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Aesthetic AnimismDigital Poetry's Ontological Implications$
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David Jhave Johnston

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034517

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034517.001.0001

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(p.193) 5 Futures
Aesthetic Animism

David Jhave Johnston

The MIT Press

The final chapter proposes a few seemingly ludicrous, perhaps-prescient prophecies. Auto-writing bots, emotive reverse-engineering, and an inexhaustible muse. I’m an artist taking refuge in academia. I make “big” claims. In this era of advanced entropy, it seems appropriate to suggest the edges, to surrender into a contingent infinite. This chapter imagines what literature will be in 5 years. Reverse engineering ingenuity and poetic sensibility may seem distant and speculative. Can irony be engineered? Can societal shock? Topologically, it does not seem intractable. In this chapter, I do what poets do: speculate, make the bones dance, read the fire, discern patterns in the entrails of an unborn animal, and imagine a fusion of three active literature/poetry portals–PennSound, Poetry Foundation, and Jacket2–on the Web in the year 2020.

Keywords:   Animism, Singularity, digital poetics, electronic literature

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