Letters are not only familiar minimal units of written communication, but also powerful and recognizable graphic symbols used ubiquitously in visual arts. However, with the possibility of audio and video translation of speech they are at risk of becoming absolete. What is the fate of writing in digital era, and will it be replaced by other technologies or will it prevail in its coded version? Machine Libertine is focused on several eras of writing in different media. Letter here is regarded in Lacanian sense as “a material medium each concrete discourse borrows from the language” (Lacan, 1997), thus letterism is viewed on as an attempt to define a minimal unit of a text-based piece of art.
Natalia Fedorova is a poet, new media artist, literary scholar and translator. In collaboration with a sonic artist Taras Mashtalir she founded a media poetry project Machine Libertine. Her audio and video poems appeared in TextSound, Rattapallax, LIT magazine, and Ill-Tempered Rubyist, räume für notizen | rooms for notes as well as number of international festivals (Moscow Book Festival, E-Poetry, LUMEN EX, Interrupt II, VideoBardo, Liberated Words).
Natalia holds a PhD in literary theory from Herzen State University (St-Petersburg). She is currently teaching text-based art in Smolny College (St-Petersburg State University – Bard College) and editing e-lit and new media writing column in Rattapallax magazine (NY).