16 Jul

Von Monument zu Monument

Vorgelesene Texte
Jacques Prévert – Inventar
Henry Miller – Land der Erinnerung
Harun Roci – Monumente des Leidens
Ronan – Wolkenreiter
Thomas Brasch – ohne Titel (was ich habe, will ich nicht verlieren, aber…)
Orhan Pamuk – Schnee
Harun Roci – ohne Titel „den Ort, den ich nicht finden konnte…“
Roland Barthes – Fragmente einer Sprache der Liebe – der Liebesbrief
Samuel Eberenz – mein Dir. Erste post/humane Betrachtung
Harun Roci – Freundschaft
Stefan Scheidegger – Luftschlösser aus Stein
Ronan – Worte
William Carlos William – The Last Words of my English Grandmother
Wolfgang Herndorf – Bilder deiner grossen Liebe
Roland Barthes – Fragmente einer Sprache der Liebe – Verbergen
Walter Benjamin – Der Begriff der Geschichte
Anna Löwenhaupt Tsung – Der Pilz am Ende der Welt
Ronan – Ein bisschen Haut
Nele solf et al. – How does Time behave on this Planet?
Stefan Scheidegger & Samuel Eberenz – Sagen Sie es dem Turm
Roland Barthes – Fragmente einer Sprache der Liebe – Kleidung
Thomas Brasch – Zeit
Ronan – Rucksack 2
Samuel Eberenz – Ohne Titel (der Steuermann starrt)

23 Jun

LI Apocalpyso

«To sail on a dream on a crystal clear ocean
To ride on the crest of a wild raging storm
To work in the service of life and the living
In search of the answers to questions unknown
To be part of the movement and part of the growing
Part of beginning to understand

Aye, Calypso, the places you’ve been to
The things that you’ve taught us, the stories you tell
Aye, Calypso, I sing to your spirit
The men who have served you so long and so well»
– Jone Denver: Calypso

[LitUp!] «Apocalypso»

When? Saturday, June 23, from 7pm

Where? Josefwiese Zürich (look out for the red blanket)

And if it rains? In case of apocalypsic wheater, we will gather inside, at Neugasse, at Alex‘ place. We will send another e-mail in case of rain with the coordinates

What? Literal exchange. It’s all about reading and listening. What the hick? https://litup.ch/site/?page_id=34

XYZ
alex, stef, sam

06 Mai

110010 digital ist besser

Herzliche Einladung zum halbhundertsten LitUp! Digital ist besser.

«Der Mensch baut seine sozialen
Netzwerke heutzutage aus Nullern
und Einsern» [1]

Wir feiern diesen Tag am Sonntag dem 06. Mai, korreliert mit den Analogen Tagen. Höhepunkt ist das Vorlesen und Zuhören in gemeinsamer Runde, ab 14:00. Bring Text zu analog/digital und allem anderen, egal wer oder was ihn geschrieben hat. Und etwas für das gemeinsame Buffet.

Bei schönem Wetter chillen wir beim Grill auf der GZ-Wiese in Wollishofen. Die Schlechtwetteralternative ist der Ziegel in der Roten Fabrik.

«Gehen Sie bitte. Und hören Sie auf, Aquarelle zu malen» [2]


[1], [2] Dominic Looser (2018): WAS RAUS KAM.

29 Jan

Werk 1

Mensch Xaver,

 

fehlende Absätze – so im Werk 1, so in beiliegendem Text, das von merkwürdigen Begebenheiten daselbst berichtet –, machen es beinahe unerträglich. Kann Fehlendes überhaupt tragbar sein? Kann Fehlendes getragen, sich betragen und überhaupt: ertragen werden? Gemeint sei hier: Fehlendes als Mangel, als das, was immer zu wenig ist. Das, was bleibt, was übrigbleibt, wenn alles da und schon wieder weg ist. Vielleicht liefert dir, lieber Leser dieses Briefes und des beiliegenden Werkes, der du hier den zugegebenermassen etwas generischen Namen Xaver trägst, die Lektüre des Werkes eine Antwort auf die dir – durch dieses Werk – aufgezwungene Frage.

 

Falls nicht, seis drum.

Dein Werk 1.

Read More

27 Sep

An einem Tag wie diesem

An einem Tag wie diesem, dem 290. im Jahr, kann viel – oder auch nichts – passieren. An Herbsttagen wie diesem scheint zumindest manchmal die Sonne, und manchmal regnet es, oder der Wind weht durch die Gassen der Stadt. Fast ist es still an diesem 27. September. Die Zeit der Gewitter ist vorbei, und der Sommer grüsst nur noch von weitem. Die Dunkelheit breitet sich langsam aus und die Kastanien fallen zu Boden, ungefragt und ohne dass sie damit etwas sagen wollen. Read More

03 Okt

Output LitÄpp Cortona Week 2016

I’ve been here already. just five minutes and three posts before. But the story is always changing. Whenever one is set back to an earlier input, there’s another output. Another answer to a previous asked question. So know, where’s the difference to time. A tree in a forest. A something due to other somethings | Because it can. | Because you can. You know. |

There is no Instructions – only despair | /text | Generics do not always work. | Better use fortune telling cards to predict whether they go to Phase II |

What is your spirit animal? | cat | said the actress to the doctor… | We need more feminism | But losing masculinity would be a pity. | This is a clear statement! | polarized light hurts my molecules | Read More

21 Aug

Writing in the Age of machine translations.

Remarks on a translational poetic practice.

I would like to start by giving you a brief idea of what I mean with translational poetics, then I will continue with explaining how GT works, before discussing the practice in the context of questions concerning writing and reading, and I will finish with a text that I wrote in this manner, and is still in progress.

So, let me start: what happens if we take Kant’s categorical imperative in its most prominent wording, I quote:

“Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction.”

And translate it, as quoted, with Google Translate trough all languages available – starting with Afrikaans, ending with Zulu – and ended up with the latter, then translated back to English?

Can you guess what came out in the end? It’s

“News and much more!”

I admit that this is the case only by chance and might have changed already, still this output demands for a reaction! The usual way to do so, is to blame machine translations, computer linguists and Google – but this critique is rather boring and frankly spoken also dangerous, because it criticises only an insufficient system and ends – so to speak – in a conservative dead-end because there is not much land to gain by insisting on insufficiency without questioning or asking what the whole system is about.

However, we also have other possibilities to react to this seemingly rather arbitrary translation of the Kantian categorical imperative – we can regard it as a poetic correspondence between

Kant and our age. Between the way Kant formulated his sentence and the way Google tells us what to do. Interestingly the sentence keeps its form as an imperative, as the exclamation mark shows. And the translation reads – not like a moral – but rather a descriptive actualization of the categorical imperative in the age of digital capitalism and internet economy. This is the core of what we call translational poetic practices.

You might want to ask, how one can be so brutal to such heroic texts and sentences. Before returning to this question I want to elaborate how this correspondence came into being.

What happens when we use tools, such as Google Translate?

If we take a closer look, on how GT works, we could describe it – as Samuel Eberenz points out – as a ‘structuralist activity’, a term coined by Roland Barthes. According to Barthes, the goal of any structuralist activity is to reconstruct an object in such a way that it will manifest the rules of functioning (‘the functions’) of this object. The reconstruction happens not by reasoning, rather by a ‘mimesis’ of its functions. If we consider paradigmatic (words and their meanings) and syntagmatic (grammatical rules) to be the functions of a text, Google Translate does exactly that. It carries out a Mimesis via the translation of n-grams based on a statistical exploitations of its corpora consisting literature, multi-lingual documents such as protocols of the EU council and the UN (c.f. Kaplan 2015/Eberenz 2015). Machine translation tools do a reconstruction of an initial text in a target language – usually with English as intermediate language.

I could tell you a lot more about how Google Translate works, but the technical details are rather uninspiring and not so much of our interest here. Instead I want to discuss some aspects of our translational poetics that I find suitable for this context.

Firstly, one could say that the book is endangered by digital technologies – which is probably one reason for us being here. But one could ask, is it really the book as a specific materialization of texts or is it textuality itself which is about to change, textuality with all its accompanied practices such as our ability and habits of writing and reading, and questions like how authorship changes, when more and more written texts are created automatically? Be it for the worse or the better, textuality is questioned and at stake. I neither know a simple nor a difficult answer to these questions. I don’t know how the digital will transform us and our lives. But, translational writing is one way of paying attention to these changes, be it a playful and aesthetic way of observing machine translation and the automatic text generation.

Secondly, Translational poetics, is a way of dealing with the power structures of digital capitalism. And maybe one could say, that companies like Google are at the centre of such an evolution – if such a place exists. By handing over the production of meaning and sense to a

company, these practices question the technical, the digital and our behaviour towards the internet, just by dealing with them in a playful way, by carrying out translations.

And with that, thirdly, it quotes and asks for an actualization of the practices of classical avant-garde, such as ecriture automatique, oulipo, situationism, (un)-creative and post-human approaches in writing. So it asks for possible poetic practices in the age of the digital without a concrete answer outside of the practice itself.

I want to finish with a text I wrote a few months ago, and that I’m still working on. Actually it’s a translation of its German ‘Equivalent’ – with the title “Sagen Sie es dem Turm! Oder vom verwirren der Sprachen” – done in a performative way with GT and only little post- editing.

Tell it to the tower! Or how to puzzle languages.

Language and voice are accessible to everybody. Every word is a language. However, Silence. Silence without talking. A simple statement that they live there. Even if they come and take what they want. The languages will be burned. Milk stone and asphalt each other, and we baked bread in the brick building, concrete, stone, brick, and stone and mud. We, the things and our playground is of Cement and Atereta. No one hears our language, who speaks another. We speak softly, so that no one hears us.

Men are building airplanes and men are flying to the sky, but tomorrow the City Tower will stop them. Machines, Tower, Pilots and professions.

Then we take out of the city and out of the tower. Our environment for us, and to rise above the building. The purpose of progress in the whole world will remain unscathed, perhaps – but certainly be the subject above the words, will stop us to go further. But we, we went up, up to its name, when he said: Behold the man!

I just saw people, and how they spoke one and the same language, but not heard their voices. Too far away they were. The dominance of the people, their radio communication – which ended where no radio reception was. The dominance of progress – who will go on? Tower: Me. The Lord of the tower calls the City and their three sons.

The only language of the world, he said. But this is the beginning. He said: I’m just one of those people who live in a language – and see it! It is their language, their language, as if it is their language. But this is only a first attempt, let us fly. We will have to combine our languages, as we are not different. Laws and grammatical rules have become mandatory. We can no longer fly above the tower. The tower tells us when we can fly.

Your work. Now it’s gone, as it seems. No one will understand the text, he said, let us confuse their language! To understand people, will be impossible.

We are disappointed if we do not understand. Language, complex language, and beyond it – nothing.

Come! Let us destroy our languages; us and our, our own language, and so we have no other. No other. This, in different corners of the world – everywhere. Nothing but confusion, linguistic confusion and lack of understanding in one name: Babylon.

Thank you for your attention! I’m looking forward to an interesting discussion with you.

Bibliography

  • BARTHES, ROLAND (2008): “Die Strukturalistische Tätigkeit”. In: In Kimmich, Dorothee (2008): Texte zur Literaturtheorie der Gegenwart. Stuttgart: Reclam.
  • EBERENZ, SAMUEL (2015): “A Translational Poetic Practice”. On the uncreative potential of statistical computer translation. Unpublished Manuscript.
  • KAPLAN, FREDERIC & DIANA KIANFAR (2015): “Und dann wird es Hunde und Katzen regnen”. Googles Übersetzungsdienst und die Zukunft der Sprachen. In: LE MONDE DIPLOMATIQUE. http://www.monde- diplomatique.de/pm/2015/01/09.mondeText.artikel,a0060.idx,23 (last access: 16.03.2015).
  • SCHEIDEGGER, STEFAN (2015): “Sagen Sie es dem Turm! Oder vom Verwirren der Sprachen”. /translation: “Say it to the Tower! From Puzzling Languages”. Work in process.
  • SCHIEBINGER, LONDA (2014): “Scientific Research must take gender into account”. In: Nature 507, 9 (06 March 2014). In: http://www.nature.com/news/scientific-research-must-take- gender-into-account-1.14814 (last access: 16.03.2015)
27 Jan

Aufruf zum Ein-Satz!

Sondermeldung: Die K.U.R.S.K. ruft alle Welt zum Ein-Satz!

Die Kursk erwacht aus dem Tiefschlaf! Ein einjähriger Traum, Kaperfahrt in der Spiegelgasse. Oder doch alles ein großes Missverständins? War es ein hundertjähriger Schlaf? Ein Traum von Haiti, vom Diskursk, im Rausch – ein Traum-aaah!
Insomnia, Hallizunation, Kurskismus. Das Unterbewusstsein bleibt besetzt, wir wachen schlafend, und schlafen wachend auf der Kursk. Ein Traum von Kursk!

Erinnerungen an Kursk

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27 Jan

Video: Weisses Rauschen im Wandler

Sprachrausch – eine performative Lesung von Stefan Scheidegger und Samuel Eberenz.
Zwei Datenkranke, Informationsoktopus und Babelfisch, lesen eigene Texte, die im Rahmen ihres Schreibprojektes “Cyberdadaismus” entstanden sind. Lesung in der Klanginstallation Rauschen – Klang-Installation von Vesna Tomse.

Den Klangraum im Zürcher Seefeld durchziehen zweiwöchentlich Klangskulpturen aller Art, die sich um 21.00 zu einer live Performance verdichten. Installation wie Performance generieren mit Klangfarben, dynamischen Windungen, sich überlagernden Frequenzen und Modulationen wechselnde Stimmungen und energetische Zustände – der Raum wird zum Wandler.