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A Platform Poetics / Computational Art, Material and Formal Specificities, and 101 BASIC POEMS

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  • Desktop & Mobile
    Applesoft BASIC for the Apple II
    BASIC Version 2 for the Commodore 64
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My digital art is highly computational, or process intensive—it is more about code and symbol manipulation, and less about data, the visualization of data, or multimedia effects. But beyond this, what I do often explores specific computer platforms. In this essay I describe how my project 101 BASIC Poems is part of a platform practice engaging the Commodore 64, the Apple II series of computers, and the BASIC programming language. My project 101 BASIC Poems is an initiative to develop just more than a hundred computational artworks, each one not just a digital text but also a computer program that can and should be run. On the computational end of things, a major inspiration is 101 BASIC Computer Games, a collection of BASIC programs that fired the imaginations and scaffolded the programming ability of many people in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

studies creative computing. As a poet and artist, he uses computation as his main medium and seeks to uncover how the material and formal qualities of computing are entangled with each other and with culture. His computer-generated books of poetry include #! and Golem. His digital projects include the collaborations The Deletionist and Sea and Spar Between. His MIT Press books, collaborative and individual, include The New Media Reader, Twisty Little Passages, Racing the Beam, and Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities. He is professor of digital media at MIT. He lives in New York City.