Writing as an Intimacy with Machines
We are born into language, into its flows, into its complex of shifting & shimmering circuitry. Every component of language has a machinic life that emerges in & through interactions with humans & non-humans. Each language component is a piece of data, encrypted with visual & sonic information which we meet in endless recombinance like lovers among & upon themselves. Writing is an intimacy with machines.
When we write, we construct a multitude of machinic assemblages. Beginning within, our body initiates an interaction of synaptic events coupled with the application & interaction of muscles, tissues, textures, & pressures that guide the flow of data. These bodily processes assemble with a technologic realm––taut skin on a fine tipped pen; graphite on a yellowed notepad; a Macbook held close as it purrs at midnight. Like antennae, we receive & transmit data thru & into these assemblages. This is an intimacy.
For us, writing opens at these realizations: the machinic & the assemblage. Letters, sentences, paragraphs, poems, & books are machines formulated from various strains of input & output, all of which are created collaboratively in & thru the meeting of bodies, of machines, & of systems. The visual & sonic information of language is that which acts upon us & with us. It alters our biochemistry & neurology, & we respond with our placement of & response to the mark. This is how we arrive at the delicate curve of a meticulously designed serif, the flick of a tongue sounding “love” or, the epic span of the long poem. There is no one assemblage. Each language component is a block of data that we couple to another to formulate a machinic enterprise of potentiality. Writing is being intimate with an assembly line of infinite configurations.
Eric Schmaltz is a language artist, writer, researcher, & curator. Born in Welland, Ontario he now lives & works in Toronto, Ontario. Eric’s work has been featured online & in print across Canada & internationally including places such as Lemon Hound, The Capilano Review, Rampike, CTRL+ALT+DEL, Open Letter, & Poetry is Dead. His visual work has been featured across Canada including Havana Gallery (Vancouver), Rodman Hall (St. Catharines), & Niagara Artist Centre (St. Catharines).