rr00 posted 16 Feb 2004

When Josephine Berry Slater asked me to participate in this dialogue with John about code poetry, I jumped at the chance. For some time, I have been inspired by the rigor, and the beauty, of John's work (both critical and poetic), and the force of his convictions about code, digital writing, and poetics has heightened my respect. In 2002, our essays on codework were put somewhat into dialogue in the electropoetics thread of Electronic Book Review, but this is our first direct discussion-based piece. Thom Swiss has instituted this genre at Iowa Review Web with great success (John has been interviewed by Brian Kim Stefans; I have interviewed Shelley Jackson) and Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Pat Harrigan have edited a significant collection of discussions between artists and theorists with the apposite title First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, Game (forthcoming from MIT, and continuing in EBR). This mode of knowledge production in the field of digital media - threaded discussion - thus seems to be gaining prominence even in print, resonating as it does with the structure of discourse networks on the internet (newsgroups, blogs, bulletin boards, listservs).