkrowling  china  creati 
august 2014 by robertogreco
"What is your favorite art book?

the internet

What are you currently reading?

the internet

What is your favorite art book title?

The Internet

What is the first book you read that was influential to you?

the television

What books, magazines, or art ephemera do you keep in the space where you work?

the internet and many hard drives

If you could only live with one art book what would it be?

the internet"
kennethgoldsmith  internet  internetasliterature  books  2013  interviews  moma  reading  internetasfavoritebook 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Something About How Steve Roggenbuck's Poetry Will Save the Internet
[See also: ]

"Twenty-six-year-old Roggenbuck, a self-declared “internet poet,” is the antidote. Since 2010 Roggenbuck has been an obsessive user of Twitter, Facebook and multiple Tumblrs, but his best work is his YouTube videos. In these videos, he spews hysterical riffs and one-liners of wildly varying comprehensibility to a camera he points at himself, usually to the backing of an exhilarating electronic soundtrack, usually somewhere beautiful outside.

His most popular video is "make something beautiful before you are dead." I first saw it two years ago on a friend’s Tumblr and I was struck by Roggenbuck's raw vlogger solipsism, which would be grating if it weren’t backed up by equally raw virtuosity. The video starts quietly. Roggenbuck's in a room, affecting a piercing nasal midwestern twang as he muses to the camera about how he's "going to find the best deal."

It's a parody of every boring YouTube video blog you've seen, which Roggenbuck sets up only to explode seconds later in a dizzying epiphany. Suddenly he's outside in the woods, still holding his camera, popping out from bushes, shouting "two words, Jackass: Dog the Bounty Hunter," swinging an enormous tree branch and berating a dead tree stump for not being alive. Roggenbuck appears to have just broken out from a dark basement where he'd been imprisoned from a young age, raised entirely on AOL chatrooms, reality TV and Monster Energy Drinks. He's exhilaratingly callous about his own body, holding his camera inches from face despite a pretty intense outbreak of acne, at times so excited by his own words that the camera jerks crazily up and down with every cheesy self-help exhortation. When Roggenbuck yells "Get me in control of ABC Family and I will fuck this country up" while sprinting through a drizzly field to a dubstep soundtrack you feel like you're watching neurons firing and forging strange connections in real time. It's a selfie of the soul.

As impressive as the video is the outpouring of adoration in comments under "make something beautiful before you are dead." Most YouTube comments are petri dishes of cutting-edge hate speech, but a community of ebullient Roggenbuck worshipers has turned his comments sections into a virtual self-help seminar."

"Steve Roggenbuck would horrify the Jonathan Franzens of the world. Poetry is supposed to be serious and introspective—the opposite of the superficial, buzzing, electronic hellscape that critics imagine the internet to be. According Roggenbuck’s own creation myth, he's a product of that polarity: As an MFA student, he began to focus on the internet after one of his instructors commented on his misspelled, dashed-off-seeming poems, "save this for your blog." (He dropped out of the MFA program.)

But "save this for your blog" isn't quite the insult an MFA professor might image. New York Times economics columnist Paul Krugman (!) recently wrote about how poetry was once passed among networks of elites, "allow[ing] people both to discuss sensitive topics elliptically and to demonstrate their cleverness." Elliptical demonstrations of cleverness: Imagine what they would have thought of Tumblr! And the internet is more than just a staging ground—it's a huge source of inspiration and material for young artists, poets, technologists and writers.

Anyone who wants to understand the internet generation would do well to pay attention to Roggenbuck's oeuvre. It can be hard to get past Roggenbuck's aggressive naivety and goofy schtick, which can come across like the twee mirror to the strident net freedom diatribes of Wikileaks fanatics and hacktvists. You could say he's way too uncritical about the incentives embedded in the technologies he uses—created by huge corporations whose exact goal is to encourage the sharing he craves—and how that might negatively affect his work. But this is just to point out that are as many flaws in the the structures of the internet as there are in the people embedded in them. The best of Roggenbuck's work shows there's equally as much promise."

[See also:

NC: Why did you drop out of your MFA program?

SR: i think if my life conditions were different, i never would have gone. i never had any illusons that it was going to magicaly transform my writeing, or that teaching was the perfect career fit for me. after undergrad i was in a long-term relationship, and we were planning to have a family in the next ~5 years. i felt like i needed to pursue a “career” that would bring in an income big enough to support a family. but i am also very stubborn about doing what i want with my tiem. i hate having a job, last year i maxed out my credit cards instead of getting a summer job. the mfa was kind of a compromise between what i really wanted (to be an artist all the time) and what was expected of me (standard middle-class career path)

i gained some things from my mfa experience.. i now have an acute awareness of what i don’t like about academic/lit culture, for exampel. i started fully embraceing my identity as an “internet poet” only after my workshop teacher left me a condescending comment on my poem, “save this stuff for your blog.” with my misspellings too, i was fueled by my teacher’s disapproval

i never really liked the progam too much, but when my long-term relationship ended, i felt like i finaly had other options. i could live with my dad for free (or with various friends, as i eventualy decided), or i could at least split rent with more roommates in a cheaper neighborhood, without bothering/disappointing my partner

also my school started grating on me in more fundamental ways this past fall. my core audience is not poets in academia.. so why should i be seeking feedback from (only) poets in academia? i would get comments from my teachers, for example discouraging my misspellings, and i would kind of just dismiss them because i know they arent realy my main audience. but if i they’re not my audience, why am i asking for their feedback in the frist place? the feedback ive gotten from friends online has been much more valuable" ]

[More: ]
via:timmaly  steveroggenbuck  poetry  internet  twitter  socalmedia  mfa  youtube  writing  reading  spelling  teaching  learning  graduateschool  highered  highereducation  literature  jonathanfranzen  daveeggers  kennethgoldsmith  piotrczerki  youth  life  living  thoreau  waltwhitman  yolo  commenting  video  literacy  schooliness  creativity  education 
november 2013 by robertogreco
The Writer as Meme Machine: How Has the Internet Altered Poetry? : The New Yorker
"It’s not uncommon to see blogs that recount someone’s every sneeze since 2007, or of a man who shoots exactly one second of video every day and strings the clips together in time-lapsed mashups. There is guy who secretly taped all of his conversations for three years and a woman who documents every morsel of food that she puts into her mouth. While some of these people aren’t consciously framing their activities as works of art, Wershler argues that what they’re doing is so close to the practices of sixties conceptualism that the connection between the two can’t be ignored."
kennethgoldsmith  2013  internet  web  memes  conceptualism  conceptualart  lawrenceweschler  writing  computers  interenet  art 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Kenneth Goldsmith on How To Be Dumb
"Dumb doesn't go out of fashion because it is never in fashion. Dumb is stalled and irredeemable. It's too twisted, too weird, too contradictory and takes too many turns of thought to be reduced to a slogan or ad campaign. No matter how dumb they may appear, ad campaigns are invested in being smart; at the end of the day, you need to communicate smartly in order to get someone to buy something. Dumb muddies the waters. Likewise, juries and prizes don't recognize dumb. Juries and prizes were invented to award smart.

Dumb is not an inborn condition. You get to dumb after going through smart. Smart is stupid because it stops at smart. Smart is a phase. Dumb is post-smart. Smart is finite, well-trod, formulaic, known. The world runs on smart. It's clearly not working. I want to live in a world where the smartest thing you can do is the dumbest. I want to live in a world where a fluorescent tube leaned up against a wall is worth a million dollars. Or where a plumbing fixture on a pedestal is considered the most important art work of the century. Or where building an eternally locked Prada store in a vast expanse of empty Texas desert is considered a stroke of genius. Or where all of the numbers from one to a thousand can simply be classified by alphabetical order and published as a poem. Effortless and easy, dumb is free of failure, an infallible world where the best result is the one you happen to get."
kennethgoldsmith  2013  dumb  smart  art  creativity  learning  juries  prizes  experimentation  failure 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Hacking the word |
"If we struggle with online literatures, it is because we struggle to understand the network itself. Writing about the network requires a literacy in technology itself – but like the telephone before it, the Internet feels like a profoundly anti-literary plot device – at least until we develop new and better modes of expression to describe it, and it’s affect on our lives. Literature’s inability to describe meaningfully the technologically augmented contemporary world in which we find ourselves seems to mirror our own.

And so not only must our literatures reflect the ubiquity of the network, they must also account for its communality, and its computationality. Literatures produced by groups, by all of us, and literatures produced by the machines, and by us and the machines.

Fan fiction is the first native literary form of the network. It has existed for a long time, before the internet, but it finds its best home there, outwith the domains of copyright and fixed authorship rigorously enforced elsewhere.

Literary form and tradition is not all that remains to be hacked. The systems of production and distribution are more accessible to us, allowing for new hybrid forms, particularly in non-fiction and journalism, books which bleed out of the network in stages, gathered as firsthand reports on Twitter and BBM, coalescing into blogposts and essays, filtered by editors for online columns and opinion pieces, collected into temporary, unstable ebooks as time allows and slowly solidifying into paper books – which themselves might be revised many times, flipping back to digital, quoted and rewritten. This process, again, may not be entirely new, but it is newly visible, exposed by the network and thus more flexible, more amenable to irruption and reconfiguration.

Our attitude to technology, particularly in literary circles, has for far too long been exclusionary and oppositional, envisioning some kind of battle between the “natural” world of human expression and the “unnatural” chattering of the machines. There have been excellent attempts to breach this divide, in the imaginings of science fiction; the coruscating; spam-filled prose of Stewart Home; Kenneth Goldsmith’s “Uncreative Writing”; the spasming code of Kenji Siratori; and many more. But the true literatures of the network will emerge when we abandon notions of the single-authored work, when we abandon authority entirely, when we write in machine argots and programmatic codes, when we listen to the bots and collaborate with them, when we truly begin to understand, and describe, the technologically-saturated culture we are already living in."

[Also published here: ]
jamesbridle  internet  literature  machines  technology  publishing  2013  networkedliterature  networkedfictions  writing  reading  kenjisiratori  kennethgoldsmith  uncreativewriting  authority  coding  fanfiction  process  journalism  books  twitter  online  web  literacy  googlepoertics  timeshaiku  machinewriting  wikipedia  bots  machinelanguage  automation  ebooks  form 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Plagiarism: Maybe It's Not So Bad - On The Media
"Artists often draw inspiration from other sources. Musicians sample songs. Painters recreate existing masterpieces. Kenneth Goldsmith believes writers should catch-up with other mediums and embrace plagiarism in their work. Brooke talks with Goldsmith, MoMA’s new Poet Laureate, about how he plagiarizes in his own poetry and asks if appropriation is something best left in the art world."

[Full show here: ]

"A special hour on our changing understanding of ownership and how it is affected by the law. An author and professor who encourages creative writing through plagiarism, 3D printing, fan fiction & fair use, and the strange tale of who owns "The Happy Birthday Song""
plagiarism  poetry  poems  2013  kennethgoldsmith  moma  appropriation  creativity  originality  writing  creativewriting  3dprinting  fanfiction  happybirthday  songs  music  drm  copyright  fairuse  ownership  possessions  property  law  legal  ip  intellectualproperty  campervan  beethoven  robertbrauneis  jamesboyle  history  rebeccatushnet  chrisanderson  michaelweinberg  public  publicknowledge  campervanbeethoven  davidlowey  johncage  representation  copying  sampling  photography  painting  art  economics  content  aesthetics  jamesjoyce  patchwriting  ulysses 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Ekstasis [A response to Robin Sloan's Fish app]
[Wonderful, but for me, most notable for including this poem, via: ]

“There are things
We live among ‘and to see them
Is to know ourselves.’”

—George Oppen


"So “Fish…” is just that, an essay that shows you the same thing over and over again. Or, not. Finish tapping through the screens and the app gives you the option to “reset” back to the ugh Sloan counsels to leave it in place. It’s tempting, to make the app into some special piece of time, but that would do it a disservice. It bears repeated reading because it’s so carefully crafted. The first item in its own cannon. A real memory."
louisagassiz  love  attention  lynhejinian  frederickseidel  davidcole  kennethgoldsmith  canon  2012  online  internet  stockandflow  stock  flow  fish  fishapp  robinsloan  georgeoppen  poetry  poems  williamball 
april 2012 by robertogreco
The Believer - Interview with Kenneth Goldsmith
"My books are better thought about than read…insanely dull & unreadable…But they’re wonderful to talk about and think about, to dip in and out of, to hold, to have on your shelf. In fact, I say that I don’t have a readership, I have a thinkership. I guess this is why what I do is called “conceptual writing.” The idea is much more important than the product.

My favorite books on my shelf are the ones that I can’t read, like Finnegans Wake, The Making of Americans, Boswell’s Life of Johnson, or The Arcades Project. I love the idea that these books exist. I love their size and scope; I adore their ambition; I love to pick them up, open them at random, and always be surprised; I love the fact that I will never know them."

[via: ]

"Nam June Paik said once that the internet is for everybody who doesn’t live in New York City. Living here—with its saturated wealth of concerts, readings, and events—can easily give you the illusion that everywhere is like this, but, sadly, for most people this is nowhere near reality. For instance, on UbuWeb I’m often contacted by engaged viewers who live in small towns or who are unable to travel due to economic or social circumstances, who find a place like Ubu to be an absolute cultural and educational lifeline. It would be silly and snobbish of me to claim to prioritize warm, live human interaction over what happens on the web just because I have the ability to go to Anthology Film Archives, Issue Project Room, or the Stone any night of the week. So, in short, I think that the richer and deeper documentation is on the web, the better off we all are."
poetry  writing  cv  books  reading  classics  finneganswake  lifeofjohnson  themakingofamericans  thearcadesproject  conceptualwriting  thinking  ideas  howwework  howwelearn  unschooling  deschooling  conceptualpoetry  referencebooks  pataphysics  ubuweb  newradicalism  kennethgoldsmith 
october 2011 by robertogreco
Uncreative Writing - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"W/ an unprecedented amount of available text, our problem is not needing to write more of it; instead, we must learn to negotiate vast quantity that exists. How I make my way through this thicket of info—how I manage it, parse it, organize & distribute it—is what distinguishes my writing from yours.

…Marjorie Perloff has recently begun using the term "unoriginal genius" to describe this tendency emerging in literature. Her idea is that, because of changes brought on by technology & Internet, our notion of genius—a romantic, isolated figure—is outdated…updated notion of genius would have to center around one's mastery of information & its dissemination. Perloff…coined another term, "moving information," to signify both the act of pushing language around as well as the act of being emotionally moved by that process…posits that today's writer resembles more a programmer than tortured genius, brilliantly conceptualizing, constructing, executing, & maintaining a writing machine."

"For the past several years, I've taught a class at the University of Pennsylvania called "Uncreative Writing." In it, students are penalized for showing any shred of originality and creativity. Instead they are rewarded for plagiarism, identity theft, repurposing papers, patchwriting, sampling, plundering, and stealing. Not surprisingly, they thrive. Suddenly what they've surreptitiously become expert at is brought out into the open and explored in a safe environment, reframed in terms of responsibility instead of recklessness.

We retype documents and transcribe audio clips. We make small changes to Wikipedia pages (changing an "a" to "an" or inserting an extra space between words). We hold classes in chat rooms, and entire semesters are spent exclusively in Second Life. Each semester, for their final paper, I have them purchase a term paper from an online paper mill and sign their name to it, surely the most forbidden action in all of academia. Students then must get up and present the paper to the class as if they wrote it themselves, defending it from attacks by the other students. What paper did they choose? Is it possible to defend something you didn't write? Something, perhaps, you don't agree with? Convince us.

All this, of course, is technology-driven. When the students arrive in class, they are told that they must have their laptops open and connected. And so we have a glimpse into the future. And after seeing what the spectacular results of this are, how completely engaged and democratic the classroom is, I am more convinced that I can never go back to a traditional classroom pedagogy. I learn more from the students than they can ever learn from me. The role of the professor now is part party host, part traffic cop, full-time enabler.

The secret: the suppression of self-expression is impossible. Even when we do something as seemingly "uncreative" as retyping a few pages, we express ourselves in a variety of ways. The act of choosing and reframing tells us as much about ourselves as our story about our mother's cancer operation. It's just that we've never been taught to value such choices."
technology  writing  creativity  research  literature  marjorieperloff  internet  information  genius  2011  plagiarism  digitalage  poetry  classideas  marcelduchamp  readymade  remix  remixing  remixculture  briongysin  art  1959  christianbök  machines  machinegeneratedliterature  automation  democracy  coding  computing  wikipedia  academia  gertrudestein  andywarhol  matthewbarney  walterbenjamin  jeffkoons  williamsburroughs  detournement  replication  namjunepaik  sollewitt  jackkerouac  corydoctorow  muddywaters  raymondqueneau  oulipo  identityciphering  intensiveprogramming  jonathanswift  johncage  kennethgoldsmith 
september 2011 by robertogreco

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