UC New Media Research Directory
Spieker, Sven
May 16th, 2007 under Faculty

Associate Professor, Comparative Literature Program, Department of Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies, Department of History of Art and Architecture, UCSB
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Sven SpiekerSven Spieker is the editor of ARTMargins, an online journal devoted to the visual arts and aesthetic theory in Eastern and Central Europe. At UCSB he specializes in European modernism, with an emphasis on the Eastern European avant-gardes, postwar and contemporary literature and art (especially in Eastern and Central Europe), and media history. Spieker’s recent graduate seminars have included a seminar on the digital image at the intersection of art and science. In 2005, Spieker organized a two-day conference devoted to the same issue at UCSB’s Interdisciplinary Humanities Center. Spieker is the editor of a collection of essays on the uses of the administrative bureaucracy and its media in art and literature (Leidenschaften der B├╝rokratie: Kultur- und Mediengeschichte im Archiv. Berlin, 2004). His most recent publication is The Big Archive. The Birth of Modernism from the Spirit of the Bureaucracy (forthcoming from the MIT Press, 2008). The book deals with analogue archives in art and science, mapping a conceptual field that allows us to say with greater precision where the boundary between analogue and digital archives might fall. For more information, visit Spieker’s web page.

 Links:      Home page | ARTMargins

Could we say though that in some sense the real archive is the map or the algorithm itself, and not the images we see on the screen? Isn’t the algorithm the equivalent of, say, the signatures in a library that tell you where to find a certain book?
“Interview with George Legrady” in ARTMargins

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Traditional prosody, with its focus on more or less metrical rhythm, in short, describes an abstraction of sound. In search of regular rhythm, prosody tends unavoidably to eliminate the other acoustic phenomena, the noisy din of phonology and morphology, multi-accentuality and of course silences. The noise of poetry is either ignored or partially recuperated as a relational component of the discursive, semantic content; this process of elimination and abstraction can be seen as suppression and / or normalization, in other words noise abatement.

As a noise abatement project, traditional or normative prosody emboldened a resistance. Strange bedfellows from Mallarme to Whitman to Pound, Gertrude Stein, Henri Chopin, Ginsberg, Charles Olson, Robert Grenier, bp Nichol, etc., etc., are linked by their exploration of the noise of language in the face of normalized rules set primarily to find and disseminate abstract and pre-approved rhythmic patterns.