Polish Impact

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Welcome to the land of King Ubu Experimental, electronic, and otherwise unconventional Poland in a nutshell Everything begins here


Polish specialties and inspirations


Snapshots from the field of Polish digital literature in the past and today


A social network game to learn about Central and Eastern Europe


Who’s who

Keleti blokk blocks

Ha!wangarda 2016 in New York


Your spellcheckers

will be soon correcting literature into liberature, just you be patient!



We believe that everything began and shall continue to begin in Poland. In Eden, Adam and Eve spoke Polish, the protong, or the first language, from which all other languages originated (which was scientifically proven by Stanisław Szukalski, Leonardo DiCaprio’s “Polish grandfather”), Christopher Columbus was Polish, and, of course, experimental literature also began in the land upon the Vistula River. “HOW COME, ” YOU ASK? It is impossible to talk about experiments and pushing boundaries in literature1 without King Ubu or the Poles (because that is the full title of Jarry’s play). It is common knowledge that the teenage author set the action of his play “in Poland, that is, nowhere.” As, indeed, at the time he created his work, Poland was temporarily non-existent.

called this liberature1, invented bioart, wrote a me-

We want to borrow Jarry’s metaphor to tell you about

Probably most of you, our Readers, know the divide

the existing/non-existing empire in the field of literary

into the center and peripheries. You might think that

experimentation, literary thought, and digital textual-

only the center matters and that you happen to be in

ity. The Polish empire.

it. We want to make this perspective our own. We are

From this booklet you will learn that you have been

writing this book as citizens of the great non-existing/

misinformed about the history of world experimental

existing empire of King Ubu. In it we offer a selection of

literature. We want to tell you that it was really in Po-

projects that we consider to be the first, best and most

land that digital literature was invented, that a Polish

influential, without looking back at anyone else’s story.

ga-palindrome, and Poles were in the avant-garde of literary trolling. Moreover, Poles are so advanced that they have participated in the creation of a coalition against the dominance of the English language, and our experimental artists simply refuse to be called experimental.

artist was the first to introduce spatiality and networkedness into literary art, that Poles rediscovered

Therefore, gentlemen of Poland, forward!

the medium of the book for artistic expression and

Or rather, backward!





Nowa Wieś:

↪ The Liberature Reading Room

↪ Museum of Palindromes

↪ Korporacja Ha!art


↪ Ha!wangarda festival

↪ seat of Techsty

↪ Mocak Museum of Contemporary Art


you can see Dróżdż’s Między here

↪ Andrzej Głowacki’s lab

↪ Rozdzielczość Chleba often performs here



↪ You can see a lot of Dróżdż’s works here

↪ The Film Form Workshop was here

Dąbrowa Dolna k. Kielc:

↪ Radosław Nowakowski’s publishing house

ms2 — you can find some of Wojciech

Bruszewski’s works here ↪ Book Art Museum



EX P E R I M ENTAL ? From From Combinatorics to Liberature On Misunderstandings Connected with So-called “Experimental Literature” by Zenon Fajfer

It is amazing how successful this scientific word has

used whenever one wants to ignore or a work or avoid

been in the field of art. “Experimental” is used to de-

passing judgment on it (on the other hand avoiding

scribe painting, music, theatre, film; also poetry and

judgement may be the most reasonable form of contact

the novel can be “experimental.” “Experimental” is ap-

with art on the part of the critic), and often, as Ray-

plied not only to attempts to solve this or that artistic

mond Federman rightly pointed out, it is used simply

problem in the process of creating a work of art (in

to protect the reader against its pernicious influence:

this sense of the word, every writer, even the most traditional one, is experimenting, and traces of his ex-

Everything that does not fall into the category of successful

periments are left in his drawer), but also to finished

fiction (commercially, that is), or what Jean Paul Sartre

works, which, since they have been completed, are

once called “nutritious literature, ” everything that is found

no longer experiments. This subtle term of offence is

“unreadable for our readers” (that’s the publishers and

editors speaking – but who the hell gave them the right to

Divine Comedy is nothing else but, as we would call it

decide what is readable or valuable for their readers?) is

today, an enormous “linguistic experiment.” That lover

immediately relegated to the domain of experimentation

of antiquity (and other people’s wives) literally created

– a safe and useless place.

a new language for the sake of his poem!

Personally, I do not believe that a fiction writer with the


least amount of self-respect and integrity, and belief in

And nobody calls these eminent books “experimental

what he is doing, ever says to himself: “I am now going to

writing”! The term is aimed at new works, still untamed

experiment with fiction; I am now writing an experimental

(not to say, unarmed) by criticism, books so innovative

piece of fiction.”

that they evade easy evaluations and existing classi-

To put it in a nutshell, this insult is used to characterize


anything that is different, complicated, and original in the


arts, and implies, intentionally or unintentionally, that

It is high time, then, to invent another, more adequate

there is still a long way to go from experiment to “properly

term of abuse. Who knows, however, if the term isn’t

applied theory.”

worth saving to describe the activities of those con-


tract critics of literature and the other Muses, since

Is this an exaggeration? But how else can I describe

if anything is experimental, it is exactly criticism, not

the innovation of Aeschylus, who betrayed tradition

creative writing. And there is nothing wrong with that,

and introduced the second actor on the stage, while

if only we finally realize it. It is definitely an experiment

limiting the domination of the chorus? Sophocles’ fur-

on the living organism, and subsequent generations of

ther innovation, i.e. introduction of yet another actor,

critics can experiment on the same organism in differ-

could also be called “experimental.” And what about

ent ways. So it is the theory that is experimental, not

Shakespearian drama with its loose, episodic plot, re-

the practice. If anybody notices a risky paradox here,

jecting traditional rules of composition and ignoring

she is not mistaken. This statement applies also to the

the three unities? All of them were great and risky “ex-

present discourse, which I accept with all humility.

periments,” to use today’s idiom. What is more, Homer gets deserved praise from Horace for not starting his epic ab ovo. But does that not testify to his unhealthy tendency to “experiment”? And what about Dante? His

Polish specialities and inspirations

#creativecomputing #demoscene #collaborative writing #party

Did you know that Poland belonged to the part of the world that saw the birth of one of the most interesting social phenomena in the field of digital media – the demoscene? The demoscene is a subculture of computer geeks,

ular platform. Participants of the ZX Spectrum scene

who meet at demoparties, where they show off their

are a different subculture than those programming for

computing skills on old platforms and engage in Dio-

the Amiga. The machine you use is a very important

nysian partying.

identity marker.

The scene came to life in the 1980s and flourishes

Parties may gather up to a couple hundred people,

to this day. In its first days its members were called

who bring their own equipment (very often they are

“illegal boys” (“illegal” because they often engaged in

organized in school gym halls).

pirating), they were the first generation of teenagers

The demoscene is like an underground society, a social

growing up with personal computers (like the Amiga,

microcosm. The screenwriters of the cult movie Fight

Atari, Commodore, ZX Spectrum).

Club were inspired the experience of the demoscene, and the opening credits reference demo aesthetics.

One of the main elements of the parties is a competi-

The demosceners also lead a kind of double life; they

tion called “compo,” during which works from different

are regular workers in normal occupations and become

scene genres are demonstrated: especially demos and

creative all-powerful computer hackers at parties.


The demoscene has been the largest-scale known creative computing social phenomenon in history.

A party is usually organized by the users of one partic-

Moreover, it is completely independent. The parties

are organized without any institutional support or

grammers) and has its own particular sense of humor.

grants. This is a truly grassroots movement devoted

The demoscene also functions in North America, but

to testing the limits of computers and creating art.

it differs from its European counterpart in one key as-

The aim of demosecene geeks is to amaze the audience

pect. In Europe, it is difficult to imagine a party without

with their programming skills. “Old-school” demos are

alcoholic beverages...

written on retro platforms – with these works the main challenge is to overcome the limitations of the machine and present a new effect. The difference between demos and videos is that they are generated in real-time, which is often the only way, given the limited capacity of the first computers.

“In the most general definition, a demo is a [...] computer program [...] that generates

The demoscene is also a gold mine for scholars re-

an audiovisual structure in the form of an

searching the beginnings of digital textuality. It gave

animation with sound. Such a definition

birth to an array of genres, which can be seen and

of the demo underlines the key traits of

studied as e-literature. These include textual demos

demos, distinguishing them from forms

(with scrolls), games, disc magazines and digital ad-

like games, music videos, or animations

aptations of books.

created with 3D modeling tools: the demo is a real-time program, the key effects of

In Polish demoscene literature, one of the most unique

which are generated during its execution

works is The Road to Assland by Yerzmyey and the

by a processor carrying out predefined

Hooy-Program group. The title of this ZX Spectrum

computation and acting according to algo-

work is both an invitation and warning for those who

rithms that combine and process relatively

want to research the aesthetics of this subculture. Se-

simple input.”

rious respectable scientists should perhaps avoid this phenomenon, which can be at times quite politically

— Piotr Czerski, “Maszyny, które mogą

incorrect (given most of its artists were teenage pro-

wszystko,” Ha!art, 2014

What Is Liberature?

Liberature is liberty, artistic freedom, trespassing across borders between genres and arts. It is literature unconstrained by conventions, canons and critics. It is writing-weighing letters in order to build a book. It is writing that takes into account the book as a physical object. Katarzyna Bazarnik Od Joyce’a do liberatury

There are literary works in which the artistic message is transmitted not only through the verbal medium, but also through the author “speaking” via book as a whole. In such works, a drawing or a blank space has the power of a poetic metaphor, and typography is elevated to the status of a stylistic device. Language is visual and material, and its materiality is meaningful. The space of the book is no longer transparent and insignificant. The architecture of the work becomes a meaningful place that the reader can traverse or explore in unexpected ways. Hence, the material book, which can be of any shape and structure, is not just a neutral container for a text, but an integral component of the literary work. It is a spatial-temporal object shaped by authors just as they shape the fictional world through words. So such works often go beyond language and speak through blank spaces, images and other graphic elements, different kinds and colours of paper or other materials used for printing and binding. But this is not creative design or book art. These are books written by authors—writers and poets, who use the resources of the book as their material, too. It is literature in the form of the book, or liberature. The term, derived from the Latin word liber, was in-

was Oka-leczenie (Mute-I-Late) by Fajfer and Katarzyna

troduced in 1999 by Polish poet Zenon Fajfer in his

Bazarnik. The concept sprang from the couple’s col-

seminal article “Liberature. Appendix to a dictionary of

laboration on this jointly written work. After a decade,

Literary Terms.” The first book referred to as liberature

the book finally took on the shape of a triple-dos-a-dos.

The authors used this unconventional form to hint at

goes beyond the stereotype of the ordinary book,

a subtle connection between three separate stories

which makes the imprint stand out among publishing

told in the separate codices of their book—the story

lines in Poland.

of a dying man, a baby to be born, and a love affair in

between. The title can be loosely translated as “Mute-

Fajfer and Bazarnik’s books, their theoretical proposal,

I-Late” or “Eye-S-Ore.” In the original, it is a pun on the

as well as editorial and publishing activities set off

Polish word okaleczenie, which means “hurting of the

a distinct movement in contemporary Polish literature,

eye”; but when cut into halves, the word turns into

which has also attracted growing attention abroad.

its opposite: “healing on the eye.” So the title invites

Fajfer’s original idea, elaborated theoretically by Ba-

readers to cast off stereotypical habits of reading, to

zarnik and others, has gradually been recognised as

pay attention to every detail of the entire book and

a literary genre that combines verbal and non-ver-

perceive the work in more a integral way.

bal means of expression in the meaningful space of

a book. So far presentations of liberature in the form

Fajfer and Bazarnik’s next book (O)patrzenie (Ga(u)ze),

of lectures, public talks and book exhibitions have been

published in 2003, launched the imprint under the

held all over Europe, in the UK, Ireland, France, Italy,

name of Liberatura in Ha!art Publishing House. The

and beyond: in Taiwan, Japan and the USA (New York,

aim of the series is to present liberatic writing as

Chicago, Philadelphia and Oakland).

a distinct, though little acknowledged tradition that

celebrates the book as the meaningful and liberated

But one may justifiably ask what this book-bound

medium of writers (www.ha.art.pl/liberatura.html).

genre has to do with electronic literature? A lot in fact.

So far it has published over twenty titles, including

First of all, liberatic books often rely on a non-linear,

Mallarmé’s The Throw of the Dice, Queneau’s One

hypertextual kind of narration. Take B.S. Johnson’s The

Hundred Thousand Billion Poems, B.S. Johnson’s The

Unfortunates. This novel-in-a-box consists of twen-

Unfortunates, the trade edition of Oka-leczenie, the first

ty-seven unbound sections of differing length that

translation ever of Herta Müller’s poetic collages Der

can be read in any order. It tells a story of a sports

Wächter nimmt seinen Kamm and Polish translation of

journalist who arrives in an unknown city to report

James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. Each of its volumes is

on a football match and unexpectedly gets entangled

different, each has its own unique shape, and each

in a web of painful memories that this place evokes in

him. Only the “First” and “Last” sections are marked,

ten letters, in which paradoxically, the printed codex is

indicating where to enter and leave his story. The read-

much more interactive than electronic poems on the

ers may follow some temporal clues to reconstruct his

CD included in the book. In his latest work Powieki

repressed, traumatic memories in chronological order.

(Eyelids) Fajfer offers his readers an amazing textual

Alternatively, they may look for other “textual links”

labyrinth, build up from a series of emanational poems,

to reconstruct his present visit in the city, and treat

intricately interconnected on many levels. Again the

the memories as flashbacks. Finally, they may read

readers are invited to either explore it using their own

the book in any random order, as if in imitation of an

perceptivity, pen and paper and the printed book, or

associative flow of the hero’s thoughts. Raymond Que-

turn to the DVD, in which they can use arrows and

neau’s One Hundred Thousand Billion Poems also offers


the readers an incredible number of possible ways of

arranging their own sonnet. It is a highly interactive

Other authors of liberature who have close links to

book, inviting physical manipulation of this textual ma-

the electronic medium are Radosław Nowakowski

chine. Oka-leczenie also requires similar cooperation.

and Robert Szczerbowski, who are presented in oth-

The readers are not only free to choose any of the

er parts of this publication. Szczerbowski’s Antologia:

three volumes as the starting point, but may also dis-

Kompozycje. Księga żywota. Æ, published as volume 20

cover “invisible” texts hidden under the surface. While

in “Liberatura” series, is a story of imaginative fiction

reading the initials of all the words they can recover

that travels across ages and media. Reaching back to

hidden stories and discover how the whole book has

the tradition of oral storytelling, this narrative inhabits

emanated from just one word. Many other liberatic

traditional, printed codices (in Parts I and II—Compo-

works require a comparable, “non-trivial effort to tra-

sitions, and The Book of Life), and then moves beyond

verse the text,” to use Espen Aarseth’s term, equally

them to electronic platforms. Part III of the Anthology,

useful to describe electronic literature and liberature.

an untitled, programmatically anonymous text, called

Æ for convenience’s sake, is the first Polish electronic

But hypertextual structure is not the only similarity

piece of creative writing. It was initially issued in a set

between these two types of creative writing. Liberatic

comprising a 3½-inch floppy disc and the printed dos-

works often investigate the tension between paper and

à-dos booklet in 1996. However, when it appeared

virtual spaces, as does Fajfer in dwadzieścia jeden liter/

in 2013 in the Anthology, the most up-to-date digital

technology turned out to be… print. Its electronic ver-

sion is now accessible on various platforms by scanning

The first The Liberature Reading Room was found-

the QR code printed on a postcard included in the

ed in October 2002 as part of the Art Library in the


Małopolska Culture Institute on the basis of Katarzyna

Bazarnik and Zenon Fajfer’s collection and donations

Of course, this brief overview can only hint at the links

of other authors; now it is a part of the Multimedia

between liberature and electronic literature. But it is

Section of the Main Library of Malopolska Province. It

worth pointing out in conclusion that appearing three

collects contemporary works of liberatic character, and

years before N. Katherine Hayles’ “technotexts” and

works anticipating it, which could be now classified as

ten years before Jessica Pressman’s “bookishness,

liberatic, as well as theoretical and critical publications,

liberature is a uniquely Polish contribution to the dis-

reviews, notes, press clippings, and all other related

cussion on complex relations between content and

materials. It presently amounts to about 300 items

form, literary language and its material encodings, as

and is still growing. The Reading Room hosts meetings

well as preconceptions about practices of reading and

and lectures on liberature, similar artistic and literary

writing. And in liberature it is the book that appears

phenomena, and on particular authors.

as a truly innovative medium, and a non-transparent interface that by no means has exhausted its potential. liberature reading room

See more in: The Liberature Reading Room in Arteteka, in Malopolska Garden of Arts, ul. Rajska 12, Kraków, Poland www.liberatura.pl

Did you know that the celebrated Polish writer W i t o l d G o m b r o w i c z was a pioneer of modern trolling in the literary community? Witold Gombrowicz is the author of the essay Against Poets (Polish: Przeciw poetom), which was published in the 1950s in the journal Kultura, a very important publication of the Polish emigration in Paris during the communist period. The essay was written in Argentina, where Gombrowicz lived for 25 years. Gombrowicz presented his essay for the first time in

It is important to note that poetry played a crucial role

1947, when he met with his friends in the Argentinian

in shaping the Polish national identity. In particular,

bookstore and cafe Fray Moco. He read to them the

romantic poetry was considered one of the key ele-

Spanish translation of his manifesto Against Poets, writ-

ments for preserving Polishness in the time in history

ten in the poetics of a trolling comment. In this gesture

when Poland was taken apart by neighboring empires.

by Gombrowicz, who hates on poetry as a Form, as

The poetic tradition is so strong in our country that

a Church, an Institution, we find the same formula

Polish literature did not even create a strong tradition

we experience in the contemporary online strategy

of realist novels, only great poetic works and novels

of trolling. Gombrowicz’s trolling was very successful,

written according to the “poetic prose model.” Thus

provoking emotional replies from many well-known

Gombrowicz the troll attacked something most sacred,

literary scholars and poets, including the Polish Nobel

especially as he did this only two years after the Second

Prize winner in literature, Czesław Miłosz. Anecdote

World War, in which many poets died fighting. From

has it that many more important Polish literary figures

his safe refuge in Argentina, where the writer had

had sent in serious responses, but the editor of Kultura

passed the war, such trolling was extremely powerful.

persuaded them to withdraw their polemical articles,

Gombrowicz was mericless in attacking something

arguing they would make themselves look silly. Thus,

that was absolutely dominant, a taboo, a certainty and

the predigital trolling met its predigital “don’t feed the

common good. Only from out of Poland could such

troll” equivalent.

a total attack be launched.

Remebering Gombrowicz’s epic trolling in 2015 In Gombrowicz’s formula and strategy, Piotr Marec-

in Buenos Aires. And they did so presenting their

ki found a link between the times when the Polish

manifesto in the own languages, Polish and Span-

writer did a reading of his text for the Argentinian

ish. They advocated: “We know very well that all

audience and today’s digital practices. During the

that happens happens in language, it is in it that

E-Poetry Festival in Buenos Aires (2015) Gombro-

are manifest all types of domination, [...]. Language

wicz’s gesture was recreated, but directed at differ-

reproduces absolutely everything and is the most

ent forms of domination, with the use of a different

effective tool of symbolic violence. There is no need

lexicon – the one describing the struggles within

to add that as representatives of laguages that are

the field of digital literature. Thus, the English lan-

subjected and dominated we feel this everyday. The

guage was attacked as the most oppressive factor

center calls us margins, peripheries or ends of the

in the field. It is mostly in English that the current

world, and we either have no voice, or our voice is

canon of e-literature has been written and it is in

made to be uniportant, barely audible, weakened

this language that all international discussions and

so that it cannot be heard or properly expressed,

events in the field are held. To this practice Polish

on the verge of exclusion and ignoring.”

and Argentinian artists said a large, hateful NO


fektem tego spotkania było założenie kolalicji, której nazwa wyrażana może być w każdym jezyku poza angielskim, przeciwko któremu kolalicja jest zwrócona. W Buenos Aires zaczęto od nazwy polskiej, która brzmi Koalicja Przeciwko Angielskiemu jako Językowi Dominującemu, w skrócie Koalicja przeciw AngDo. Jak ustalono nierówności językowe i impreializm językowy angielskiego będziemy piętnować w każdej formule. Tę praktykę hejtingu przeciwko dominacji angielskiego poparło wiele głosów ze świata “obrzeży i peryferii.”


Stanisław Lem, the Polish science fiction writer, philosopher and futurologist, author of Solaris, foresaw in his writings electronic literature (which he called biterature) and bioliterature

Lem — the polymath

of dragons: the mythical, the chimerical, and the

Lem, Poland’s most translated writer, said of him-

purely hypothetical. They were all, one might say,

self: “It is common knowledge that Lem ate the en-

non-existent, but each non-existed in an entirely

cyclopedia, and if you shake him a bit, he will spit

different way….” Dragons of Probability is a favorite

out swarms of algorithms and formulas…” The critic

text of physicians and mathematicians, who often

Stanisław Bereś is even more direct “This writer,

use it when teaching students.. The story is also

like an intellectual bulldozer, with amazing erudite

referenced by Stephanie Strickland in her volume

ease cuts through all possible areas

Dragon Logic.

of intellectual inquiry.” Lem paired

Love, mathematics and mimesis

profound philosophical and liter-

The language of science can be

ary knowledge with education in

applied to writing about anything

science and mathematics. The writ-

– including love and eroticism (al-

ing of the author of The Cyberiad

though about the latter mostly with

(1965) abounds with references to

irony and mockery, which is typical

theories from the field of science

of Lem). The digital poet the Elec-

and often uses its language.

tronic Bard from The First Sally (A), or Trurl’s Electronic Bard generates

The story Dragons of Probability

love poetry: “A love poem, lyrical,

is one of the works in which Lem

pastoral, and expressed in the lan-

used terminology from the hard

guage of pure mathematics. Tensor

sciences, including quantum me-

algebra mainly, with a little topology

chanics. The beginning reads: “Everyone knows

and higher calculus, if need be. But with feeling, you

that dragons don’t exist. But while this simplistic

understand, and in the cybernetic spirit.” The idea

formulation may satisfy the layman, it does not suf-

of literature created by other means than human

fice for the scientific mind…Cerebron, attacking the

writers recurs in Lem’s works, and the concept of

problem analytically, discovered three distinct kinds

literature created by machines through mimesis

The Electric Bard from Warsaw

explained in the introduction to the History of Bitic Literature provides interesting interpretative context to studies on


the newest experiments

Stanisław Lem came up with

emotions spontaneously

in generative literature,

the idea of biopoetry three

using Morse Code (E. coli

especially works which

decades before Eduardo

eloquentissima), then Gulli-

appropriate the literary

Kac published his biopoetry

ver creates a literary exercise

manifesto in the Cybertext

for E.coli forcing bacteria to

Yerbook 2002/03. Lem’s

write his own poetry (E.coli

Imaginary Magniture (1973)

poetica). The poems are short

main, including work like Sea and Spar Between by

– a collection of prefaces to

and grammatical errors oc-

Stephanie Strickland and Nick Montfort or Once

fictional books – contains

cur (“Agar agar is my love as

Upon a Tide by J.R. Carpenter.

a preface to Eruntics by Regi-

were stated above”) but this

nald Gulliver, which is based

does not change the fact that

on the following idea: “Why

the bacterial poetry project

not to mutate a bacteria so it

is revolutionary. How do you

by writers through translation aggregates fed with

is be able to write? ” The main

find Lem’s ideas today when

the texts of work and other sources: biographies and

protagonist of Gulliver’s

Christian Bök succeeds with

monographs. This process allowed the machines to

experiment is Escherichia

his poetic bug (The Xenotext

spontaneously create works that should have been

coli (E. coli). At the beginning

Experiment, since 2008)? Tru-

the “microbe” is trained to

ly anticipatory, isn’t it?

canon and draw from works in the public do-

Mimesis […] was about completing the body of work

written, but their authors neglected to do so or did not have time to write them. The essence of mimesis

articulate its thoughts and

– the creation of “missing links” in literature – was thus the meticulous analysis of works by a given author, which would lead to synthesis: of threads, motives, ideas and structures – signaled in their existing works,

*** Interesting fact: The Warsaw Copernicus Science

but unstated directly. — Dariusz Brzostek, Projekt

Center has a poetry generating machine inspired by

literatury konceptualnej? O „książkach nieistniejących” Stanisława Lema, 2001]

the Electric Bard

Philip K. Dick vs Stanisław Lem Even though Stanisław Lem took a dim view on American science fiction (“poorly written, ” “interested more in adventure than in ideas or new literary forms”) he considered Philip K. Dick as one of the best sci-fi writers, “a visionary among the charlatans.” Lem’s compliments, praise and endorsement


did not withhold the accusations Dick formulated in

Their main successes would appear to be in the fields

1974 in his letter to the FBI. Dick questioned Lem’s

of academic articles, book reviews and possibly thro-

existence, claiming that “Lem” was a false name used

ugh our organization the control in the future of the

by a group of communists operating as to infiltrate

awarding of honors and titles. I think, though, at this

the field of sci-fi writing and to gain control over it

time, that their campaign to establish Lem himself as

through criticism.

a major novelist and critic is losing ground; it has begun to encounter serious opposition: Lem’s creative abilities

From Philip K. Dick’s letter to the FBI,

now appear to have been overrated and Lem’s crude,

September 2nd, 1974

insulting and downright ignorant attacks on American


science fiction and American science fiction writers

For an Iron Curtain Party group — Lem is probably

went too far too fast and alienated everyone but the

a composite committee rather than an individual, since

Party faithful (I am one of those highly alienated).

he writes in several styles and sometimes reads foreign,

It is a grim development for our field and its hopes to

to him, languages and sometimes does not — to gain

find much of our criticism and academic theses and

monopoly positions of power from which they can con-

publications completely controlled by a faceless group

trol opinion through criticism and pedagogic essays is

in Krakow, Poland. What can be done, though, I do

a threat to our whole field of science fiction and its free

not know.

exchange of views and ideas.

Did you know that composing palindromes is a national pastime in Poland? There’s even a Museum of Palindromes in Nowa

In 1996, Józef Godzic, another prolific palin-

Wieś near Serock. Despite the peculiarities of the

drome-writer, obtained the Guinness Book of Re-

Polish language, which uses a lot of consonants

cords certificate for creating a total of 50 billion

and digraphs (“cz,”“sz,”“ch.”..). Polish writers indulge

palindrome compositions. However, his name is

in writing PALINDROMADERS – extremely long

not featured in the Guinness Book of Records itself,

palindromes (the term was coined by Stanisław

since, as he explains “it turned out to be a problem

Barańczak, a celebrated Polish poet and translator).

that the palindromes where in Polish. Moreover, I was told that there are too many of them to count.”

The longest mega-palindrome written in Polish (and

Józed Godzic’s feat was possible thanks to his own

perhaps in any language) is ŻARTEM W METRAŻ! by

algorithm for writing palindromes. It is featured in

Tadeusz Morawski – it counts 33 thousand char-

his four-volume publication Taaaaaaaaaka księga,

acters; though, let’s remember – as the website of

which also lists palindrome phrases that can be used

the Museum of Palindromes advises us – it’s not

as building blocks for larger compositions. He calls

the length that counts, but the fun.

it The Moon Book, since if all the palindromes that can be created with it were to be written out, it would produce a book of a width comparable to the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

M I C H A E L J OY C E A POLISH WRITER Polish sweets may have made a cameo appearance in afternoon, a story, but his other works leave no doubts about it: Michael Joyce, the father of hypertext fiction, is a Polish writer! John Paul the II, pierogi, Wałęsa, Solidarność and vodka all abound in Twilight, a Symphony – considered Joyce’s finest hypertext. This work also happens to be a satire on the hegemony of English, where American supremacy over other languages is given a harsh lesson in irony. Through his Polish characters (Magda and Wojtek), and their complex relation to the main protagonist, Hugh, Joyce’s novel – like no other before it – breaks away from the stereotypical image of Chicago Polacks. Instead, the author of Twilight paints a picture of people originating from the Land of Ubu as highly cultured, brave fighters who can stand up to any tyranny. How did this happen? The author of these classical

reached for Old Polish silvae rerum: “books on anything

works of hypertext fiction grew up in Buffalo among

on everything” (you can read more about this form

Polish (girl) friends who read Adam Mickiewicz (the

on page 38). Michael Joyce transfers this very poetic

Polish equivalent of Byron) and Czesław Miłosz (No-

onto the computer screen. No wonder that it is the

ble Prize in Literature). The latter is famous for his

Miłosz’s piece “The Poet in Ruins” that forms the cen-

distinct poetics of disconnected fragments: heaps of

tral point of Joyce’s memos for the next millennium in

broken images that shine and make sense only after


readers connect them. In order to find an equivalent

poetic expression for the post-war experience, Miłosz

Stanisław Dróżdż’s textual


“I consider myself a poet. More of a poet than an artist, though it’s all mixed together. My poetry is closer to sciences than arts” – Stanisław Dróżdż

BETWEEN Stanisław Dróżdż is a key figure in Polish concrete

for the Biennale visitors. According to instructions,

poetry. His best-known work is the textual cave

participants were to throw the six dice lying on the

Między (Between). The installation, which currently

table located in the middle of the pavilion, place

can be seen at the Mocak Museum of Contempo-

the dice in a row and memorize or write down the

rary Art in Kraków, consists of a white cube, the

obtained sequence of pips, and then try to find it

inside walls of which are covered in rows of letters.

among the 46,656 combinations on the walls. “If

The set of letters is limited to “m,” “i,” “ę,” “d,” “z,” and

you find it, you win, if not, you lose.”

“y” — they are arranged in different combinations but never form the word itself. The viewer/reader

In the numerous reviews of Alea Iacta Est, there are two main

can enter the cube and thus be truly “between.”

interpretative motifs. The first—playing on the words uttered


by Caesar after crossing the Rubicon—refers to the cultural

Between is not the only one of Dróżdż’s poetical works regarded as a proto-cave. Another of his

contexts of acting on a Caesarean prophesy that consists of throwing the dice, which “became the synonym of game as a form of life [. . .] and as such functions until today in the langu-

works offering its viewers a reading (and game-like)

age of history, politics, art, philosophy, logics and mathematics.”

experience in a 3D environment was Alea Iacta Est

Małgorzata Dawidek Gryglicka concludes, “Cast fate decided

(2003) – exhibited at the 50th Venice Biennale. Not

about one’s position. The impossibility of influencing the final

only does this installation serve as an intriguing ex-

arrangement of the dice was what attracted most and what

ample of the analog ancestry of playable literature, but it is also a perfect example of the intersection

keeps attracting those who trust the dice. CHANCE.” The second, more common, interpretation refers to A Roll of the Dice by Stéphane Mallarmé, a poem about the number “which when

of art and science in experimental writing.

found will allow us to recognize the mathematical formula of

Drożdż’s installation in the Polish pavilion consisted

the universe, the secret of being, thus to introduce order into

of a room “inlaid” from ceiling to floor with nearly

indefinite and escaping human cognition reality.” As Grzegorz

280,000 dice, arranged in a sequence of all 46,656 of possible outcomes of a traditional game in which six dice are thrown. The author prepared a game

Dziamski emphasizes, we keep on looking for this number but we can come across it only by chance (“Every thought is a roll of the dice and the roll of the dice will never abolish chance”). Alea Iacta Est has been also made into a six-volume book published in 2006. Its pages are covered with the uninterrupted flow of pips.


#appropriation #erasure #loss

It is a common practice in experimental literature to employ uncreative writing practices, such as appropriation, and to remix renowned works of traditional literature. One of the canonical Polish authors who have had

to English by Celina Wieniewska as The Street of

the greatest influence on world literature in general

Crocodiles (Polish title: Sklepy cynamonowe). Using

is Bruno Schulz. His small but extremely powerful

this cut-up technique he created the Tree of Codes.

body of work has inspired countless references

Foer, who calls Schulz’s work “the richest text that

and tributes.

he knows.” The American writer also underlines

The writer’s works are accompanied by the story

that during the erasure process he had “the feeling

of his death, to which writers inspired by Schulz

that [he] was…transcribing a dream that The Street

often allude. David Goldfarb explains:

of Crocodiles might have had.”

When Schulz’s work began to appear in English, it was accompanied by When Schulz’s work began to appear in English, it was accompanied by the dramatic the dramatic story of his death. As a Jew with valuable artistic talents, story of his death. As a Jew with valuable artistic talents, Schulz had enjoyed the Schulz had enjoyed the protection of a Nazi officer named Felix Landau protection of a Nazi officer named Felix Landau who employed him to paint murals who employed him to paint murals for his children. During an anti-Jewish for his children. During an anti-Jewish action known as ‘Black Thursday’ in Schulz’s action known as ‘Black Thursday’ in Schulz’s home town of Drohobycz home town of Drohobycz on November 19, 1942, Landau allegedly shot a Jewish on November 19, 1942, Landau allegedly shot a Jewish dentist who was dentist who was protected by another Nazi officer named Karl Günther. The story, protected by another Nazi officer named Karl Günther. The story, told told by Izydor Friedman to Ficowski, is that Günther shot Schulz in revenge, with by Izydor Friedman to Ficowski, is that Günther shot Schulz in revenge, the line ‘you shot my Jew; I shot your Jew’. These words, uttered over the body of with the line ‘you shot my Jew; I shot your Jew’. These words, uttered over one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, are so ghoulishly mesmerising the body of one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, are so that they threaten to overshadow Schulz’s own luminous words. (David Goldfarb, ghoulishly mesmerising that they threaten to overshadow Schulz’s own luAppropriations of Bruno Schulz, 2011) minous words. (David Goldfarb, Appropriations of Bruno Schulz, 2011)

Schulz’s texts have also been rewritten, remixed and appropriated by Polish artists. One controversial example of such practices is the textual generator by Leszek Onak Cierniste diody [Thorny diodes], in which the story August is remixed with the manual for the iconic Polish car Fiat 125p. In 2013 Korporacja Ha!art published a digital adaptation of Schulz’s stories, under the titled Bał-

It is thus unsurprising that many writers appro-

wochwał, to celebrate the entrance of the artist’s

priating Schulz base the concept of their pieces

work into the public domain. The authors of the

around the motif of loss, erasure and absence. Jon-

adaptation, which was stylized to look like a ret-

athan Safran Foer physically cut out the majority of

ro textual game, are Mariusz Pisarski and Marcin

text from Schulz’s collection of stories translated


REBECCA: You are right. One would find in one column, for example, the story of Marquesa de val Florida being unfaithful to her husband, in the other the effects this event had on him. That would no doubt clarify the story

VELASQUEZ: It is a veritable labyrinth. I had always thought that novels and other works of that kind should be written in several columns like chronological tables.

A proto-hypertext from 1810: T h e M a n u s c r i p t Found in S aragossa by Jan Potocki

Count Jan Potocki’s Le Manuscrit trouvé à Saragosse (1794-1810) is considered to be the first Polish proto-hypertext. Spanning 66 chapters and populated by a large and colorful cast of Gypsies, demons, inquisitors and cabbalists, Potocki’s frametale fiction challenges the linearity of print – a medium unfit to present complexity of spoken tales. The Manuscript Found in Saragossa’s structure of sto-

In 1965, the novel was adapted into the film The

ries-within-stories reaches several levels of depth.

Saragossa Manuscript by director Wojciech Has,

Its characters and motifs – a few of the most prom-

with Zbigniew Cybulski as Alfonse van Worden.

inent being honor, disguise, metamorphosis and

In 2012, Korporacja Ha!art published a hypertext

conspiracy – recur and change shape throughout.

version of Potocki’s novel, created by Mariusz Pis-

As a collection of numerous intersecting tales, the

arski and illustrated by Jakub Niedziela. The adap-

work calls for better presentation and cross-refer-

tation was presented on the exhibition of digital

encing not possible until the emergence of digital

literature in Bibliothèque Nationale de France

technology. Potocki himself, through Velasquez –

during ELO 2013 Conference. It has all the navi-

one of his main characters – suggests additional

gational tools Potocki could have imagined: tables

tools in form of “chronological tables” that would

of narrators and characters, 800 links, and a new

sort the complex narrative content by protagonists

device called “post-links.”

and dates. Many intermezzos and meta-fictional references further implode the linearity of print and the very temporal nature of storytelling.

For Polish people predigital writing is so

f i ve c e n tu ri es ago

It was not uncommon for the “authors” of these volumes to include members of the whole family, sometimes even the entire generation. Hence, quite often one could see in them many different “characters” of handwriting, ranging from some that could easily delight calligraphers to scribbles made by trembling old men or by hands just taken off a sabre or a plough (K. Bartoszewski)

SILVAE RERUM Polish literature, from the Baroque up until the 19th century, exhibited the wide popularity of an ergodic, dynamic form of writing with textonic user functions. Called silvae, from silva rerum [Latin for ‘forest of things’] these works were distributed among noble class, whose members were at the same time readers, characters, writers, commentators and editors of a single work. Often collaborative and multi-generational, the handwritten silva was an all-in-one genre: a diary, a scrapbook, a collection of poems and other artifacts. Dating back to Ancient Roman times, silva was reborn in some parts of Europe, especially in Poland, during the Baroque period, and is considered one of the best examples of predigital openness and heterogeneity of form. The first documented example of Polish silva was an

a common practice. If a reader wanted to browse

anonymous manuscript written between 1560 and

the family history in regards to financial aspects, he

1570. It contained odes, trifles, and erotic poems

or she skipped through occasional poems and fo-

of the two most prominent authors of the era: Jan

cused just on economic information. If we consider

Kochanowski and Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński, as well as

that comments written by fathers could be followed

three unidentified Latin poems and a Latin-Polish

by those written by sons and this process could go

school draft. Later silvae could contain much more

on through generations, a single silva appears to

varied artifacts, including recipes for a long-lasting

be a huge axial hypertext (the axis being formed

writing ink and hints for killing rats; some also fea-

by the temporal framework of the family chronicle

tured locks of hair of family members.

and the physical boundaries of a manuscript), more

compound and complicated than contemporary

An exemplary silva was hard to read in a linear fash-

Internet blogs. By definition, the silva is a work in

ion. Some manuscripts had almost two thousand

statu nascendi, written and read by a specific group

pages. Skipping through material must have been

of people it changes as their lives change, and it

ends when there is no one to write the story further.

a multiple text, it is open to additions, comments and

During the time of writing it has many features of


PERMUTATONAL POEMS Did you know that the revolting nature of Poles gave way to some morally ambiguous permuta-

Another interesting fact: it could take you three thou-

tional poems as early as in Baroque period? In

sand years to read a single permutational poem, Car-

the anonymous Cuirass Hardened for an Ancient

men Infinitum by the Jesuit poet Ksawery Prolewicz

Knight (1663) – a visual poem on the code of con-


duct for knights – the readers could read the text

The poem is composed from seven concentrically arranged

towards two conflicting verses and stanzas, one

circles, each enclosing a part of the text. The starting point

in line with the Church and one in line with more

is always in the center of the circle and the sentence placed

Dionysian values. Two swords were printed on the

there: The sadness bearer. Thanks to its combinatorial formula

page that were suppose to cut out two different

the poem resembles an incessant litany. In his commentary

world views:

the author claimed that to be able to read all the possible variants one should live at least three thousand years.

reading one

You shall have no other gods,

Other visual and permutational works from the Baroque

hey live against all the odds

include poems in the form of a garden, a snake, a star, a laby-

You shall not make wrongful use

rinth, a cross, and even an obelisk mounted with a star (Kanty

of the name of your Lord,

Herka, Porta Triumphalis (1725).

you will be excused

▶ Carmen Quadratum by Władysław Simandi (1719) is a serious

reading two

permutational machine. Based on the principle of Carmen

You shall have other Gods,

XXV from the 4th century by Optatianus Porfirius, Carmen

hey live against all the odds

Quadratum allowed all the words from the first five columns

You shall make wrongful use

to be arranged at random. Only the third word in every verse

of the name of your Lord, you will be excused

is stable – it guarantees the effect, namely that every permutation (1,62 billion possibilities) will produce a hexameter.

di d yo u kn o w

that a one-letter work can emanate an entire long story? Did you know that a whole poem can evolve from a single letter? I didn’t know that this was possible, but Polish poet, Zenon Fajfer did. How did he do It? Look:

This is Fajfer’s “Ars Poetica.” These screenshots show how a whole textual universe can be born out a single word, and how the text can return to the embryonic IT. “Ars Poetica” has become so emblematic of Polish electronic literature that it even made it into school textbooks. If you read it in a printed version, you must discover the invisible texts yourself. But if you are too lazy to do this, you can read its kinetic, animated version at http://www.techsty.art.pl/magazyn3/fajfer/Ars_poetica_polish. html (the Polish original) and at http://www.techsty.art.pl/magazyn3/fajfer/Ars_poetica_english. html (its English translation).

Fajfer uses the emanational form in other poems and books, too: his liberatic Oka-leczenie and (O)patrzenie, written with Katarzyna Bazarnik, his famous bottlebook-poem


przez ozonową dziurę (Detect Ozone Whole Nearby), printed on a transparent plastic sheet placed in an empty vodka bottle, as well as the labyrinthine hypertext Powieki (check it out on Techsty, issue 9/2014 (http:// techsty.art.pl/m9/).

DARING TRANSLATION PROJECTS Polish translators know no fear. King Ubu’s land

went to the bin of failed translational projects.

is one of the few countries on Earth to boast a com-

As a result of these perturbations Poland’s gift

plete translation of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.

to the world was the first browser version of the

In 2012 Korporacja Ha!art published Krzysztof

Storyspace classic! Afternoon for Firefox and Safari

Bartnicki’s translation – his feat took 10 years to

was published by Ha!art in 2011 (R. Nowakowski,

accomplish. Krzysztof Bartnicki has also created

M. Pisarski, J. Jagiełło).

projects inspired by Joyce, including a “Da Capo al Finne” (2013), in which he takes of Joyce’s mas-

Another area enthusiastically explored by Polish

terpiece only the letters, which are used in music

translators is language transfer of generators.

notation (ABCDEFGH). In the thus created score

Monika Górska-Olesińska, Aleksandra Małecka,

he found motives from Haydn, Chopin, and also

Piotr Marecki and Mariusz Pisarski have translated

The Imperial March from Star Wars.

a choice of generators by Nick Montfort into Polish. The latter three are also contributors to the Ren-

In the field of e-lit, translation from Polish into for-

derings project headed by Nick Montfort, which

eign languages, and the other way round flourishes.

is devoted to translating and porting highly com-

One of the pioneer projects was the translation

putational and otherwise unusual literary works.

of afternoon, a story by Michael Joyce, which was

Piotr Marecki and Aleksandra Małecka are work-

a challenge not only for literary, but also for tech-

ing on a variety of projects involving experimental

nical reasons. The test port of a Polish version for

translation techniques, like redoing, multimedia

Storyspace, which was ready in 2008, turned our

translation or automatic translation. At the 2015

hardly readable! Lack of support for Polish diacrit-

Electronic Literature Conference they decided to

ics resulted in a serious inability of preserving the

present their book with the automatic translation

conditional links. In the end, despite warm support

of Alfred Jarry’s King Ubu into Polish.

from Eastgate Systems, afternoon in Storyspace PL


Stanisław Czycz’s struggles with the typewriter In the 1950s Stanisław Czycz created a series of non-linear poliphonic poems, in which he placed columns of parallel voices one beside the other. He refused to be limited by the standard piece of paper, and sought to expand his writing surface, experimenting with a regular-sized typewriter and an A3 sheet of paper or gluing pages to obtain scrolls. Czycz’s heroic struggles to obtain the works he imagined (with unconventional typesetting and coloured text) using limited technical equipment became the stuff of local Kraków legends. His works were like scores for multimedia artwork, yet impossible in his times, and included not only texts, but also musical notation and images.

[…] The dramatic struggle to note down the poetic work about Andrzej Wróblewski became the

His most famous work is Arw, which started as

personal drama of the artist, who had to fight

a screenplay about the life of the painter Andrzej

with the typewriter to preserve the image of the

Wróblewski commissioned by Andrzej Wajda, but

famous painter for posterity. It was terrible...

turned into a long experimental poem.

— Sylwester Marynowicz

Czycz’s writing was a print anticipation of digital literature, representing many of its traits, like nonlinearity and multimediality.


Żuk Piwkowski’s Book of All Words Long, long ago, in the 1970s, behind the Iron Curtain,

with the page number and chapter number.

Żuk Piwkowski wrote his pioneering e-literary works

Żuk Piwkowski wrote the algorithm for his Book in

for the miniframe computer.


His goal was to create a total Borgesian work, which

The work, originally written for a miniframe computer,

would contain all possible words (using letters from

was later rewritten in html and published online.

the Latin alphabet), a 1:1 linguistic map.

The failed performance

He called his work The Book of All Words.

In the 1980s, Żuk Piwkowski wanted to organize

a performance that would involve writing the Book

It truly does contain all words, existing and non-ex-

of All Words over a long distance. A user in in one city

isting ones.

(Boston, Paris or Warsaw) would type in a word, and it

would be printed in one of the other cities. Everything

The reader may type any word of any length and the

was prepared at Centre Pompidou in Paris and at MIT

program will print the page with the word, together

in Cambridge, MA, but...

“In Poland telephone communication was connected by operators. I had the codes and passwords for the computer at MIT, I had the access code to a computer in a military center in Warsaw, which wanted to work with me. Maybe they wanted to get into that MIT computer. [laugh] It all had to go through a telephone connection, and unfortunately it was impossible to get through these operators. […] We tried for hours, but we never connected.” ↪ Żuk Piwkowski

WO J CIECH B R U S ZEWS K I ’S MACHINES FOR NEW WORDS AND OTHER PURPOSES Photographs of sound, a four-arm gramophone, sonic camera, a radio station that broadcasts a never-ending, computer generated philosophical dialogue – are just a few of the tools invented by Wojciech Bruszewski in order to explore the cognitive potential of a machine and its “hypothetical consciousness.” A graduate of film direction at the Polish National

nature. Fascinated by Jorge Louis Borges’s com-

Film, Television and Theater School in Łódź, and

binatorial methods, Bruszewski created the first

a member of the avant-garde, Łódź-based group

versions of his interactive, literary device titled

Warsztat Formy Filmowej (WFF), Bruszewski be-

Nowe słowa [New Words] or Maszyna do nowych słów

gan with experiments with form in film, but then

[New Word Machine] in 1972. In the first version,

moved on to studying the role of a wide range

the “machine” was made of five cubes strung on

of mediatory factors in our perception of reality:

a piece of rope stretched between two posts. The

from language through photographic camera to

sides of the cubes featured single letters, the rows


of which formed “words” nonexistent in the Polish

Of direct interest to e-literature are Bruszewski’s

language. By turning the cubes, the viewer-operator

hybrid forms of cybertextual and combinatorial

could change the combination of letters, and thus

New Words

(when viewers unveiled the canvas, hidden parts were revealed). In Maszyna poetycka [Poetry Machine] (19821984), the idea and technical design of the original concept of a combinatorial device was further developed. This time it was based on electronic integrated circuits: the

create “new words.” In Text (1974), Bruszewski explored typographic, calligraphic and vocal elements in a photographic canvas with printed text, hung on a wall in a way that was both – fragmentary (as a static piece of material the flag revealed only parts of text), and interactive

generator was made of a light board with a row of twelve letter displays made from electronically controlled fluorescent lamps. The function of the random mechanism was fulfilled by a white noise generator and electronic circuits translating its impulses into the displaying of particular letters.

The pinnacle of Bruszewski’s combinatorial work was Sonety [Sonnets] (1992-96), a series of generative poetry installations. An Amiga computer programmed by Bruszewski

title was obtained by copying the first three words

selected strings of vowels and consonants at ran-

of the first line and adding dots. The beginning of

dom. The generated units – after forming words of

the first sonnet generated during the premiere

one to eight letters in length – arranged themselves

installation in 1992 read as follows:

into one of the two classic sonnet forms. To include

Yk dog fudc ana iffulci faz re ztyw,

rhymes, the three letters of each line were copied

Pa dygl pa af tnap pnyqacr iz ygofabe.

and inserted at the end of the appropriate line, de-

Ga yzmopy apoles gaqnynz pobomaj vfuabe,

pending on the chosen structure of the sonnet. The

Tedu amquci obe e dyjneb e ud urmutyw.

Sonety was a multimodal project, in which the text generated on screen was simultaneously printed in a book format and read by a speech synthesizer or by an invited actor. The work proved to be one of the most spectacular and memorable of Bruszewski’s performances, even more so since it changed its name depending on the location at which it was exhibited. Thus, there


were Leipzig Sonnets (Leipzig,

The letter set was limited to the vowels A, E, O, U and conso-

Medienbiennale, 1992), Wrocław

nants R, P, S, L, C, F, H. Each of them was assigned a fixed place

Sonnets (Wrocław, WRO festival,

in the row and their succession was designed in such a way that

1993), Budapest Sonnets (Buda-

the randomly generated sentences would be pronounceable.

pest, The Butterfly Effect, 1996) and Warsaw Sonnets (Warszawa, Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej,

The assignment of spaces between the words was also partly random, but the row of letters would always be divided into two or three words.


Bruszewski’s Amiga 2000 was able to generate two sonnets per minute. The first collection of

AMIGA AS A POETRY PLATFORM During his many years of artistic work, Bruszewski used the Amiga computer in his projects. When this platform lost the market battle to other computers, Bruszewski gave up on programming.

Sonnets containing three hundred fifty-nine poems took a night to generate. On the next day it was printed and bound. The same procedure was used for the next seven volumes of poems, but, thanks to the use of a faster machine (Amiga 4000), the time needed for generating the complete volume was reduced to two hours.

KING OF L I BERLAN D IA In the Kingdom of Ubu, Radosław Nowakowski stands as a kingdom on his own: a prolific creator of art books, a drummer playing “music of flying fish” (as Osjan, the band he plays with, describes it), author of bookish installations and several works of hypertext fiction including a polyvocal opus magnum Koniec świata według Emeryka (The End of the World according to Emeryk; Korporacja Ha!art, Kraków, 2005). In this vast and dense labyrinth of text, voice is given to a plethora of human and non-human, animate and inanimate narrators who recount their own points of views on the events of one single summer day. An ardent fan of James Joyce, Gertude Stein and Glenn Gould,

the National Library in Warsaw, Stanford University Library,

Nowakowski was also the best person in Poland to under-

Wexford Arts Centre, the School of the Art Institute of Chi-

take translating the works of Michael Joyce: afternoon, a story

cago (Joan Flaxman Library), The New York Public Library,

(popołudnie, pewna historia, 2011) and Twilight. A Symphony

the British Library, Canadian Centre for Architecture in Mon-

(Zmrok, symfonia, 2015).

treal, Copenhagen Kunstindustrimuseum, and the Book Art Museum in Łódź?

Did you know…

…. that the longest hypertext in book form (Sienkiewicza Street

… Nowakowski wrote what could be considered a Borgesian

by Nowakowski) stretches for nearly 10 meters and can be

literary MMORPG — a series of digital, branching calligrams

read from any side? Sienkiewicza Street employs a visual, comic

entitled Liberlandia (2009). Nowakowski encourages Liber-

book like representation of one of the longest high streets in

landia readers to have their own Liberlandia passports and

Poland (in Kielce) to tell numerous micro stories about shops,

become citizens of this evolving, multi-lingual, textual, lab-

houses, their inhabitants and random pedestrians. In May

yrinthine state.

2005 it won the 2nd Prize at the International Book Arts Fair

Competition in Seoul.

The author lives in a village near the Łysogóry mountain range,

where he and his wife run the Liberatorium publishing house

… twenty self-made books by Nowakowski were exhibited


on almost every continent and are in special collections of



Andrzej Głowacki is the kind of artist who combines his creative practices, as an architect and writer, with academic research. He founded his own lab (a rarity in Polish humanities) in Rzeszów and equipped it with a digital cave for literary experiments. However, for this author AR technology is no gimmick and its use is inscribed into his consequent theoretical, educational and artistic practice. The key theoretical and practical category for

works is Archetyptura (2011). The print book has

Głowacki is empathy, which he understands as

only QR codes and minimalist illustrations, which

designing his works in such a way that they invite

refer the reader to the electronic work, which in

the user to leave their trace and co-create the work

turn invites her to leave their mark (drawing, writ-

(Głowacki founded a scientific journal devoted to

ing) on the print book. But Głowacki’s team explores

these problems, titled CyberEmpathy). In his work,

also more unusual platforms for e-lit, including tea

he draws on his experience as a successful architect.

bags, bed sheets or bow ties.

He produces most of his works with his laboratory

They describe these projects with the neologism

team, with which he works on applications using

“archetypture,” composed of the words “literature,”

AR technology or spatial cave writing. One of their

“architecture,” and “archetype.”


and their translation

Katarzyna Giełżyńska is a Prague-based artist, who works for Czech television designing graphics and opening credits. After hours, she uses her talents to create minimalist video poems. Mixing clever visual and linguistic puns with philosophical pondering, she strives no less than to describe the world. In 2012 Katarzyna Giełżyńska published a collection of poems titled Con(du)it (“Conduit” is the name of the font used in the poems). In 2014 together with Aleksandra Małecka she embarked on the task of translating the collection, using a multimedia approach, which involved redoing some of the pieces with new sound and graphics. Both volumes can be accessed at Ha!art’s website – be sure to compare the two language versions. Con(du)it in Polish: www.ha.art.pl/gielzynska | Con(du)it in English: www.ha.art.pl/conduit Con(du)it has been included in Volume 3 of the Electronic Literature Collection.






[shooter game]


Rozdzielczość Chleba [Resolution of Bread] was founded in 2011, nominally as a publishing house, in practice as a social and technological production facility generating new waves in culture. The name of the group references the first act of piracy – described in the pages of the New Testament – committed by Jesus Christ himself by multiplying bread for the people gathered around him. Rozdzielczość Chleba’s poetry series, the center-

books devoted to broadly defined cyberculture,

piece of their publishing activities, features talented

as well as the journal Nośnik [Medium], which serves

young poets, who see experimentation as fuel for

as a platform for the irregular presentation and

their creative work. Other publications include

summary of the group’s interventions. Alongside

publishing, the collective also holds performances

cyberhobo movement [cyberżulerstwo], in which

and artistic interventions, which combine literature,

its members explore the artistic and aesthetic

intermedia and visual arts. Rozdzielczość Chleba’s

consequences of Internet addiction, sitting glued

activity is entirely non-profit, and its publications

to a computer and lack of physical activity other

and documentation of many artistic interventions

than scrolling images. Another successful project

can be downloaded freely. The members of the

is ZUSwave, which has gained great popularity, as

group are: Leszek Onak, Łukasz Podgórni and Piotr

a surprising and pleasing combination of post-inter-

Puldzian Płucienniczak.

net aesthetics and decor characteristic of the early phase of Polish capitalism. The computerization of

Rozdzielczość Chleba has been described in pop-

the ZUS (the Polish Social Insurance Institution)

ular weeklies, art magazines and academic books

cost more than NASA’s mission to Mars – this cal-

as a phenomenon unique not only for Poland, but

culation sheds a new light on the complexity of the

for the entire region. The analyses underline the

relationship between society and technology…

group’s uncompromising approach to copyright and

In the nearest future the group is planning esca-

the economy of the field of art/literature, its conse-

pades to the areas of copyright piracy, motorization

quent realization of its independent program and

and cybersex.

the promotion of what is described as cyberculture. Rozdzielczość Chleba’s most recent project is its

Website: http://ść-ch.pl

KELETI BLOKK BLOCKS Blokowisko Dear Pen Pal,

So, to explain: in the past there were some wise people, who wanted all people, whether rich or poor, to live

My name is Slavko, I am eleven years old and I live

in comfortable and modern conditions. They wanted

in Eastern Europe. My English teacher told me to

people to stop living in houses, to which there leads

write to you and tell you about my home. Because

a trail of mud, and to live in blocks of flats for many

for some time now there is no more Russian in

families, to which there is a road, and from where it

schools, but English. In the student’s book there

is close to work, to the park and to the store. But this

were a lot of useless expressions, like tiles or local

was the communist’s idea, and everything that came

community. I had to look up in the dictionary how

from the communists is bad, so now again there are

to say blokowisko in English. I found: “residential

houses being built, and there are trails of mud leading

district consisting of large blocks of flats.” Mom said

to them, because developers are for building houses,

she wasn’t sure that was it and maybe you don’t

not for building roads, and the municipal authorities

have such a word.

are for yet something else (mom says I should write that this is typical for periphery countries).

So, anyway, something went wrong with those wise

a burglar alarm, because, as the Eastern European

people’s ideas, because there is no park anymore,

saying advises “What is guarded, God guards.” This

there are new houses there, with a trail of mud

is probably why there recently appeared a big fence

leading to them, and instead of going to the store,

around our block and now we can’t play anymore

we drive to a supermarket in the suburbs. This is be-

with children from the neighboring block.

cause there is no bakery or grocery store anymore – but there are other stores. Like the store with

The corridors are common space. Common space

English second hand clothing or German chemical

is a place where you can’t keep a bike, because, as

products. There are also places where you can take

the neighbor says, this is a common space. In the

out a loan, remove a simlock or duplicate your keys.

past there used to be a lot of glass from broken bottles, but since we have the fence, only common

And, thanks to European subsidies, we have a foot-

space is left.

ball (soccer) field in our neighborhood, but the field is closed, because it is unclear who should pay the

And now a bit about the apartment. In the times

janitor (the municipal authorities are for something

where there was Russian in school, the apartments

else). There is also a new lawn, because on the old

were all the same. Everyone has their own all-in-one

one there was no grass, only dirt. Now there is grass,

sofa, and in the dining room there was a Plywood

but you cannot walk on it, because you will ruin it.

wall unit, and in the wall unit there was crystal

There is a sign that informs us about that: “Don’t

glass from Bulgaria. Now, when there is English

step on the grass.”

in schools, they are also all the same, because everyone does their own euro-renovation, but what

In a blokowisko it is very important whether someone

counts is who does it first. In order to do your eu-

is rich or poor. Those who are rich always block the

ro-renovation you need to buy European furniture,

sidewalk with a big car. Those who are poor block

that is furniture that is too large for our small rooms.

the sidewalk with an even bigger car. Moreover,

For instance, in my room, after the euro-renovation,

rich or poor, every-one has a satellite antenna and

in order to turn on the light, you need to move the

desk, and in order to sit at the desk, you have to fold

So a lot changes after the euro-renovation, but one

the bed. Moreover, after the euro-renovation there

thing that does not are noises. In the day you hear

is no more dining room, but a salon, and no more

the neighbors fighting or going to the toilet. And

wall unit, but a drink bar, and in the drink bar there

in the night you hear trucks backing up. Mom says

is duralex glassware instead of crystal glass. If you

it’s because we are a transit country. After I looked

don’t have money, it’s enough to buy the duralex,

up all these words in the dictionary, I asked Mom

hide the crystals in the closet (you never know), and

between what countries was this transit, if all the

just call the rest by different names. What you must

countries around are periphery countries and Mom

buy is a shower with a radio and massager, but you

said that between the West and the West. I don’t

have to watch out for the water not to spill on the

understand any of this, perhaps you can explain this

floor, because commie-piping cannot handle the

to me, since you live there.

euro-water inflow. I think that’s all. If you want to know more about Another thing that changed are the colors of our

blokowisko and housing blocks, I invite you to our

blocks. They say they used to be all gray, with plaster

Facebook game. It may seem surprising to you,

falling off. Today the plaster falls off too, but the

but blokowiska in Eastern Europe differ between

blocks are colorful, with colors like lemon yellow or

countries, as much as the countries themselves.

fuchsia. Mom says this is because my countrymen,

Maybe you are surprised that we have Internet

and especially Lech Wałęsa, fought for freedom,

in our blocks. Until quite recently, the neighbors

and freedom means you are free to do anything.

would arrange to come together and hang cables

For instance you are free to have a business and

between windows. But then the wind would blow

advertise it, and this is why there is freedom to cov-

and tear the cables down. One time Dad tried to

er all the windows in our block with a large ad for

catch a cable flying in the wind like that, but it hit

mayonnaise. And people are free to build up their

him in the face. Luckily, now there is Wi-Fi and you

balconies with columns in a European style – Doric,

don’t have to make arrangements with anyone, you

Ionic or Corinthian.

just have to hack their password.

Yours, Slavko

Keleti blokk bloki (Hungarian for “the blocks of the Eastern Bloc”) is a Facebook game, in which participants try to

(the semiotics of urban space seen through the lens

identify the geographical location of housing blocks

of the Street View camera), sociology (researching

from Google Street View screenshots. The game

stereotypes about each country of the Eastern bloc,

challenges the popular belief that housing blocks

which are – successfully or not – applied by the

look identical from East Germany to Vladivostok

participants), and digital textuality (the participants’

and works to undermine the image of the Eastern

justifications of their guesses take on the form of

Bloc as a monolith, shaped by the discourse of the

short prose forms). “Keleti blokk bloki” has inspired

West. “Keleti blok blokki” is an interesting subject

at least two digital literary forms: flash non-fiction

for inquiry at the junction of visual anthropology

and street view reportage.

RULES OF THE GAME The objective of the game is to guess the country

The objects most often erased include road signs,

of a block posted by another participant. As the

car brand signs, air conditioning, signs with names

name “Keleti blokk bloki” indicates, the buildings

of institutions, national symbols. What remains is

can come from any location in the “keleti blokk.”

architecture and details (curtains, sidewalk curbs,

The pictures, mostly screenshots from Google

colors of the buildings) and the general visual con-

Street View, are posted by the participants on the

text. The guessing involves venturing hundreds of

game’s Facebook group. The players can censor

stereotypes and myths, which sometimes prove

fragments of the picture, which seem too charac-

useful, and sometimes prove misleading.

teristic, in order to make the guessing more difficult.

KAMIKADZE LOGGIA a DIY addition to the block, out of all kinds of building material. It is found in countries, in which during the transformation construction law was absent or was a dead letter, that is in most of the former republics of the USSR. It is used as a storage room, fridge, studio, extra room or patio.

AIR CONDITIONERS for obvious reasons, they can be found in the Balkans, Caucasus and Central Asia. For less obvious ones – in all of Russia, including Siberia. Preliminary research suggests this is due to overproduction of air conditioners in the USSR.

HIGH WHITE CURBS they are found predominantly in the former republics of the USSR, due to fear of sneaky imperialist potato bugs, as well as antipathy towards cyclists – cultural representatives of the rotten West. Lace curtains with the decorative motive of geese – a specialty of former German Democratic Republic. They are also observed in countries aspiring to German civilization, like the Czech Republic or Slovenia. Sometimes, they are also hung – but this requires training in history – in a country aspiring to Roman civilization, that is Romania.

THE MAJORITY OF CARS ARE SUVS – characteristic of countries, for which the coveted an unequaled model of empowerment is oligarchy – Bulgaria, Moldavia, Ukraine.

PRIVATIZATION OF ELEVATION PAINTING flourishes in the countries with the fastest plummeting social network indexes – Poland and Russia. This also occurs in Ukraine, though recently less frequently.

Ha!wangarda: LIBERATURE, ARTISTS’ BOOKS & E-LITERATURE exhibition catalogue New York 2016

What is LIBERATURE? Liberature is a kind of literature in which text and its material form constitute an organic whole in accordance with the authors intention. The name of the genre was proposed in 1999 by Polish poet Zenon Fajfer. “Liberatura” imprint is an editorial project of Katarzyna Bazarnik and Zenon Fajfer published since 2003 as part of Korporacja Ha!art Publishing House in Krakow. Each title published in the imprint has its own unique shape which is dictated by the requirements of its text. The books trespass editorial conventions and often have unconventional shapes. Described as “the most astonishing publishing series in Poland, ” it has attracted international attention and been presented at literary festivals, book fairs and conferences all over the world. The books presented in the exhibition come from Liberature Reading Room in Arteteka, the multimedia section of the Main Library of Malopolska Voivodship in Krakow, Poland, founded and curated by Katarzyna Bazarnik and Zenon Fajfer since 2002. Some books in the e-literature section come from Ha!art archive, and Piotr Marecki’s private library.

What is the ARTIST’S BOOK? The artist’s book has culturally-specific, and often mutually exclusive, meanings. In Poland, the term is strongly associated with the visual arts, being historically grounded in the rich tradition of the literary avant-garde, and strict control of printing technologies in the age of communism. It can be described as a self-contained, autonomous, artistic work expressed through or inspired by the form of the book, which may include text, but this needn’t be so. This qualification, more relevant to the American or Polish traditions of book art, is contestable in French livre d’artiste, which are joint compositions of a poet and a painter, often coordinated by an editor and typographer. Regardless of local differences, artists’ books are considered hybrid forms situated between literature, the visual arts, sculpture, installation, and even the happening. As Johanna Drucker contends, the category is so broad that “there are no specific criteria for defining what the term covers, ” and it is “as little bound by constraints of medium or form as those more familiar rubrics ‘painting’ and ‘sculpture’.” Despite some striking similarities between liberature and artists’ books — such as a liberal approach to conventions, materials, modes, and media—liberature is narrower in its generic claims and affiliations. It is better described as a kind of book-bound writing with

a clear literary dominant, in which all other dimensions are subservient to text. The dominant of the artist’s book is in the visual, and the aesthetic, articulating meaning more through forms than language itself. The exhibits in the Artists’ Books Gallery and OffLINE at CENTRAL BOOKING serve to illuminate specificities of each genre, and their many interrelations.

What is E-LITERATURE? Just as book art, electronic literature, or e-lit, is a richly diverse field of artistic practices which combine text, images, motion, sound, music, computer codes, and hardware specificity, and often involves readers/viewers in an interaction. Its constantly evolving forms include on-line and off-line hypertexts, kinetic poetry using Flash or other platforms, digital art installations which require reading or have other literary aspects, conversational characters (so-called chatterbots), digital interactive poetry and fiction, literary apps, email, SMS messages, or blog novels, computer generated poems, stories, collaborative writing projects and other kinds of online performances that develop new ways of writing. Many of e-lit works have a considerable textual component of literary quality; all rely on “the capabilities and contexts provided by the stand-alone or networked computer” (http://eliterature.org/what-is-e-lit/). Although much literary activity is moving into the digital environments, a reverse process is also noticeable. The exhibition also features several digital-born printed, or otherwise materially “analogue” works, or those that problematize stereotypical expectations about the capabilities of print and the electronic media.

Why use CATEGORIES at all? Although the works collected in this exhibition are gathered under the above labels, many, if not all of them defy narrow pigeonholing. They transgress and expand strict classifications. All could be also described as “avant-garde (or ha! vant-garde), ” “experimental, ” “conceptual.” But these terms are also charged with connotations that resonate differently for different artists and different audiences. Yet these categories are useful because they suggest how the authors locate their works, and how we as curators understand what and how they mean—to us. Hopefully, this will help you appreciate specificity and uniqueness of the exhibited works.

Liberature 1. ZENON FAJFER i KATARZYNA BAZARNIK (Poland) Oka-leczenie (Mute-I-Late) Oka-leczenie, which initiated the contemporary movement of Liberature, authored by its main representatives and theorists Zenon Fajfer and his wife and collaborator Katarzyna Bazarnik Katarzyna Bazarnik (printed in 2000 in the prototype edition of 9 copies). The triple-codex Oka-leczenie owns its unconventional shape to two different narratives connected by an invisible thread running through the hidden spaces of the texts. The book contains visible text and the invisible, fractal-like texts, written in the emanational technique specially devised by Fajfer to render liminal experiences: the inaccessible stream of consciousness of a dying man, and an invisible world of the unborn baby. The readers can decide if they wish to uncover the invisible texts, or if they read only the surface text, but each way of reading makes for a different experience and a different story. This copy is of the first trade edition of 2009 (print run of 1001 copies) vol. 8 of Liberature series. 2. KATARZYNA BAZARNIK i ZENON FAJFER (Poland) (O) patrzenie (Ga (u) ze) The book contains multilayered text of a fractal-like structure written in overlapping kinds of writing and has an intentionally torn cover. It initiated “Liberatura” publishing line of Korporacja Ha!art in 2003. Two copies: the 1st edition of 2003, distributed with Ha!art Magazine, the 2nd edition of 2009, published with Oka-leczenie. 3. ZENON FAJFER (Poland) Spoglądając przez ozonową dziurę (Detect Ozone Whole Nearby) This poem, exposed to the on-lookers’ gaze in a glass cage, redefines the notion of the book. In 2009 a journal for teachers of Polish “Polonistyka” included the Bottle in their list of suggestions for a new canon. The 1st edition of 200 copies came out in 2004, the 2nd, corrected one of 500 copies appeared in 2009. Series: Liberature, vol. 2. 4. ZENON FAJFER (Poland) ten letters/dwadzieścia jeden liter translated by Katarzyna Bazarnik A bilingual poetry volume, exploring the tensions between the visible and the invisible, the material and the virtual, the static and the kinetic. Paradoxically, the printed book, which features uncut and folded pages,

offers its readers interaction while the film-poem on the DVD disc, which is the final part of the volume, invites them to contemplation. Series: Liberature, vol. 10–11, 2010. 5. ZENON FAJFER (Poland) Liberature or Total Literature. Collected Essays 1999–2009 Liberatura czyli literatura totalna. Eseje zebrane z lat 1999–2009 A bilingual edition of essays and articles by the inventor of the term “liberature” , edited and translated by his collaborator Katarzyna Bazarnik, prefaced by prof. Wojciech Kalaga, who defines liberature as a hybrid transgenre, claiming that it constitutes “the crowning” of the tendency to combine the visuality and the semantics of language, resulting in a reading experience “unknown to the reception of conventional literature.” A book with a twist as it has only one right angle. Series: Liberature, vol. 12, 2010. 6. ZENON FAJFER (Poland) Powieki (Eyelids) A poetic volume consisting of a printed book and a CD, contains a hypertextual labyrinth through which one can wander forward, backward, and into words, on the page or on the screen. The volume breaks off mid word that finds its continuation in the virtual space. Multidimensional poems written in the original, emanational form invite the readers to choose their own paths to explore visible and invisible worlds. Forma Publishing House 2013. 7. ZENON FAJFER (Poland) Widok z głębokiej wieży (A View from the Deep Tower) A finely crafted volume, fusing intimate memories, a lyrical travelogue, and ironic reflections on contemporary life in carefully arranged cycles of poems that subtly play out materiality and visuality of language. Including a balcony that extends into a different space, and a QR code transporting the readers into a different dimension and different reality. Forma Publishing House 2015. 8. KATARZYNA BAZARNIK I ZENON FAJFER (Poland) Liberature The first publication on liberature in English, prepared specially for the Fifth International Symposium on Iconicity in Language and Literature, held at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow in March 2005.

9. KATARZYNA BAZARNIK & ZENON FAJFER (eds.) & students of Mills College (Poland & USA) Sonnet of Sonnets A textual-visual poem in the form of the book that reflects the proportions of the Italian sonnet, prepared during the workshop with students of prof. Kathleen Walkup’s “Visible Language” seminar in Mills College, Oakland USA. Series: Liberature, vol. 18, 2012. 10. KATARZYNA BAZARNIK (Poland) Joyce and Liberature Drawing on tradition of avant-garde experimentation and the small press tradition, the author shows how Joyce’s work constructs a distinct literary genre between voice and writing, word and image, abstraction and materiality, fitting into the concept of liberature. Especially spectacular in this respect is Finnegans Wake and booklets with fragments of the novel preceding its publication, and already Ulysses contains evidence of Joyce working with the material space of the book. 11. PAWEŁ DUNAJKO (Poland) ([...]) This untitled book is a prose poem written on 34 cards placed in a slipcase with cut-out windows in which a movable, potential title may appear, depending on how the reader shuffles the cards. In the words of the author, “it aims to silence the voice and let the writing speak.” Series: Liberature, vol. 13, 2010. 12. HERTA MÜLLER (Germany) Strażnik bierze swój grzebień. Der Wächter nimmt seinen Kamm translated by Artur Kożuch A collection of 94 collage poems published as separate cards in a box, considered one of Nobel-Prize winner Müller’s most original works. The small format and the loose form of the volume correspond with the content of the poems, which originated as postcards sent to friends from her forced exile. The Polish bilingual edition, being the first translation of this work into a foreign language, was published as vol. 15 of “Liberature” line of Korporacja Ha!art in 2010, and follows closely the design of the German original published in 1993 by Rowohlt Verlag.

13. DARIUSZ ORSZULEWSKI (Poland) Jezus nigdy nie był aż tak blady (Jesus has never been so pale before) A double-faced novel with uncut pages that the reader needs to violate in order to get the whole story about a double-faced hero by the author who willingly subscribed to the poetics of liberature. Series: Liberature, vol. 21, 2013. 14. STÉPHANE MALLARMÉ (France) Rzut kośćmi nigdy nie zniesie przypadku/ Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard Translated by Tomasz Różycki In the poem The Throw of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance, overwhelmed by a powerful, though never realised vision of the Book, Stéphane Mallarmé achieved a radical breakthrough in the linearity of literary notation, which was intended to “space out the reading” (the first magazine edition 1897, the posthumous book edition 1914). Prefaced by Michał Paweł Markowski, this bilingual edition is the first Polish publication of the poem that fully reflects the typographic arrangement of both versions of the original (the previous publications ruined its spatial arrangement). Series: Liberature, vol. 3, 2005. 15. RAYMOND QUENEAU (France) Sto tysięcy miliardów wierszy (Cent mille milliards de poèmes) translated by Jan Gondowicz The famous “poem generator” by Raymond Queneau, published in 1961, invites the readers to co-create the work of as yet unknown size. Ten sonnets are printed on cardboard cut into separate strips, each containing a separate line so that they can be interchanged, which enables the readers to generate the eponymous one hundred billion poems. As the author calculated, a non-stop reading would take someone “190 258 751 years, plus a few hours and a quarter” to read. The cornerstone of the French group OuLiPo, which combines mathematics and literature. Beside English, German and Swedish, Polish is the fourth language into which Queneau’s work has been translated so far. Series: Liberature, vol. 6, 2008.

16. WILLIAM BLAKE (the UK) Małżeństwo Nieba & Piekła/The Marriage of Heaven and Hell Translated by Franek Wygoda William Blake, a famous romantic poet, printer and illustrator, who designed and printed his books himself, must be definitely seen as one of the precursors of liberature. This is the only Polish edition of Blake so far trying to render the integrity of image and text in the original design, published by Rękodzielnia Arhat, 2002. 17. LAURENCE STERNE (the UK) The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman First published in 1759 this novel is famous for typographic devices, which can be now described as liberatic, including the notorious marble page (the endpaper used by book-binders to join the pages with the covers) following chapter XXXVI of book III, the black page marking the moment of Reverend Yorick’s death, and the “virtual” chapter XXIV of book IV created by a gap of ten pages allegedly torn off by the author, reflected in both the chapter numbering and pagination. A contemporary reinterpretation of the 18th century material meanings by London-based Visual Editions (2010), in 2011 it was nominated for the Design of the Year award by the London Design Museum. 18. B.S. JOHNSON (the UK) Nieszczęśni (The Unfortunates) translated by Katarzyna Bazarnik A novel-in-the-box containing unbound leaves and sections of the story by one of the most interesting British writers of the 60’s, a record of the chaotic working of memory and the mind. The translation by Katarzyna Bazarnik was distinguished at Wrocław Good Books Fair 2008. Series: Liberature, vol. 5, 2008. 19. MARC SAPORTA (France) Composition No. 1 An aleatory novel, the first modern book-in-the-box, anticipating the hypertext, tells a story of a man who lost memory and the sense of time in consequence of a car accident. The French original appeared in 1961;

the English translation was first published by Simon and Schuster in 1963 in New York; this edition was published in the UK by Visual Editions in 2011. In December 2003 Nick Montfort was surprised to find out that “there seems to be exactly one page devoted to Composition No. 1 on the entire Web; it is in Polish and consists of two paragraphs.” 20. ROBERT SZCZERBOWSKI (Poland) Antologia: Kompozycje. Księga żywota. Æ (Anthology: Compositions. The Booke of Life. Æ) Szczerbowski’s oeuvre is governed by the principle of simulacrum. Kompozycje is a collection of short, often surrealistic or parable-like stories drawing on different musical compositions. Stylistically polyphonic Księga żywota (The Booke of Life), published anonymously, suggests to the readers that it was written by generations of authors over many centuries. Finally, the untitled work, referred to as Æ, is a self-generating text, travelling freely from the paper and print medium of the book into the hypertextual, virtual space of the screen. So Antologia constitutes evidence of a logical literary development that affirms writing over the individual creating agent, akin to liberature due to significance of the medium. Series: Liberature, vol. 20, 2013. 21. WILLIAM H. GASS (USA) Willie Masters’ Lonesome Wife Published in 1968, this noveletta by an American postmodernist blurs the boundary between the body of the eponymous woman and the body of the book, integrating into its narrative photographs and over a dozen of different typefaces. 22. RAYMOND FEDERMAN (USA) Podwójna wygrana jak nic (Double or Nothing) translated by Jerzy Kutnik The debut novel of one of the leading American postmodernists converges four streams of discourse to tell (or hide) a story of a Holocaust survivor arriving in America. A multilayered narrative was designed and typed by the author, and its layout was carefully reproduced by the translator. Series: Liberature, vol. 16, 2010.

23. Jonathan SAFRAN FOER (USA) Tree of Codes A palimpsest story cut out by the American novelist from Bruno Schulz’s The Street of Crocodiles, the English translation of Cinnamon Shops, published by Visual Editions, London, 2010. 24. PHILIP MEERSMAN (Belgium) This is Belgian Chocolate Typographically powerful poems arranged within the space of the codex tell a story of a sensitive poet commenting with a wonderful sense of humour on life in a modern city. Meersman’s work “has been described as ‘overwhelming and wonderful’ with a style that permits the concept of an international language, underlying his strong anti-war stance.” Published in New York by Three Rooms Press in 2014.

Reception of LIBERATURE: 25. Ha!art no 15/2003 The first monograph issue devoted to liberature, designed in collaboration with Zenon Fajfer (the image on the cover is his sign-poem, made of the letters ZENKASI, the artistic penname of the creators of liberature), including the first reviews of the prototype edition of Oka-leczenie, and an interview with Zenkasi duo. 26. Ha!art no 30/2010 Another monograph issue devoted to liberature, prepared to celebrate the ten years of the phenomenon. 27. Ha!art no 40/2013 The radical issue, including works specially written for the magazine by authors subscribing to the poetics of liberature (Michael Joyce, Carolyn Guyer, USA; Hsia Yu, Taiwan; Shinsuke Takasaki, Japan/ USA; Bojan Meserko, Slovenia; Peter Waugh, the UK/Austria; Wei Yun-Lin-Górecka, Poland-Taiwan; Radosław Nowakowski, Robert Szczerbowski, Katarzyna Bazarnik, Zenon Fajfer, Poland) 28. JAPANESE JOURNAL OF LITERARY STUDIES, PUBLISHED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO 『れにくさ』. Renyxa. Рениксa, 3 (2012) It features “Liberature: a Literary Genre Integrating Text with the Form of the Book”, the essay based on Katarzyna Bazarnik’s lecture at the Faculty of Letters, University of Tokyo in 2011.

29. TAIWANESE POETIC QUARTERLY Off the Roll, Poetry + (衛生紙詩刊+) This poetic quarterly founded in 2008 by a well-known poet Hung Hung (鴻鴻), is one of the most important, avant-garde literary magazines in Taiwan. It publishes only works that are “unique, differ from the mainstream taste and find it impossible to be published anywhere else”. They include poetry, drama and works trespassing borderlines of different literary genres, by authors from Asia and Europe. Thanks to Wei-Yun Lin-Górecka, a Taiwanese poetess who lives in Krakow, works by Polish authors have appeared twice in this magazine. These are: “Świadkowie lub nasza mała stabilizacja” by Tadeusz Różewicz (translated into Chinese by in Wei-Yun Lin-Górecka) and “7 letters” by Zenon Fajfer (translated into English by Katarzyna Bazarnik), together with an interview about Liberature.

Other 30. STEVEN ZULTANSKI (USA) PAD The Polish transposition of Steven Zultanski’s notorious PAD (Make Now Press, 2010) adapted into Polish by Piotr Marecki and published as Interes by Korporacja Ha!art (Kraków, 2016). It features a catalogue of all objects to be found in a young man’s flat (the author’s in the original, the translator’s in the Polish edition), listing them according to whether or not he could lift them with his penis. A sort of ethnological report, it also cocks a snook at the idea of experimental writing as masculinist, parodying the fallocentric perspective on it. 31. JAAN MALIN (Estonia) Maa ja ilm. Romaan I. This “asemantic novel” opens with a usual selection of blurbs praising the ingenuity and literary talents of the author, and continues in a purely invented language, resembling Estonian, but making no sense. Published by: paranoia publishing group ltd. (Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Tallin, Paris, Tokyo, 2015), that is a leading Estonian experimental artist and sound poetry performer, Jaan Malin, who plans its “translations” into other languages.

Between LIBERATURE and ARTIST’S BOOK 32. RADOSŁAW NOWAKOWSKI (Poland) Hasa Rapasa. Opis spektaklu niemożliwego. Description of an Impossible Performance This book, a description of an impossible performance”, has been written since the end of the 90s of the last century in an open edition. It has undergone several metamorphoses: from three separate codices (1997–98), through the triangle (2001), to an irregular quadrangle (2009). The triangular version, written in Polish, English and Esperanto, on display here comes from the Liberature Reading Room. As the author explains: “Yes, it has been the fourth attempt to describe something impossible. The fourth failed attempt. Perhaps the fifth one would be also a failure, even if the book were a pentagon, and if it existed at all. The only successful attempt would be an impossible book. Unfortunately, a triangular book turned out to be impossible.” 33. RADOSŁAW NOWAKOWSKI (Poland) Ulica Sienkiewicza w Kielcach. Sienkiewicza Street in Kielce A 10,5 long leporello story about an accidental trip in an unknown city. The book published by the BWA of Kielce in the print run of 500 copies, was awarded the silver medal during the 2005 Seoul Book Arts Competition. 34. ANDRZEJ BEDNARCZYK (Poland) Świątynia kamienia/The Temple of Stone Translated by Barbara Kutryba This bilingual volume published in 1995 by the Krakow section of Polish Writer’s Association in the edition of 400 copies contains meditative lyrical poetry placed between concrete covers. The well with a piece of rock inside is an integral part of each poem. 35. ZBIGNIEW SAŁAJ (Poland) Jesienny poemat (Autumn Poem) An example of liberature and an artist’s book in one, a work that uses the semantics of matter: a poem about transitoriness is printed with fading ink on wooden pages recycled from type cases.

36. DOROTA KAMISIŃSKA (Poland) Antrakt Inspired by Fajfer’s multilayered poems of Powieki (Eyelids), the book artist transposed the opening poem of his collection into an interactive artist’s book. By turning its pages the reader unfolds the invisible texts hidden in the printed version or displayed on the computer screen in the book’s electronic part. A single copy, handwritten and bound, Zabierzów, Poland, 2014. 37. ZOFIA SZCZĘSNA (Poland) Osobliwość (Singularity) An artist’s book devised during Liberature seminar run by Zenon Fajfer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, Poland, in 2013. Inspired by Einstein's theory of relativity and superstring theory, it contains text about deformations of space-time distorted in a similar way in the cylindrical mirror. 38. EMMETT WILLIAMS (USA), PIOTR BIKONT, ANDRZEJ CHĘTKO, LECH HUNIEWICZ, BOŻENA KALINOWSKA, JANUSZ PAWEŁ TRYZNO (Poland) Emmett Williams’ Light Poem This collaborative artists’ book is a record of Emmett Williams’ reading of the eponymous poem in Łódź, Poland, in the early 90’s. The lines embossed on thick pages with Panaeuropa type (20p) correspond to the poet’s whisper, while the play of colours evokes the gradual extinguishing of candles used in his performance. Book Art Museum: Correspondance des Artes, no. 13, 1991. 50 pages. Print run: 95. Each copy signed by Emmett Williams. 39. CAROLYN GUYER & MICHAEL JOYCE (USA) More Than a Year. 13 Months Calendar On Ha!art’s invitationto contribute to the “radical” issue 40 of Ha!art magazine, the pioneer of hypertext Michael Joyce and a visual artist Carolyn Guyer created a piece that combines text and textiles in the form of constrained poetry (each line has only 12 characters), hand-printed on linen square pages decorated with embroidery. Its paper print version was published in Polish in 2013. They donated the original to Liberature Reading Room collection in Kraków..

40. HSIA YU (Taiwan) Pink Noise Hsia Yu is a Taiwanese poet, essayist and playwright, acclaimed as one of the most interesting poetic voices of contemporary Taiwan. She has published four poetry volumes in which the shape of the book and typography constitute additional means of expression, which makes her work akin to liberature. Pink Noise (2007)exploits the semantics of matter: the print on transparent pages produces an effect of visual noise.

Between LIBERATURE AND ELECTRONIC LITERATURE 41. ROBERT SZCZERBOWSKI (Poland) Æ Originally published as an anonymous booklet without a title in 1991, this is the first Polish work of digital literature. Released on a 3,5' dics in 1996 by Pusty Obłok Publishers, reissued in 2002 on-line as Æ on the author's website, and later on Techsty (the first Polish online compendium and a journal of electronic literature) it appeared in 2013 as part of Szczerbowski’s Antologia in the form of a postcard with a QR code referring the reader to the Internet location: http://techsty.art.pl/ae/raster.html. 42. RADOSŁAW NOWAKOWSKI (Poland) Koniec świata według Emeryka (The End of the World according to Emeryk) A multimodal, hypertextual novel, using movement, colour, and shapes, by author of liberature and e-literature. It tells a story about the last day before the end of the world in a small Polish village of Nowa Slupia. The legend has that this will happen when the stone figure of a “pilgrim”, supposed to move by the distance of the grain of sand every year, reaches the monastery on the nearby mountain. The villagers decide to attract more tourists and publicity by speeding this up, and transport the ancient statue to the mountain top. Published by Ha!art in 2005, it is now available on-line at: http://www.liberatorium.com/emeryk/brzask.htm 43. RADOSŁAW NOWAKOWSKI (Poland) Liberlandia A kind of a Borgesian literary MMORPG, a three-lingual hypertextual encyclopaedic, open work, which the author describes as “ my state. My country. Neither democracy, nor kingdom. A textdom. A hypertextdom.

A work in constant progress. Endless construction. Infinite reconstruction. A tale having its beginning in the middle and being developed and spread in all directions. A free book for a free reader. You pay almost nothing visiting this country, only the time you waste for reading. You can even earn a little for you can always spend the same time doing something even more needless and unnecessary.” You can visit it here: http:// www.liberatorium.com/liberlandia.html. 44. ZENON FAJFER (Poland) Primum Mobile translated by Katarzyna Bazarnik The final part of ten letters/dwadzieścia jeden liter, with kinetic poems going back to 2005, challenges the readers expectations because it invites them to contemplation, not interaction, typical for e-lit pieces. Paradoxically, the printed book, which features uncut and folded pages, demands of them more active involvement than the film-poem on the DVD (animation by Jakub Woynarowski; appeared in Liberature series, vol. 10–11, 2010). A part of it is “Ars poetica, ” an emanational poem animated in Flash, antologised in Electronic Literature Collection 3. English and Polish versions, running time 15 min. 45. ZENON FAJFER (Poland) Powieki (Eyelids) A poetic volume consisting of a printed book and a CD, contains a hypertextual labyrinth through which one can wander forward, backward, and inside words, on the page or on the screen or on-line at http://techsty. art.pl/powieki/. The electronic version was programmed in Flash by Olga Dwornik (nee Rybacka) following Zenon Fajfer’s script. Forma Publishing House 2013. 46. ZENON FAJFER (Poland) “Widok z głębokiej wieży” (A View from the Deep Tower) This emanational, multilayered poem comes with a poetic volume under the same title. Its animated on-line version, programmed by Olga Dwonik, reveals the hidden layers of invisible texts in a fine dance on the computer screen. The electronic version of the poem was published on-line in Wakat at http://wakat.sdk.pl/ widok-z-glebokiej-wiezy/in 2015, and is used in Fajfer’s poetic performance “A View from the Deep Tower.” (script by Teresa Nowak).

47. ŁUKASZ PODGÓRNI (Poland) Skanowanie balu (Scanning the ball) A volume of cyberpoetry by one of the key figures of Polish e-lit. The digital edition published on-line by Rozdzielczość Chleba [Resolution of Bread] Art Collective, the paper volume by Korporacja Ha!art, Kraków, 2012, in collaboration with Pawlacz Perski lab, which produced the CD. It features a nervous dialogue between postdigital music by Porcje Rosolowe experimental web lab, and Podgorni’s post (?!)cyberpoems interpreted by speech synthetizers. See his e-works at http://szafranchinche.ovh.org and http://pdgr.tumblr.com. 48. KATARZYNA GIEŁŻYŃSKA C()n Du It It is an on-line collection of poetic audio-videoclips, according to Electronic Literature Collection 3, “presenting the most important phenomena of visual culture and asking questions about a man’s place in the online sphere and about identity in the era of avatars. Intense, expressive and ironic pictures, show in an epigrammatic form our daily internet ‘rituals’, like clicking, posting, chatting. (…) The video poems use a series of animations and techniques evocative of 1990s animated GIF works, 2000s Flash poetry, and contemporary kinetic typography videos. Varied in tone, strategy, and messages— yet held together by a consistent font that gives it its title— these poems collectively invite reflection on the human condition in the digital age.” http://haart.e-kei.pl/conduit/ 49. ANETA KAMIŃSKA (Poland) Czary i mary (hipertekst) [Hocus-pocus. (Hypertext)] Inspired by the typography of the web, this volume of poems and poetic prose invites the readers to explore Kaminska’s mixture of the realistic and the oneiric in the non-linear reading. Published by Staromiejski Dom Kultury in Warsaw, 2007. Transposed into the Internet by David Sypniewski, its digital counterpart surprises us with effects that match Kaminska’s poetic devices in their ingenuity. Explore it at http://www.czary-i-mary.pl/. 50. AGATA LANKAMER (Poland) Szumy (Noises) An augmented reality book, it is a story of love and fascination in which one printed part contains the interior monologue, the other printed volume is full of abstract graphics reflecting emotions of the narrator, whereas

the QR code transports the readers to the (collective?) unconscious represented by the website. A A one-ofa-kind by talented, young Polish artist from Czestochowa. Digital print, hand bound, 2013. 51. MICHAEL JOYCE (USA) afternoon. a story and popołudnie. pewna historia A classic of electronic literature, this is the first hypertextual novel to be read on the computer screen. It contains 539 lexias connected by 931 links, which offers the readers thousands of possible paths to follow, while discovering a story of a fatal accident resulting in the death of the narrator’s son. Written in 1987, it was published in 1989 and 1991 by Eastgate Systems. Its Polish translation by Mariusz Pisarski and Radosław Nowakowski appeared in Ha!art Publishing House in 2011. 52. MICHAEL JOYCE (USA) twilight. a symphony and zmrok — symfonia Another hypertextual novel by the master of the genre, it is “a courageous and innovative exploration of home, family, and the nostalgia that can't ever quite replace them, ” featuring Magda, a Polish political refugee, now seeking the “Twilight doctor” to help her depart peacefully into the other world. Published in 1996 by Eastgate Systems, it was released on-line by Ha!art Publishing House in Radoslaw Nowakowski’s translation, programmed by Jakub Jagiełło and edited by Mariusz Pisarski, with Łukasz Podgórni’s graphics (see it at: http://haart.e-kei.pl/zmrok/). 53. NICK MONTFORT (USA) Zegar światowy (World Clock) Text generator translated by Piotr Marecki. World Clock is a digital-born printed book, an example of overlap between liberature and electronic literature. Created for National Novel Generation Month Contest in the USA, the software is a text generator producing a series of micro narratives, inspired by Stanisław Lem’s fictional review in his One Human Minute; but it is accessed through the interface of the traditional, printed book, or rather one of its possible material interfaces. A line from Lem’s book and information in the colophon: “Generated (with free software) & printed in Poland” are the clues for the readers on the genesis of Montfort’s work. Series: Liberature, vol. 22, 2014. More on the project at http://nickm.com/post/2013/11/world-clock/.

54. Zenon Fajfer Clock of Timelessness / Zegar Bezczasowości Poem translated by Katarzyna Bazarnik, programmed by Olga Dwornik. On display is also Zenon Fajfer’s kinetic poem, intended to be the key part of a site-specific project: a city clock tower for New York City and Krakow. In the past great cities boasted city clocks whose chiming paced the life of their inhabitants. Today's clocks are disciplining tools, urging us to hurry up. Fajfer’s poetic idea is to inspire people to slow down and experience a moment of contemplation. In order to do so he wants to build city clock towers in New York City and Krakow whose faces will feature the 12 letters of the word TIMELESSNESS and three other language versions: BEZCZASOWOŚĆ / ATEMPORALITA / ATEMPORALITÉ, instead of digits. Every hour the clock will display a poem instead of sounding a chime. The clocks will dialogue with each other, thus forming a symbolic bridge across the Atlantic.

DANK DANK MEME MEME A dank meme is a type of self-reflexive meme, ironically playing on overused images, programmatically limiting its scope and resorting to a sense of humour specific to a particular audience. According to the Urban Dictionary, “a meme that is just really radical, cool, and neat.” Another really dank definition in UD describes it as “an ironic expression used to mock online viral media and injokes that have exhausted their comedic value to the point of being trite or cliché. In this context, the word ‘dank,’ originally coined as a term for high quality marijuana, is satirically used as a synonym for ‘cool.’”

FESTIVAL PROGRAMME: Thursday, September 22nd OFFLINE at CENTRAL BOOKING, 21 Ludlow Street New York, NY 10002 http://centralbookingnyc.com/event/polish-impact-hawangarda-2016-in-new-york/

6–8 pm

Polish Impact: Ha!wangarda 2016 in New York kickoff launch of Liberature, Book Art, and E-literature exhibition

7 pm

Curators’ Talks: Maddy Rosenberg on book art, Katarzyna Bazarnik on liberature, Piotr Marecki on electronic literature.

September 22nd — October 2nd OFFLINE at CENTRAL BOOKING, 21 Ludlow Street New York, NY 10002 http://centralbookingnyc.com/event/polish-impact-hawangarda-2016-in-new-york/ GALLERY AND EXHIBITION HOURS: THURSDAY-SUNDAY, 12–6 PM Ha!wangarda: Liberature, Book Art, and E-literature exhibition

Friday, Sept 23 Charlotte Patisserie, 596 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222 | http://charlottepatisserie.com/

12 pm

Brunch z Korporacją Ha!art czyli Młoda Polska w Memach/Brunch with Ha!art or Young Poland in Memes (presentation in Polish) by Kaja Puto, Łukasz Podgórni, Piotr Marecki Wendy’s Subway 379 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206 | http://www.wendyssubway.com/

5 pm

Liberature: poetry bound to the book, a talk by Katarzyna Bazarnik, and poetry presentation by Zenon Fajfer

6 pm

Demoscene poetry presented by Piotr Marecki

Saturday, Sept 24 Wendy’s Subway 379 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206 | http://www.wendyssubway.com/

4 pm

Facebook game „Keleti blok blokki” presentation by Kaja Puto

5 pm

Matrix, Ha!art’s experimental animations presented by Piotr Marecki

FESTIVAL PROGRAMME: Sunday, September 25th OFFLINE at CENTRAL BOOKING 21 Ludlow Street New York, NY 10002 http://centralbookingnyc.com/event/polish-impact-hawangarda-2016-in-new-york/

3 pm

Clock of Timelessness/Zegar Bezczasowości presentation of city clock tower project for New York and Krakow by Zenon Fajfer, and launch of his kinetic poem

3.30 pm

Post-poetry, cyberhoboness, speech synthesis workout, audiovisual performance by Łukasz Podgórni.

4–6 pm

“OFF-BOOK. Between the analogue and the digital,” a round table on artists’ books, liberature and electronic literature as contemporary forms of creative and experimental writing panelists: Maddy Rosenberg, Katarzyna Bazarnik, Zenon Fajfer, Piotr Marecki, Łukasz Podgórni, Carolyn Guyer, Michael

Joyce, Nick Montfort, Steven Zultanski. Moderator: Kaja Puto.

Wednesday, September 28th Greenpoint Library 107 Norman Ave. at Leonard St., Brooklyn, NY 11222 | http://www.bklynlibrary.org/calendar

6:30 pm

Seans poetycki “Widok z głębokiej wieży/View from the Deep Tower”, Zenon Fajfer’s poetry reading (in Polish with selected poems in English)

Sunday, October 2nd OFFLINE at CENTRAL BOOKING 21 Ludlow Street New York, NY 10002 http://centralbookingnyc.com/event/polish-impact-hawangarda-2016-in-new-york/

3–5 pm

Liberatic Collage or try writing in someone else’s words, workshop with Katarzyna Bazarnik

5 pm

Zenon Fajfer’s poetry reading View from the Deep Tower, translation and reading in English by Katarzyna Bazarnik, programming by Olga Dwornik, script by Teresa Nowak

KATARZYNA BAZARNIK k.bazarnik@uj.edu.pl, zenkasi@ha.art.pl Jagiellonian University, Krakรณw literary scholar, editor & translator keywords: liberature, experimental writing, materiality of the book, James Joyce

MARIUSZ PISARSKI mariusz.pisarski@ha.art.pl University of Warsaw researcher, producer & translator keywords: hypertext archeology, adaptation, intersemiotic narratives

ZENON FAJFER zenkasi@wp.pl, zenkasi@ha.art.pl independent artist, Krakรณw poet, editor & theorist of liberature keywords: poetry, liberature, emanational form, invisible texts, space and time of the literary work



kaja.puto@ha.art.pl Korporacja Ha!art, Kraków

American mixed-media visual

journalist, editor & translator

artist, hypertext fiction writer,

keywords: Eastern Europe,

and web developer, former


director of web development

ideological criticism

at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. keywords: stamp, textile, poem, art



piotr.marecki@ha.art.pl Korporacja Ha!art,

American novelist, poet, critic,

Jagiellonian University, Krakow

and collaborative multimedia

researcher, publisher &

artist, best known as the author


of afternoon, which

keywords: decentering,

The New York Times called “

demoscene, subcultures,

the granddaddy of

experimental translation,

hypertext fictions.”

conceptual writing

keywords: stamp, textile, poem, art



aleksandra.malecka@ha.art.pl Korporacja Ha!art, Kraków

develops computational art and

translator & editor

poetry, often collaboratively.

keywords: translation studies,

He is a professor at MIT and is

experimental translation

the principal of the naming firm Nomnym. He lives in New York and Boston.



Polish cyberpoet, graphic and


apps creator, sculptor of audio


files and trainer of speech synthesizers, collaborates with Korporacja Ha!art Foundation and Rozdzielczość Chleba art collective. keywords: cyberhoboness, post-poetry, poorwave


University of Opole, Opole scholar, researcher & translator keywords: digital poetry, electronic literature, new media art, art & science intersections, cybercultures


an artist and curator, native of


Brooklyn. She founded and runs

artist, sociologist & activist


Rozdzielczość Chleba, Warsaw

keywords: oil painting, artists’

keywords: electronic literature,

books, printmaking, drawing, toy

netart, piracy, social insurance

theater, installation



JANOTA katarzyna.janota@ha.art.pl

is a Brooklyn-based author of

designer & artist

experimental poetry, prose,

Korporacja Ha!art, Kraków

and criticism.

keywords: graphic design,

keywords: experimental writing

weird arts, user experience, digital wellness, desktop publishing. drawings

In this publication: ↪ Katarzyna Bazarnik wrote the articles about liberature and emanational texts. ↪ Katarzyna Bazarnik wrote the catalogue of liberature, book art and e-literature exhibition ↪ Katarzyna Bazarnik prepared the note of dank memes, and the festival programme ↪ Katarzyna Bazarnik and Mariusz Pisarski prepared the text about Radosław Nowakowski. ↪ Monika Górska-Olesińska wrote about Stanisław Lem and Stanisław Dróżdż. ↪ Zenon Fajfer contributed his text about the notion

↪ Aleksandra Małecka and Piotr Marecki wrote about palindromes, and Andrzej Głowacki. ↪ Mariusz Pisarski wrote about Polish pre-digital literature of the baroque period, Jan Potocki, Michael Joyce and Wojciech Bruszewski. Piotr Marecki wrote about pre-digital trolling, Schulz, Stanisław Czycz, the demoscene, and Żuk Piwkowski. ↪ Kaja Puto wrote about keleti blokk blocks. ↪ Piotr Puldzian Płucienniczak wrote about Rozdzielczość Chleba. ↪ Aleksandra Małecka and Piotr Marecki conceived and coordinated the project.

of „the experimental.” ↪ Aleksandra Małecka wrote the note about Katarzyna Giełżyńska.

↪ Aleksandra Małecka edited the texts. ↪ Katarzyna Janota designed the graphics.

↪ Aleksandra Małecka and Mariusz Pisarski wrote the article about translations.

Polish Impact. A guide for fo-

Copyright: the Authors

The publication was

reigners to Polish electronic,

and Korporacja Ha!art

supported by The Ministry

experimental and otherwise

Published by Korporacja

of Culture and National

unconventional literature,

Ha!art, pl. Szczepański 3a,

Heritage of The Republic

2nd enlarged ed.

31–011 Kraków

of Poland

K. Bazarnik, Kraków 2016


Publikację dofinansowano

Design & Illustrations:

ISBN 978-83-64057-95-3

ze środków Ministerstwa

eds. A. Małecka,P. Marecki,


Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego

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