"...L’obiettivo è stato quello di creare un lavoro artistico estremo, che non tenesse conto delle convenzioni (sia della poesia che della canzone) e che affrontasse alcuni importanti temi filosofico-esistenziali, senza paura di non piacere a un pubblico. Puri e liberi. Senza compromessi. Con la convinzione però che, trattandosi di temi che riguardano la nostra esistenza e quindi tutti noi, avrebbero bene o male incontrato il favore di molti, se non di tutti..." da Vi diremo le parole che non volete sentire

lunedì 16 novembre 2015

Computer Poetry interview with Piero Olmeda (2000)

Could you tell me please why you got into generating it?
The first is what is the point of computer-generated poetry?
Firstly, what exactly is your involvement in computer-generated poetry?

It is a will of liberation from the usual associations of words and the traditional ways of formally constructing a poem that both personal and collective history induce on our writings. The free association can set off at last an explosion of creative semantic associations on the basis of which the poet can arrive at new worlds of poetry and possibly new worlds (conception) of existence.

How does it compare with naturally generated poetry?

I think you can feel a difference, you can understand that there is something different without knowing perfectly what. I cannot say that one way of generating poetry is better than another...different roads can bring to the same place. One of the interesting things about computer generated poetry is that is bringing the language to a limit where is not to possible using the language any more. In this sense computer poetry is only "a rite of passage" toward a more universal way of conceiving poetry. If you translate this into a philosophical perspective you could apply all this to real life...and substitute "poetry" with "world".

Can you tell the difference?

We can divide the "computer poets" in two types: the first type will generate the definitive poem directly from the computer. In this case the poetry is in software and in the probability; the second type will use the computer as an instrument in an infinite dialectic of automatic generation and subjective, human writing. In the first case I personally think that it is easy (sometimes) to tell the difference. In the second case the final poem is at least formally completely indistinguishable from a traditional poem. The only difference could be the natural creativity inside this type of writing. In the past this creativity was achieved with a very strict formal structure (sonetto, etc..), now we have a different way that can unleash the creativity at such a level that a special language would maybe be necessary.

Is it ever superior to poetry written by people?

I think that the aim of computer generated poetry is different. Why are we writing poetry? This could be a very difficult question also for the poet himself to answer. My idea is that we could arrive at a conception of writing where the final ideal achievement would be to use the reality itself as a medium instead of words. I think this is different from a lot of ideas of poetry. Will be the result good or bad from a literary point of view? We must expand completely the term "literary" to new frontiers. A new system of reference would be necessary, a new literary criticism. I believe that is not possible to compare now inside a traditional way of evaluating poetry.

Might it one day be impossible to recognize the difference between poems written by people and those produced by machines?
What is its future? Can we expect a robo-laureate?
Does it ever rival human poetry?

In the future (we are speaking here of type 1 of computer-generated poetry, see above) maybe will be impossible, but in that same moment the machine will become a man or something like a man or something more than a man and no one will ever raise this question.

Also, are you organizing any computer poetry events, eg competitions wecould peg the story to?

Not for the moment. Personally I am translating my lisp software to a new type of lisp. I have concentrated only on the internet site. Would be nice to organize a computer poetry festival in Amsterdam. I will see...

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