From Dada to Java

How should we read and interpret Taroko Gorge by Nick Montfort? What does it mean ‘bot’? Is Twitterbot a new literary form? “From Dada to Java: conversations about generative poetry & Twitter bots” is a film devoted to the explanation of these new types of writing and reading that is generative poetry. Sophie Skach, Betul Aksu, Victor Loux, and  Zhou Tang invite artists and theorists of electronic literature to elucidate a complicated nature of generative works. Among them are Montfort and Sandy Baldwin, both are writers of digital literature and members of Electronic Literature Organization. To explain the meaning of generative poetry, it seems necessary to situate it in the cultural context. It turns out that the generative poetry is the continuation of avant-garde literary practices, such as Dada and Oulipo. One of the goals of generative work is to produce a text that is a new literary experiment ‘written’ by a computer, not a human. Because of this, artists seek to generate work that is not an imitation of human’s work. Therefore, generative literature means to delve into an ‘inner layer’ of computer to disclose its creativity and features that are other than human. Eventually, we receive a text that does not reflect ‘human’ literary work, rather ‘non-human’ automated work produced by the cooperation between artist/programmer and computer.