Textual Mutation And Poetic Practices


Session Title:

  • Catalogue Papers (edited by musica falsa)

Presentation Title:

  • Textual Mutation And Poetic Practices



  • Radical anthropological and epistemological change, due to the exponential acceleration of technological history, is the main feature of the contemporary world. The continuous design and production of technological tools means that new tools capable of compressing immeasurable flows of events in very little time are being deployed. Changes of a hitherto unknown nature, the emergence of new data, which are immediately rendered obsolete, are taking place at an exponential pace.
    Global event congestion is not due so much to a separate entity that we can call the history of technology as it is to the discovery of the universal techno-development of human identity that cuts through and disrupts a broad range of human activities, such as work, trade, health, learning systems, artistic practices, and circulation of culture. While all of these component areas of society are shaken by the radicalization of the process which is making behavioral systems increasingly technical, there is one field where a decisive change is taking place that is disorganizing all of that field’s structural components: the general economy of text.
    Text, and language phenomena in general, have never before been so deeply disrupted. Many transformations are disturbing categories and habits, many of which go back several hundred years, that have culturally marked our relationship to textuality. These include text homogeneity, the figure of the author, the conditions of document circulation and trade, archiving, the library function, the legal principles of intellectual property, reading practices, and so forth.
    This major technological event is twofold and combines universal digital extension with astronomic growth in telecom networks, culminating notably in the generalization of the global system that results from this combination of factors, namely Internet. The Web is revealing a multitude of inscriptions and sign uses that are wholly new: simultaneous global connection; uninterrupted circulation of written messages; hyper-textual navigation; interactivity; perception via a screen; predominance of the virtual over the printed; light-speed document transfers; cut and paste possibilities; the association of text with sound, as well as fixed and moving images; searches using super powerful engines; automated on line translation and more. Internet is the most emblematic system of the contemporary technological revolution in that it exemplifies the power of objects that function digitally and can also be put on line. The historical combination of these two technical features opens up a range of possible interconnections capable of circulating on the networks (nearly instantly even over great distances) an infinite amount of heterogeneous data expressed in numbered code. Yet Internet is just one device among a multiplicity of tools offering the twofold capacity of being both digital and connective, and that henceforth inscribe textuality in a universal web where all its components, redistributed and augmented, proliferate according to measurements of circulation, interaction and continuous change that have become universal.


  • ISEA2000 Catalogue Papers. Produced by musica falsa, magazine on music, art & philosophy. Texts collected by Bastian Gallet. Translations by ALTO.