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Conferência por Piotr Marecki

Cartaz de Tiago Santos.

Cartaz de Tiago Santos.

No próximo dia 15 de abril de 2016 (sexta-feira), na Sala de Seminários de Estudos Ingleses (6º piso, FLUC), às 14h30, tem lugar a conferência “Scene Poetry”, seguida da oficina “The Renderings and Speeches: Translating Literary Works in the Digital Age” (17h00-20h00) por Piotr Marecki. Piotr Marecki é professor no Departamento de Cultura Contemporânea do Instituto de Cultura da Universidade Jagielloński em Cracóvia e leciona também na Escola Nacional Polaca de Cinema, Televisão e Teatro (PWSFTviT) em Łódź. A sua visita à Universidade de Coimbra decorre no âmbito de uma missão Erasmus.

Scene Poetry
The aim of the presentation is to introduce and put in context the phenomenon of scene poetry, which stems from demoscene activities. The demoscene was a phenomenon almost exclusively European, it developed among the first generation of teens, illegal boys, geeks growing up using PCs (in the 80. and 90.) This exceptional type of creative activity was based on collaborative work in the field of digital media and computational art. The most important genre of the scene were demos, programs the only purpose of which was to impress and demonstrate the possibilities of the computer. The demos are created in real time during demoparties, their effects are generated by a processor processing input data according to the created algorithm. The audience of demos constitutes of other participants of the parties, persons deeply involved in the scene, who can appreciate the beauty of the algorithm. Many demos are treated as a kind of video clip, hence the demoscene was usually contextualized as a phenomenon from the field of digital media and audiovisual art. There exist several demos of which an integral part is constituted by text and poetry. Among the sceners this type of work is called scene poetry. The creators of the demoscene are persons aware of computer platforms, their material limits and possibilities. During the presentation the phenomenon of scene poetry will be presented on the example of a dozen demos, the catalog of which is the result of research, exploration of the scene environment and meetings with demosceners.


The Renderings and Speeches. Translating literary works in the Digital Age
The workshop is divided into two parts. The first one is devoted to the Renderings project established at MIT at the Trope Tank lab headed by Nick Montfort. As the project’s website explains: “The Renderings project focuses on translating highly computational and otherwise unusual literature into English. [The participants] not only employ established literary translation techniques, but also consider how computation and language interact.” The author of the talk defines and explains basic terms and phenomena relevant to the project, like highly computational literature, expressive processing, or platform studies, and presents the specifics of chosen genres of electronic literature. He discusses the general principles of the project (organizational structure, languages, direction of the translation, types of works included) and the anatomy of chosen e-lit works. The main part of the lecture is a step by step analysis of the translation process, which involves not only the level of text (output), but also the input and process. The second, practical part of the workshop is devoted to translating one of the pieces from the Renderings project (from Polish into Portuguese). We will focus on Spechees by Marek Pampuch. The program generates communist speeches. It was published in 1993 in Amiga magazine. In one of the articles the editor in chief of the magazine, Marek Pampuch, presents an ironic formula for winning the Nobel Prize with the help of an Amiga computer and algorithms. In the article there are a few examples of literary works for the Amiga computer. Pampuch dedicates the first one to politicians. He writes: “We know that the level of intelligence of our leading politicians only allows them to read out something already written by someone else”.

This generator, discovered many years after the publication of its algorithm, is good proof that Pampuch succeeded especially well in the tricky art of imitating the kind of political discourse which is called “grass-talk” or “empty talk.” The algorithm perfectly fulfills its stylistic constraints – generating a text that does not have to carry any  concrete content or message”.

Piotr Marecki is Assistant Professor at the Department of Contemporary Culture at the Institute of Culture at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, lecturer at the Polish National Film, Television and Theater School (PWSFTviT) in Łódź. He holds a PhD in cultural studies from the Jagiellonian University. Since 1999 he is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of “Ha!art” magazine, website newspaper and the Publishing House and chairman of the board at Korporacja Ha!art Foundation. His interests include Polish literature after 1989, independent culture, digital literature, and cultural margins. In 2013/2014 he was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at MIT in Cambridge, MA. He is affiliated with the Electronic Literature Organization.

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