Poetry should be made by all!

From hypertext utopias to cooperative net-projects.

Heiko Idensen (Preamble)

Whereas: We believe in Hypermedia and the World Wide Web … Whereas: Hyperdocuments are not simply Collections of Nodes and Links, but Articulations of Nodes and Links in Space … Whereas: the Space of Hypermedia is not the Space of the Book … Whereas: We feel "the need to use computer networks as a means for creating new forms of collective intelligence, of getting humans to interact with one another in novel ways" (De Landa) … ,Whereas: It's better to do it than to write about it … (http://raven.ubalt.edu/crew/Preamble.html)

0.0.1 (forming rhizomes)

"Compact for Responsive Electronic Writing (C.R.E.W.)" is a group of Hypertext / Word Wide Web writers, who will open their texts for collaborative reading and writing-procvesses: on request it should be possible to include links/references/commentaries/remarks from online- readers … groupworks like this will change the character of the web from a kind of passive (browse only-think later offline) hypertext-environment into a network of collaboration. SIGNING ON: http://raven.ubalt.edu/crew/signatories.html

0.1 (black pages)

Already in the night after the signature of the Communication Decency Acts on 2/10/96 more and more sites became black … (http://www.eff.org/blueribbon.html)

0.1.1 (black pages)

Laurence Sterne included such Pages in Tristram Shandy: "Narrator not present"


0.1.2 (24 hours of Democracy)

As a "celebration of free speech on the internet" the project "24 hour of Democracy" are collecting different essays connected to that topic. The initiators where so perplexed over it, that over 1000 texts have already accumulated in a few days, that they are preoccupied with can offer a corresponding access over searchmachines, tables of contents, picture- galleries and accidental selection-procedures to these text-masses henceforth.


(http://fub46.zedat.fu-berlin.de:8080/~cantsin/queneau_poemes.html) (please forward!)

Online-media work – already because of the decentralized network- structure – sooner after the principle of an unkontrollable rhizomatic exchange. So censorship (of certain Sites or Newsgroups) can approximately be avoided by forwarding the indexed contents to other network adresses …

0.1.3 (dirty desires)

After the reply of a questionnaire, the online-reader can advance to the Dirty Desires, a literature-anthology of the online-magazine ALT-X in the tradition of Plato, Rabelais, Sterne, Miller. If also these texts that (meanwhile forbidden) dangerous words contains?


1.0 (www revolution)

The explosive expansion of the WWW changed the use of hypertext- programs and concepts: from artistic and academic experiments in the seventies to a new kind of network-hyper-media. But what happend to the utopias of hypertext by the way? – Did all readers become writers?

– Are avantgarde techniques in literature and art now available for all users?

– What about poetics/ethics/aestetics within networks?

– Imagine a hypertextual discourse which arise from public and collaborative ways of writing:

Visualizations and dramatizations of data presentations, simulation techniques, desktop publishing, desktop video, the hypertext revolution of the WWW … make the screen as a virtual surface the favourite place of cultural exchange processes:

1.0.1 (Everything is deeply intertwingled)

The classic separations between production and reception (e.g. between author, text, and reader or of code, sender, and receiver) will be abolished in favour of a text-network-conception:

In active processes of intertextual generating of texts from texts, images from images, media from and within other media …, reading and writing will overlap. The making of references substitutes the conventional receiving and sending of media documents.


1.0.2 (chunks of information)

Media Networks contrary to the linear-sequential writing of printed texts, electronic documents are divided in small, discrete units: the screen, the card of a hypertext system, one data record of a data base, the text, image or action window of an object oriented working surface, a message on the board of a mailbox … have manifolds relations with each other. The network of such objects of ideas and mental images requires from the

beginning a multiperspective way of organisation – a networked thinking which allows different approaches and connections.


1.0.3 (online thinking: the art of cut-ups)

One doesn't read texts anymore, one doesn't see pictures anymore, one doesn't listen to soundscapes anymore … instead, one cuts together various media streams on-line (in real-time) – not only as chance mixtures – as, for example, in early multi-media happenings – but rather as integral constellations and configurations: Networking Hypertexts as "text's" late revenge on television and the audio-visual media-massage.

http://sito.org/synergy.html (adressing of hypertext: man/machine)

Questions if the Internet is useful for -purposes or for literature, if the documents circulatory in the network direct to machines or people, if the literature-criticism also is a machine in the end, if the single creative activity with the computer is programming, if be mediate certain the hyper-texts in the WWW only the myth of the participation and the cooperation could not be answered in a single way – but a list of collectively generated poems is located on the sides of the Electronic Poetry Center: http://wings.buffalo.edu/epc/forms/poem/poemlist.html

1.0.4 (Cyberwar in digitALL Vienna)

"Information Warfare is the offensive and defensive use of informationsystems. Yes, and then netware became one of the paradigms for the Vienniese Phantom Avantgarde. Cyberwar in Vienna started by a small website using a mailinglist as main tool to cause radical critique on the real life circumstances of artsworld. The stile itself became a katalysator for developing tools which can enforce these real-life riots which happened caused of the digitAll net exzess, activities and flames and counter- netiquettes based on provocative talks, which where in the beginning mainly textbased.!" (http://www.silverserver.co.at/digit-ALL/)

1.1 (Connected)

The post-modern technologies and sciences leave human beings behind as nomads hooked up to the network of telematic multimedial systems: culturally imprinted by the alphabetic book-culture, informed, seduced, and emotionally fed by audio-visual mass media, mentally stimulated, fascinated and inspired to speculations and visions by the new information technologies. The myths of the text society – finite text, authorship, legitimization in the context of "great narrations" (ideologies) – collapse in the interfaces of the information media, in the circulation of endlessly interchangeable information particles: texts, pictures, sounds are floating through information channels … networking as an art of cross connections, of being on the way, of being everywhere. … nomadic interwoven cultural techniques arise …


1.2 (externalisation)

Because in the technical environments of information everything can be connected to everything (many to many connections) and moreover the threads of the meaning-vectors (links) no longer flows together in the subjects himself , the question is a crucial after an aesthetic programming of the hyper-media (something the momentary fight about the telecommunications market-shares, about control, monopolization and commercialization of the Internets only confirms).


1.3 (hyper-thinking)

On-screen-thinking occurs as vision, audio-vision, interactive Cut-Up of texts, charts, sounds and moved pictures by means of tactile interfaces – as continuous selection-process between intermedia documents. One reads no more texts, one sees no more pictures, one hears no more sound- patterns, one rather cuts different media-streams online (in so-called Real-time) together – not only as any intermedia mixture – like approximately in the early multi-media happenings – but as a type of integrated data-work. Are hypertextual methods ' more democratically ', anarchical, more cheerfully, more productively. . . as that classic hermeneutics? (http://MediaFilter.org/index)

1.4 (text-networks)

Online-texts are not famous for excellent stylistic and rhetorical figures or metaphoric formulations. They more rely to context-referential activities, switching between different levels, connections, speed of the exchange – the space between different text-fragments is important – the processing of intertextual structures.

1.4.1 (inter-text)

Each text enlists into an intertextual ensemble of artistic / cultural/ formal / canonical / biographical constellations. Each word produces meanings in the context of the surrounding linguistic units – every process of writing is some kind of ' quotation ': misappropriating, tapping and catching and the informations circulating in the network. (http://www.etext.org/Zines/InterText/index.html) (inter-textual links)

The operating of all reading- and writing-processes on a single surface (the screen) in the network now is the really new feature – . the Intertextuality of the book-culture is a virtual one , in literary texts explicitly produced, produced. the Intertextuality within networks is concrete, flat, pragmatically, real(ly)

1.4.2 (poetic of links)

The poetics of a link lies in the bare insinuation in no way, nor in a metaphoric or implicit reference – but carries out itself in a real jump, an actual linking – a poetics of the transportation. Network-work-writing-projects puts a crucial question of artistic use of media: like can aesthetic operations – removed from the aesthetic strategies of single authors – as concrete program – enter into common work-processes ? How can collective texts be generated and how do they circulate? Could some kind of' telematic poetry ' be made by all?

1.5 (flat texts or deep down …)

Despite all entreaties and all kind of metaphorical generalisations the WWW is first a surface once, a Point and Click-Interface for the online manipulation of multimedia-objects. A controversial discussed question is, if perforce electronic texts are' flat texts ' in the sense of a deficiency, a lacking complexity, depth, sensuality etc, – or if not exactly new qualities arise from the topographical text-structures. Therefore hypertext could overstep the deficiency of the writing-culture – lacking Feedback and one-dimensional communication-structures with infinite ' depth ' the meaning … Make cards, no copies!


1.6 (work in progress)

The information-process is for no longer than a bare sending/revceiving, but a permanent ' work in progress ' that happens on all levels of the network: with the programming of software (for example Linux or other collaborative shareware-projects) equally like in the innumerable discussion-areas, the game-worlds and educational environments (MOOS, Muds) or other cooperative projects in the areas literature, art, science or conversation. This projects to the biggest part (equally like the forums to specific topics) mostly arise from a reason-idea, a basis-formation, that modifies from the participants then: adapt it, write a commentary or a supplement on it and 'feed the information'. (http://www.hotwired.com/wired/2.03/features/economy.ideas.html)

1.7. (poetic of transport)

'Poetics of the transportation ' could do the old concept of the metaphor available now as a network-stream maybe, that through arrival and departure, import and export, input and output is to be organized in dynamic knowledge structures (memes?). New forms of conceptualisation and social communication originate – a kind of active semiosis, within the writing and reading continuously discovers new contexts, follows tracks , draws commentaries …

1.8 (art of memory)

The storage-concepts of this ' micro-narrations ' is founded no longer on the classic art of memory (cathedral, library, brain) but more and more on active man-machine interfaces, dominated by technological networks of writing: Softmachine, electronic brains, artificial memory, data bases,

online media-networks …

1.8.1 (memory palace)

An imaginary architecture of 'collective memory places' is a reconstruction of the old metaphors of memory palaces in the network: Different rooms are filled with objects of memory (texts, sounds, pictures) – they can be connected with other persons rooms: (http://imda.umbc.edu/imda/people/serena/palace.html)

1.8.2 (1002 situations)

The network participants can place objects of their everyday-life in a 'virtual museum':


1.9 (feedback options)

New artistic forms for the presentation of multimedia documents are developing within the network – mostly with some kind of cooperative feedback options (ereactions, commentaries, comments, ratings).



The revolutionary potentials of the Gutenberg-galaxy cruise and also mix itself in the global computer-network with the however ' pseudo – democratic ' effects of mass media to a new quality: everyone can be likewise producer/consumer, sender/receiver, writer/reader …. The poetry can be done by all!

1.10 (ideas are like a virus)

A possible model for the information-exchange between man-machine is developed as a continuation of viral language-theories from the dawn of the media-theory (approximately from William S. Burroughs): the exchange of' idea-viruses ' (' memes ') becomes as topographical model from (organic and not-organic) ' memescapes '. … here the meme originates meets and couples itself. The Cyberspace as also the entire media-culture can be described as such an exchange-process. Nonlocated onlne: http://www.khm.uni-koeln.de/people/krcf/

Sammlung zu MEMESIS: http://www.aec.at/cgi-bin/showinput.cgi?0

2.0 (everyday hypertext)

Maybe hyper-text is starting point and object of so numerous speculations over the future of the literature and the social communication therefore, because hypertext carry out operations that exactly, anyway what we in the literature, the science, the poetics. . . as discourse-technologies for the circulation of ideas: to produce connections , to follow referrals, to construct knowledge-paths, to collect explore, organize and distribute fragment-showers of information …. to send and receive … to network!

2.0.1 (what is hypertext?)

Hyper-text is language in action, associative linking of language- particles, Visualisation of idea-fragments, onscreen-thinking, writing beside the borders, a system of generalized footnotes … (http://www.isg.sfu.ca/~duchier/misc/vbush/)

2.1 (hotspots)

Below the empty surfaces of the up-to-date information-design – of the 'softmodern, of the Infotainment – the antiquated typed characters flashes up again … Now as hyper-words, which have lost their innocence – they do no longer absorb the reader into the text, but repels him rather into the wide fields of digital communication. Readers and writers are now connected with the same machines and tools likewise – they write and read simultaneously at one distributed and dismembered texture, that is spread over the whole word … (http://kuhttp.cc.ukans.edu/cwis/organizations/kucia/uroulette/uroulette.html)

2.2. (hypermedia narration)

Hypermedia narrations (Postmodern literature, video-clips, interactive games, expanded Books, Edutainment, Dokudrama,. . . ) are forming a wide spectrum of broken fragments, culturally encoded and conncected through technical and cultural networks – no matter in what kind of media they appear.


2.3 (dead of book – docuverse)

The topic 'end of the gutenberg-galaxis' and the explicit design of a docuverse (that is based on a global network and a permanent exchange of hyper-text-documents) exactly arises to the time as the western book- culture is going to be overturned by the new audio-visula media – but both as completely separate, almost opposite discourses. (http://xanadu.net/the.project)

2.4 (HYPER-Media-Culture)

Although the apparative preconditions for the networking of various media are becoming ever more complex, artistic (non-affirmative) methods of using such networked systems are only slowly beginning to evolve. The artistic paradises of hyper-media, in contrast to the analogue media (writing, film, radio, TV), are no longer metaphorical representational machines: they refer to nothing, but are simply waiting for our input, actions and reactions. Although the radical media transition from gramophone, film, typewriter (thus Friedrich Kittler's suggestive title) to CD, video and computers has radically changed the personal, cultural and political parameters of information processes – the foundations of literary culture (authorship, copyright, work- and product character of the media documents exchanged …) are only now beginning to tremble with the rapid spread of digital media: The techniques and practises of non-linear forms of living, thinking, and production are now becoming standard operations with, through, over, under and around the new media … ((http://www.atdesign.com:80/~ake/cgi/reel/base/webcraft/03/index.ht ml)

2.5 (politics of hypertext) The place of knowledge and culture production thereby shifts to externalised networks of the most varied of media configurations. The "classical" (manipulated or to be mobilised) bourgeois or mass media produced public no longer exists – the question of media connections, of networking, sequencing and interrelating the "charges" (mixtures of texts, images, sounds, interactions) circulating in the network will become decisive for a tele-political culture – for the networked circulation of public images, texts and multi-media. (http://www.dds.nl/n5m)

3.0 (online discourse)

Festivals and congresses are an important cover-point for artistic experiments and the development of new forms of distribution – exactly also for mixtures between the most different types of media-art. Such Eventses are accompanied in increasing dimensions by online-events in the WWW, that also offer writing/reading in different conference-systems, that enable into an entry of the visitor/user into thematically structured discussion-aereas … 3.1 (public exchance) Posting, download, reply, annotate. . . these processes of structuring, recombination and contextualisation of texts no longer happens in the head of a single authors but already in a public writing-area: new discourse- technologies arise from this distributed collaborative exchance of ideas – text-processing in the truest sense of the word. 3.2 (mailing lists) Within the discursive practice of Mailings-Lists new forms of collection, discussion and distribution of texts are going to be processed. They are much more dynamic in the comparison to the conventional publication of printed texts and also enable discourse-forms beyond mainstream- journalism or established theory-contexts moreover. A new form of media-discourse comprehended still in the experimental phase: one tries simultaneously to use the media-effects' directly over which is written. Such a ' materialistic ' hypertext-processing also escapes the seemingly fundamentalist contradiction, between ' death of the book and literature ' and that ' birth of a new medium ' itself …

3.2.0 (too much recursion!)

ZKP2 is a time based project. Reinventing net critique means that nettime represents your writings at 5cyberconf in Madrid and on the web as well at the right moment. It reaches certain channels to infiltrate the wired discourse machine and tries to modulate myth building processes with external noise, euro-negativity and illegal knowledge. It will reflect the recent changes in net politics, web-euphoria, sociotronic situation, escape from online-life, virtuality tunnels, to report on local climate and a subjective view on what is called 'The Net' as universal mirror of collective wish production.



3.2.1 (memesis)

The 'Open Forum' of Ars Electronica 96 (MEMESIS-Future of Evolution) does not only show the abstracts, papers, arguments of the envited speakers (the masters of discourse), but a very engaged and controversal discussion between all participants of this online-forum, which is distributed throug a mailing-list. The Reference-List is also open for remark and comments, and you can include your own references. (http://www.aec.at/meme/symp/forum/index.html)

3.2.2. (transconference)

Within the Transconference of the 'Videofest Berlin' a dream comes true: you can include your own text-fragment at every point of the 'online- discussion': (http://kadewe.artcom.de/Videoweb/transconference/home.html)

3.2.3 (hypernation)

"Welcome to HYPERNATION. You are invited to address the question: What is a nation in cyberspace? This is a free idea zone. Dreams, riddles, jokes, and imaginary maps are welcome. These may take the form of text, image, sound or video files. All languages spoken. Contributions from this discussion will eventually be edited and posted to a Web site. Live teleperformance events will take place in April and May. A collective text, the HYPERNATION project will last approximately three months. It is commissioned by Galerie Oboro in Montreal and conceived by Hank Bull in Vancouver."


3.3 (tree fiction)

A kind of literary genre corresponding to online-correspondences and knowledge structures is the tree fiction: the reader can jump up and down the interlocked plateaus of the narration and insert on every level a new 'storyline'. Ludwig Wittgenstein used this structure in 'Tractatus', Raimund Roussel was able to construct 9 levels of narrations – with the same framing-technic. He used simple brackets as special characters … (http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/users/gdr11/tree-fiction.html)

3.3.1 (hypertext hotel)

Within the "Hypertext-Hotel" different Hypertext-Experiments from the courses of Brown University are gatherd in Writing-Spaces. http://duke.cs.brown.edu:8888/

3.3.2 (collaborative film)

Various autonomous groups established within David Blairs 'WAX WEB'- Project ( This is the hypermedia version of David Blair's feature-length independent film, "WAX or the discovery of television among the bees" (85:00, 1991). It combines one of the largest hypermedia narrative databases on the Internet with an authoring interface which allows users to collaboratively add to the story:.the 'intercommunicative film' is cutted up in 3000 pages, 25.000 hyperlinks, 85 minutes digital video, 5000 stills – (it would cost a user 3 weeks 8 hours daily to follow all possible links!) … on every page you'll find possibilities of remarking a scene or sentence …. (http://bug.village.virginia.edu or telnet://bug.village.virginia.edu 7777))

3.4 (MOOS)

MOOS are tools for collaborative working and gaming in the network. In contrast to the WWW, they enable communication between different users in real-time in different simultaneously (virtual) areas: situated object can be changed and manipulated from all simultaneously ' present' users through quite specific activities … in one another interwoven ' dialogues ' – in a type role-playing – each user / ' inhabitants can act in existing areas not only but can also construct new areas, invent objects, topics … Beside playful processings of social roll-conflicts also designs for new social architectures is possible and the development of Computer- Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW) is evident.

3.4.1 (mediaMOO)

Mediaresearchers can meet at the MIT within the cooreative conferencing- and working-sapce MediaMOO. After you passed bar, bibliothek, theater, dancingfloor … you arrive in a cave, where you find paper and wirting tools – you can activate the 'poetry-generator': "This machine will generate truly random poetry in an anarchist-dadaist- schizo-mental-paranoid way. Just type in 'activate poetry generator' to switch it on."

(telnet: purple-crayon.media.mit.edu 8888)

3.4.2 (knowlegde structures)

As structural models – interfaces – for such constellations works preferentially spatial formations, the asynchronous network of different materials, media and action-processes admits: maps, how approximately that (imaginary) plan of a city or a house in the classic mnemonics (as cultural storage areas) that also recovers itself in diverse manner in the literature:

3.5 (Collective Text)

The utopian vision of a collective TEXTUALITY: as already found in socially turbulent situations (French revolution, operative writer collectives in the Russian revolution …) and in communal text-net-works. But neither the encyclopaedia, nor literary circles (Nouveau Romanciers, Tel-Quel) really eliminate the bourgeois author-subject, even when this belongs to the central demands of the respective literary program! Perhaps this is really (operatively) a question of the technology of writing (recording and distribution): There is neither room for a signature ("signature" is the file with a personal farewell greeting which can be added to a mail-message), nor the necessary consistency of information to provide conventional authorship. That which applies theoretically and conceptually to written literature – in the system of literature as an inter-textual network – applies also to the net-work-text-tours at every moment of generation/structuring and distribution: The difference between writing and reading in the network is approaching nil.

3.5.1 (European Diary)

A Network-Project addresses precisely this space in between power/powerlessness, centre/periphery, private/public – the personal form of the diary is written directly into the network: starting from the "Zagreb Diary", in which the Dutchman Wam Kat makes public via computer networks his personal impressions of the events of the war in the former Yugoslavia, personal entries, subjective stories and experiences are collected and compiled in networks throughout Europe – and thereby opposed to the always repetitive news agency reports of the official media and information structures. POETRONIC (Peter Glaser) has taken on the translations and co-ordination of this project which can be found on news-Servers in the directory T- Netz / Tagebuch Those who wish to participate can send contributions to the Board /T-NETZ/TAGEBUCH.

3.5.2 (collaborative sentence)

Welcome to the words first collaborative sentence!


4.0 (Imaginary Library)

All (including this) texts (sorry, mostly in german language!), projects, bibliographies of the project PooL-Processing are part of the "Imaginary Library": http://www.uni-hildesheim.de/ami/pool/home.html

Some kind of literary micro-model of a hypertext-docuverse like the WWW. "Literature is an ongoing system of interconnecting documents."(Ted Nelson)

4.0.1 (readable/writable/feedable)

This text is not for reading. (Sorry, it is translated by the help of the free online translation-service (http://www.globalink.com/xlate.html) – its for feeding (your browser, your editor , your tongue/language). Who is speaking?

4.0.2 (links)

more links to cooperative hypertext projects:


4.0.3 (feedback)

Find the mistakes, the quotations, the misappropriatings … Find the places in the network that you can do something with. Copy the material, scan it, import it, work with it…

4.0.4 (machines of desire)

The wishing machines aren't stuck in our heads, are not figments of the imagination, but exist in the technical and social machines themselves. (Gilles Deleuze; Felix Guattari)

4.0.5 (seeme)


0.0.0. (black page: reset)

Log in to the"Manifest of the ___________-Movement" and fill out the

blank spaces with your actual personal remarks!


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