Concrete Poetry in Digital Media
Its Predecessors, its Presence and its Future***

by Roberto Simanowski

How does concrete poetry develop in digital media? What is its intention? What is the meaning behind it? Does the play with the symbolic orders of language question social patterns as in concrete poetry in the 1960s? Does it rather aim to free the word from its representational, designational function towards the "pure visual"? And how should one approach it? With a meaning driven soul asking for the message behind the technical effect and disparaging any brainless muscle flexing? With a spectacle driven soul enjoying all the cool stuff you can do with programming and embracing de "pure code" as new avant-garde? This essay discusses the aesthetic concept of concrete poetry and places the subject into the ongoing discussion of "software-art" and the aesthetic of the spectacle. It begins with a look back to the predecessors of concrete poetry in print media before introducing to examples of concrete poetry in digital media.

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