MATERIALITY OF POETRY IN THE AGE OF DIGITAL REPRODUCTION

My fourth text for Harriet: The Blog, “Aeolian Harping: Materiality of Poetry in the Age of Digital Reproduction & Ecoprecarity,” is the beginning of a new project on rethinking the supposed dematerialization of the art object, and the supposed greenness of our current communicative channels:

“What species of political and ethical complicity must we reckon with in participating in the global network, with its networks of data extraction, storage, and surveillance, and how can we respond critically? What structures of oversight and obscured labor/exploitation do search-string poetics, tactics of appropriation and distribution, and unconstrained digital publication need to confront, perhaps to resist? As producers of “content” and “sharers” of ideas, can we learn anything from movements of “degrowth” or decroissance that have flourished outside of the U.S.?

What kinds of materialities, abject, dilated, distressed or otherwise, might counteract our collaboration as cultural producers with narratives of infinite expansion, total information awareness, access enforced by globalization, resource extraction, and the marketizing of knowledge?

And what can we learn about our apprehensible homes in the process of finding answers?”

“The Laying of the Cable,” which commemorates the completion of the first transatlantic telegraph line. Woodcut with letterpress, Baker & Godwin Printers, New York, circa 1858. Courtesy of the Library of Congress

“The Laying of the Cable,” which commemorates the completion of the first transatlantic telegraph line. Woodcut with letterpress, Baker & Godwin Printers, New York, circa 1858. Courtesy of the Library of Congress

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