Old Media and New

I am currently reading Matthew Kirschenbaum's Mechanisms:  New Media and the Forensic Imagination.  A fascinating book that draws on the work of Jerome McGann in Black Riders and elsewhere and applies it to new media and electronic writing.

Jason Davis sent me this image from Matt Schulman's Do It!, a mimeo published out of Cleveland in 1967.  I take it Schulman moved to Cleveland in that years as issues one and two were published out of Omaha.  I do not know much about Do It! at all.  It did not make the cut in Christopher Harter's index.  Jason has a the first two issues listed on his da levy checklist.

The poem above is an example of computer generated poetry from Do It!, in this case an IBM computer was programmed to produce a poem given a bank of words and a set structure, quatrains of 7-7-7-3.

I was struck that the poem came out of Philadelpha as the other computer generated poems I have seen in a little magazine were in Insect Trust Gazette, which was headquartered in Philadelphia in 1964 and 1965.  The computer poems were done by Lenny Belasco under the anagram Conral A. Belano.  This poem appears in the context of concrete and visual poetry along with proto-Language poetry such as Clark Coolidge's The Bond Sonnets.

Here is an early interview I did with Jed Irwin of Insect Trust Gazette for some background on that mag.  See http://realitystudio.org/bibliographic-bunker/bunker-interviews/jed-irwin-on-the-insect-trust-gazette/

I would appreciate similar information on Do It! if anybody has it.

I wonder if there was a computer poetry scene of some type in Philly at the time.  Maybe somebody can shed some light on that as well.



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