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AIxLITERATURE: Poetry Is A Machine

The Grid (US/EU), Vikram Chandra (IN/US), Bryan McCann (US), Andrew Piper (CA), M Eifler (US), Clemens J. Setz (AT), Clara Blume (AT/US), Vanessa Chang (US/SG/AU)

Sun Sep 13, 2020, 11:00 pm - 11:55 pm
All times are given in Central European Summer Time (CEST / UTC +2).
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How does the algorithmic contour the lyrical? Nearly a century ago, William Carlos Williams declared, “A poem is a small (or large) machine made out of words.” As artificial intelligence becomes a writing tool, his words take on a new resonance. Some critics of algorithmic literature decry the incursion of automation into this essentially human creative practice.

Yet there is a long history of literature composed by, with, and for machines, from Ramon Llull’s combinatorial mysticism in the 13th century to Pāṇini’s pioneering work in generative grammar to the avant-garde poetry of Dada and OuLiPo. With an eye on this history, and one on the future, this panel examines the intersection of code with literary language, the computational remaking of one our earliest mnemonic technologies, and the algorithmic resurrection of style.


  • Vikram Chandra (IN/US), bestselling author, technologist, founder of Granthika
  • Bryan McCann (US), Stealth AI Startup, Chief Technology Officer
  • Andrew Piper (CA), McGill University, Professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
  • M Eifler (US), AI Artist
  • Clemens J. Setz (AT), Author of “Bot – Conversations Without the Author”

Moderated by Clara Blume (AT/US) and Vanessa Chang (US/SG/AU), The Grid: Exposure, Curatorial Co-Directors

Find out more about the speakers here: