On Uncreative Writing, lecture by Kenneth Goldsmith

  • kuda.org
  • kuda.org

Tuesday, July 16th 2013 at 20h
Novi Sad, Youth Center CK13
within the event An Archive/Live Archive/UnArchive
organized by kuda.org, Novi Sad and Multimedia Institute mi2, Zagreb

Can techniques traditionally thought to be outside the scope of literature, including word processing, databasing, identity ciphering, and intensive programming, inspire the reinvention of writing? The Internet and the digital environment present writers with new challenges and opportunities to reconceive creativity, authorship, and their relationship to language. Confronted with an unprecedented amount of texts and language, writers have the opportunity to move beyond the creation of new texts and manage, parse, appropriate, and reconstruct those that already exist.

In addition to explaining his concept of uncreative writing, which is also the name of his popular course at the University of Pennsylvania, Goldsmith reads the work of writers who have taken up this challenge. Examining a wide range of texts and techniques, including the use of Google searches to create poetry, the appropriation of courtroom testimony, and the possibility of robo-poetics, Goldsmith joins this recent work to practices that date back to the early twentieth century. Writers and artists such as Walter Benjamin, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, and Andy Warhol embodied an ethos in which the construction or conception of a text was just as important as the resultant text itself. By extending this tradition into the digital realm, uncreative writing offers new ways of thinking about identity and the making of meaning.

Kenneth Goldsmith is a poet and founding editor of UbuWeb archive of avant-garde art. He teaches Poetics and Poetic Practice at the University of Pennsylvania and is a Senior Editor of PennSound. He hosted a weekly radio show at WFMU from 1995 until June 2010. He has published ten books of poetry, notably Fidget (2000), Soliloquy (2001) and Day (2003) and Goldsmith's American trilogy, The Weather (2005), Traffic, (2007) and Sports, (2008). He is the author of a book of essays, Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in a Digital Age (2011). As editor he published I’ll be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews (2004) and is the co-editor of Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing (2011). In 2013, he was appointed the Museum of Modern Art's first Poet Laureate.

Lecture by Kenneth Goldsmith will be held also in Zagreb, in Multimedia Institute mi2, on Thursday 18th of July, at 19h.

Series of discussions An Archive/Live Archive/UnArchive and the workshop Public Library are part of the project Aesthetic Education Expanded (www.aestheticeducation.net), a collaborative project by Berliner Gazette, Kontrapunkt, kuda.org, Multimedia Institute and Mute and is supported by the programme Culture 2007-2013 of the European Commission.

Supported also by: European Cultural Foundation Amsterdam, Swiss Cultural Program, Ministry for Culture of province Vojvodina and Ministry for Culture of Republic Serbia.