Introduction by Volodymyr Bilyk
Never underestimate the grind of technological progress. You never know what is coming, but you will be crushed by sheer laws-of-physics-defying weight of the surprise. That’s the thing you need to be aware of upon reading this book. One of the benefits of writing poetry is that you don’t really need to write what is generally considered to be poetry. In one way or another, you need to explore and apply aesthetic qualities and features of languages and use whatever tools that can help with accomplishing that task. From this perspective – computer code is pretty much a perfect medium for making poetry. You don’t need to do anything else and if everything comes together just right – poetry happens. Just like a swiss army knife poetry can transform code in a way that moves deeply into territory of unknown. Code poetry is a leap beyond. Paul N. Edwards wrote “computers are language machines”, except their understanding of language is more practical. Code is utilitarian, functional, it has a definite purpose. It makes sense. But when code is applied not as a functional element but as a thing-in-itself – it moves above and beyond. The result is something different, something that resembles regular code but is fundamentally different in its modus operandi. In a way, code poetry creates a paradox – it is a poem written in programming language that operates beyond the programming language’s function and designed for outsider’s perspective. That kind of beyond is within the reaches of the human mind but you have accepted it for what it is. In the human mind, code poetry is like desolate remains of borderline unknown, misinterpreted or semi-studied civilizations. The only thing you are left with are speculations and ruminations. As such, you need to go into this book open-minded. Let it do its job and make you surprised.