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Jeff T. Johnson & Andrew Klobucar, LETTERS FROM THE ARCHIVERSE: A Language/Object Event Horizon

Digital Residency documentation at Organism for Poetic Research (NYU)


We are drawn into a projection of language that does not refer back to objects in the world. LETTERS FROM THE ARCHIVERSE is an ongoing visual poem composed in architectural modeling space, using AutoCAD design software, which combines attributes and methods in concrete poetry and open-field composition with digital image modeling capabilities. THE ARCHIVERSE explores materiality in writing and the potential for language-based visual art in an age of ready access to touch-screen mobile We seek to create an open-field, interactive and compositional space that intentionally blurs all traditional lines between viewers and authors/producers to offer a site of ongoing collaboration while building a single text-based artwork. This application’s development is part of a broader investigation of compositional space and language materiality in THE ARCHIVERSE. We are modeling a realm of linguistic relations that jumps the chain of signification. Beyond slippage, THE ARCHIVERSE is a leap into digital materiality. 

In performance, we animate and explore THE ARCHIVERSE via projection, navigation, and sound, incorporating original music and samples with an improvisatory reading of the digital language/object environment. The visual, structural, and aural dynamics of THE ARCHIVERSE allow us to stir the text as we engage a digital poetics of interruption and process-based composition.


Jeff T. Johnson’s poetry has recently appeared in coconut, Truck, and Forklift, Ohioand he holds a digital residency at The Organism for Poetic Research. Critical writing has appeared in The Aviary, Sink Review, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. With Claire Donato, he collaborates on SPECIAL AMERICA. He is at work on Trouble Songs: A Musicological Poetics, as well as an ongoing visual poem composed in architectural modeling space called LETTERS FROM THE ARCHIVERSE. He lives in Brooklyn, NY and teaches at The New School and St. John's University.

Andrew Klobucar, Associate Professor of English at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, is a literary theorist and teacher, specializing in internet research, electronic writing/poetics, semantic technologies and Web 3.0. His writings on experimental literary forms and genres continue to analyze the increasingly important role technology plays in contemporary cultural practices in both print and screen formats. He has worked on developing software for writing instruction and written on the use of programmable media in classroom instruction. Other projects include collaborative research between NJIT and Princeton’s educational testing services (ETS) analyzing the use of automated assessment software for reliable academic placement. His forthcoming book on the increasing influence of algorithmic programming and information theory on poetics and literary criticism, entitled, The Algorithmic Impulse: Programmable Writing and the Aesthetics of Information will be published by Alabama University Press this year. He holds a PhD in English from the University of BC in Vancouver, Canada.

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