exquisite code

A script that uses some material from last weeks intensive writing sweatshop. We generated a huge amount of nonsense of varying degrees, most of which didn’t make it into the novel and went into a “waste dump”. This text was exploited for the performances in various ways, my attempt picks words from the text and connects them together with a 3D spring model graph – a sort of parallel to what my mind was doing while taking part. The code is here.

Edit – finally managed to upload a video of this…

Exquisite Code

Exquisite_Code.. February 15 – 19th & 20th 2010.. 10-6pm daily.. E:vent Gallery, 96 Teesdale St. London. E2.. 8 Writers pitched 8 hours a day for 5 days against despotic edit-code.. Yield: one book.. Print. Launch. Read. Evaluate.

Forget insulation from the cold nagging existential doubt or refuge in stories comforting the General Intellect; a dark Forest of Things is foregrounded in exquisite_code, a radical constructivist experiment that hothouses a collaborative writing production.

Eight international writers will work eight hours a day for five days generating text-prompts, text and edit-software in unrelenting micro-sessions to create a cadaverous exquisite_code life-novel . Text will be produced in response to prompts conspired by the writers at the end of each session. But only after bespoke edit-software has wormed its way through it, cutting, chewing and spitting gobbets of the text into a dump from which the life-novel will be elaborated. This edit-worm is itself interrogated and re-written in scheduled code writing sprints by the writers. At all times all participants are available for public scrutiny and interaction, and all writing will be on live display whilst continuously extruded as hardcopy from line printers.

The event will culminate in a Saturday night exquisite_code LAUNCH PARTY (7.30 -11.30pm) on 20th February at E:vent Gallery with extracts of the novel presented to the public through human-machine readings, performances and detournements made by participants from the week’s accumulated materials. Publication of all code, prompts and final text will be by way of print-on-demand publication in collaboration with Mute.

Leif Elggren [SWE] writer/artist/performer; Mara Goldwyn [US] writer/performer; Dave Griffiths [UK/FI] artist/coder/performer; Brendan Howell [US/DE] writer/coder/artist; Jonathan Kemp [UK] writer/artist; Laura Oldfield Ford [UK] writer/artist; Eleanora Oreggia [IT/NL] writer/coder/artist/performer; Sabrina Small [US] writer/artist; / with additional performances from Martin Howse [UK/DE]; Preslav Literary School [UK/DE]; and Ryan Jordan [UK]

E:vent Gallery is near Bethnal Green Tube Station. Buses 106, 254, 253, 48 and 55 pass close by. see http://www.eventnetwork.org.uk/contact.

This is an exquisite_code production in collaboration with E:vent Gallery, London, Openmute.org, and supported by Arts Council England.