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Subjectivity conditions and computational literature: the mechanization of the subject and the subjectivation of the mechanical

Electronic Literaturesubjectivityvideo gameauthorreader
8:30 AM, Thursday 16 Aug 2018 (1 hour 15 minutes)

The present work aims to investigate the notions of subjectivity involved both in the production and the consumption of computational literature; and also the one that emerges from the object itself (usually, a text). The first two cases are themselves clear: when Theo Lutz, under the direction of Max Bense, developed Stochastische Texte, what was missing (pace Funkhouser, 2007) was not a general project for computational literature, nor the massification of personal computers that was going to occur three decades later. What was missing then was the particular subject that was going to be created through that massification. To understand this, the notion of video game (the vehicle through which computers got into general culture at first) will be vital. On the other hand, this new subjectivity is not only about a symbiosis with electronic equipments, about its habituality: on some cases, computational literature requires also a certain amount of attribution of subjectivity to the device itself, or the event─as an artistic experience─will fail. In order to understand this, I will present four levels of reading that play a role when consuming computational literature, in one of which the aforementioned attribution appears as a necessary condition.

New York University