Lecture: The Oulipo

While we’ve encountered the Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, or Oulipo, a number of times already, we take a close look at them this week. Founded in 1960, the Oulipo, which roughly translates as Workshop for Potential Literature, was co-founded by novelist and poet Raymond Queneau and mathematician François Le Lionnais, inspired by their collaboration on Queneau’s Cent Mille Milliards de Poèmes (Hundred […]

On Ramsay’s “‘Patacomputing” and “Postconditions”

With the chapter “‘Patacomputing,” Stephan Ramsay returns us the concept of pataphysics (the science of imaginary solutions), which he introduced us to in the second chapter of Reading Machines, “Potential Literature.” If you recall that reading and its corresponding lecture, you’ll remember that Ramsay drew specifically upon C. P. Snow’s 1959 lecture “The Two Cultures and the […]

Lecture: Introduction to Week 12

“In an age when the computer itself has gone from being a cold arbiter of numerical facts to being a platform for social networking and self-expression, we may well wonder whether those new kinds of critical acts are in fact already implicit in the many interfaces that seek only to facilitate thought, self-expression, and community. […]