Panel Statement


Session Title:

  • Literature, Journalism, and the Telematic Society 3: Electrified Language

Presentation Title:

  • Panel Statement



  • De-scripting utilizes the computer as co-author in the process of recreating words. A software configured to work as a “broken typewriter” produces a series of alternatives to letter sequences. The complete language transformation process follows two steps. A disorganizing computational procedure entitled De-script is followed by a re-organizing procedure entitled Re-script, performed by a human agency. The objective is to renew language codes, creating new terms for poetical, political, linguistic, theoretical, or scientific purposes.


    De-script can be thought of as a means to de-scribe written languages. In this experiment, English is the language being de-scripted through a process of computerized semi-random letter substitutions causing purported misspellings. De-script is a computer generated anti-language. It undermines the idea that languages must be protected by institutions from possible changes. In De-script, language is seen, otherwise, as a living entity, in transformation, absorbing influences and reflecting social forces and technologies. The process utilizes English in a generative mode, to surpass it, to enlarge it, to open it up to new technologies and modes of thought. The most immediate effect De-script has in a language is to enlarge it, to actually infinitize the paradigmatic level of the word unit, opening up a field of unheard-of, unthoughtable possibilities of letter re-combinations. However, if one wants to construct meaning or neo-meaning, De-script has to be followed by Re-script, dissociation by re-association. The purpose is to constantly learn from a de- scripted level, so that one can break free from paradigmatic limitations in order to re-script a new text.