✳: 🎀 𝐵𝓇𝒾𝓁𝓁𝒾𝒶𝓃𝓉 𝒱𝒾𝒷𝓇𝒶𝓉𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝐼𝓃𝓉𝑒𝓇𝒻𝒶𝒸𝑒 🎀 :✳
Taking our cue from Edwin Morgan’s assertion that ‘Poetry is a brilliant vibrating interface between the human and the non-human’, this project traces the liquid pixels, folds and veils of various kinds of interface: from language to the ever-present digital screens of our lives. Uniting several concerns of Morgan’s own writing – queerness, experiment, hybridity and technology – Brilliant Vibrating Interface offers a dynamic and multiplatform series of creative outputs and community events based online and in Glasgow. We will investigate, publish and spark conversation around queer literary experiments in the digital age; in turn, expanding the canon to highlight the work of younger, emergent writers. With emphasis on works which engage explicitly, in form and content, with the internet, we will host a series of podcasts, interviews and workshops, leading up to a book-length anthology publication and digital exhibition.
Brilliant Vibrating Interface highlights the continual influence and relevance of Morgan’s work as a proto-internet poet (who wrote code, computational and concrete poems informed by machines) by placing his legacy in direct conversation with digitally native (‘post-internet’) writers and artists – from Morgan’s instamatics to the Instagram poetry of today. At the heart of this project, we share Morgan’s passion for poetry in dialogue with the visual, with technology, everyday life, sexuality and gender. Expect workshops on glitch poetry, interfaces, the queer poetics of trash, multimedia, collage and procedural forms. Our research and interview phase will explore the media, process and tools behind post-internet poetry as well as its cultural contexts, offering insights into how and why poets are engaging with various technologies in their work. Together we’ll dream more abundant, queer and playful digital worlds through poetry. Envision the virtual world of Second Life colliding with Morgan’s 1968 collection The Second Life: that’s our vibe!
This project is kindly funded by the Edwin Morgan Trust's The Second Life Award.
The Alchemy Experiment
We are thrilled to announce the launch party for Brilliant Vibrating Interface: our year-long series of workshops, events and conversations around queering the post-internet through poetry and practice.
The event will feature readings from some of the most exciting contemporary poets and genre experimentalists in Scotland, plus a chance to peruse or pick up copies of SPAM's back catalogue of queer poetics. We hope to meet many new and familiar faces!
Free entry (unticketed)
22nd November 2022
6-8pm (GMT) - Zoom
1st December 2022
with Kirsty Dunlop
The workshop will be conducted over Zoom and you will require a digital device and internet access. Prior to the workshop, please download the digital writing tool Twine - it is free to download at https://twinery.org/.
The Glitch Potential: Procedural Forms, the Poem Hack and New Media Writing
with Kirsty Dunlop
Where lies the potential in glitching and what happens when we write directly into our everyday digital interfaces? In this workshop, we’ll be diving straight into New Media Writing, to provide you with the tools and ideas to craft your own digital poetics and hybrid works (including hypertext forms, game writing, and social media poetics). If, as Legacy Russell claims ‘This glitch is a correction to the “machine”, and, in turn, a positive departure’, how might we use poetics and alternative ways to interact with Web 2.0, as a site of queer experimentation and possibility? Using procedural forms, and the notion of the poem as a ‘hacking’ device, we’ll write both with and into the digital to create new interactions and subversions, to glitch and perform a queer brilliant vibrating interface. We’ll also look at a number of hybrid New Media works and consider the possibilities of collaborations across disciplines, in tandem with queer theory and theories of the glitch. No coding experience is required for this workshop and it is open to all abilities.
Kirsty Dunlop is a multimedia writer, editor, researcher and musician. She is working towards a DFA in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, exploring the possibilities of hybrid New Media writing and glitchful experiments through her concept of ‘Emergent Essaying’. She is a tutor in Creative Writing and English Literature at the University of Glasgow, regularly leads workshops and guest lectures on digital hybrid forms, and is a freelance Games Developer. She is Senior Editor at SPAM Press and recent publications include the collaborative pamphlet Soft Friction (Mermaid Motel, 2021) and multimedia research in ICIDS 2021 (Springer).
Production: Max Parnell
Introduction: Maria Sledmere
Music: Max Parnell
A conversation with Ian Macartney & Maria Sledmere
Today’s guest is Ian Macartney, who you can find at ianmacartney.scot. A writer, musician, blogger, bookseller, general renaissance dude and founding editor of the post-post-internet press sincere corkscrew, Ian is one of the most prolific, experimental and hard-working young writers in Scotland today. He's also now a member of the SPAM team, stepping in as Distribution Coordinator and Assistant Editor. In July 2022 SPAM editrix Maria Sledmere had the pleasure of joining him in his hometown of Linlithgow and delving into all things poetry and publishing.From the controversies of pub names to the Aberdeen poetry scene, artist collaborations to geese, coastal geographies, objects, internet histories and analogue utopias, this is a free-ranging and candid conversation that took place al fresco, by a bucolic loch, hence the natural ambience. Apologies for those moments where the aeolian force truly overtook our merely mortal voices. Sometimes being in the irl is worth it.
6th December 2022
The Alchemy Experiment, Glasgow
with Dr Colin Herd and fred spoliar
This is an in-person workshop with very limited tickets - please sign up soon and release your ticket if you can no longer make it! ♡
Photo by Sean Patrick Campbell
BOUNCING TRASH FROM
A GREAT HEIGHT:
waste & trash
with Dr Colin Herd
& fred spoliar
“Why bounce trash from a great height?” asked Edwin Morgan in ‘From the Video Box’, a long poem in sections taking the form of a poetic dumping ground for audience responses to televisual and media culture.
Morgan’s question will hang over this writing workshop like a hydraulic bin lifter ready to tip at any second. Practical writing exercises may draw on the abandoned detritus of Bernadette Mayer’s ‘Bad Poetry Contest’, the boggy sump of a foul poetic drainage system leading directly from the Trash School (laji shipai) and poets such as Dianqiu Gujiu, Fan Si, and Xu Xiangchou, and the “down on the sidewalk” aesthetic of Wayne Kaumualii Westlake.
We’ll ask what it means to be attentive to channels of waste circulation and the processes by which trash gets designated as such. We’ll play with the idea of trash as an archive, encouraging participants to explore preserving, iconising or fixing the evanescent. Landfill barbie poems, carbon dioxide poems, anti-poems and non-poems welcome.
This workshop will respond to a quality of magpie kleptomania, delight in excess, freebooting abundance and cultural debris, to explore writing in terms, forms and modes that recall junk, garbage, waste, excess and trash, with methods that are tawdry, hackneyed, repetitive, crummy, bogus, cheap and discredited!
Colin Herd is a poet and Lecturer in CW at University of Glasgow. His books include Too Ok (BlazeVOX 2011), Glovebox (Knives Forks and Spoons, 2013), Click & Collect (Boiler House, 2017) Swamp Kiss (Red Ceilings 2018) and You Name It (Dostoyevsky Wannabe 2019). He is the editor of Edwin Morgan Centenary Collection (2020) and co-editor with Sam Small of the two volume All Becomes Art (2022) and with Ruthie Kennedy and Tommy Pearson – Glasgow Cities(2022).
fred spoliar (they/she/any) is on a break from research on political aesthetics of waste at University of Glasgow. Their poetry book With the Boys was published by SPAM Press in 2021, and their pamphlets include goodlands (Veer2 2022) and Sans Soleil (Earthbound x Mermaid Motel) with SPAM editrix Maria Sledmere. Read some recent poems at trilobite.
Photo by Maria Sledmere
Production: Max Parnell
Introduction: Kirsty Dunlop & Maria Sledmere
Music: Max Parnell
A conversation with
Aischa Daughtery, Kirsty Dunlop
& Maria Sledmere
Welcome back to the luscious envelope of another episode of URL Sonata! We are joined by writer and editor Aischa Daughtery to discuss the arts of queer epistolary in her new anthology, This is How We Love: a collection of love letters, notes, poetry and artwork shared between lesbians across the globe. Aischa talks to SPAM editors and belles-lettrestresses Kirsty and Maria about the real post in post-internet, queer communities and lineages, pandemic intimacies, handwriting, the art of notes, social media, long distance love, editing and producing her wonderful collection - plus loads more.
About the author:
Aischa Daughtery is a Scottish writer and editor based in Glasgow. A recent graduate of the University of Glasgow’s Creative Writing MLitt, Aischa’s poetic work has been widely published and her editorial work has received press in publications including The Herald. In 2021, she won the gold Creative Future Writer’s Award for poetry, and she is currently a mentee on the Poetry School's Next Up 2 development scheme. Her first book, This Is How We Love, an anthology of love letters, notes, poetry and artwork shared between lesbians across the globe, came out this year.
17th January 2023
Hillhead Library, Glasgow
with Ian Macartney & T. Person
This is an in-person workshop with limited tickets - please sign up soon and release your ticket if you can no longer make it! ♡
Accessibility: The workshop will be taking place in the upstairs hall at Hillhead Library; unfortunately there is no lift access.
Re: Remixed Reject-text: Queerness, Appropriation and Digital Poetics
with Ian Macartney & T. Person
Terms like “remix”, “modulation” and “distort” are commonplace in the lexicon of music production, but what happens when similar terms are overlaid on to the writing process? What does it mean to ‘remix’ existing text – to ‘bitcrush’ words sampled from another website? What happens when that jargon takes over? What does it mean to 'replace' a word from the internet with one of your ‘own’? And how does this all tie to queerness? Signposted with examples by Edwin Morgan, Rosie Stockton and Elijah Emerald, in this workshop we will explore both the playfulness and radicality in remaking text – to go beyond/'queer’ the found poem – while also considering the limits of that approach. For, as Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart says in Dancing About Architecture, “queerness is too complicated to be told what to do” – what does that mean when said ‘doing’ is writing as an attempt to reclaim something?
Ian Macartney is a writer who can be found at ianmacartney.scot, but for how much longer? Publications include ! / Object (SPAM Press, 2022). His work has been featured in The Poetry Review,, The Scotsman, The Guardian and BBC Scotland. In 2017 he founded the Aberdeen-based arts collective Re-Analogue – in 2021 he founded the small press sincere corkscrew. His most recent screenplay was for Caledonian Dreams (dir Ewan McIntosh), a finalist for Best Scottish Film at the British Short Film Awards. He makes electronic music as adios nervosa, sound art as FORSYTH, digital visuals as Russell Teapot, videos as Our Non-Hero, helped run the netlabel Almost Ghosts, managed the 'gonzo internet criticism' blog Epikinetics, hosted the online interview series Spoke In Mirrors, and does other things under the purview of Of Ghosts.
T. Person is an artist and writer living in Glasgow. Their work and writing has been shown in Gutter Magazine, Erotoplasty, SPAM, Embassy Gallery and at Hidden Door Festival. http://www.tperson.xyz/.
Moving Parts: Art Writing and Queer Ekphrasis
What are the ‘brilliant vibrating’ poetics of responding to something? Meditating on art writing as an ‘interface’ between objects and text, this workshop will introduce participants to exercises that anchor writing across slippery terrains. Beginning with the basics of ekphrasis – the practice of writing through, from, and against art, and vice versa – participants will be guided through experiments that “queer” such a practice.
Collaboratively, the group will muddle the defining lines between what constitutes art and/or writing, using movement as a thread between disciplines. All bodies and levels of experience welcome.
Alice Hill-Woods is a writer and editor based in Glasgow. She is working towards an MLitt in Art Writing at the Glasgow School of Art, and has a background in literary studies and the medical humanities, with recently published work exploring ecological representations of trauma. Her poetry pamphlet, HOTHOUSE, came out with Salò Press in 2021, and she was a recipient of a Wellcome Trust scholarship in 2020-2021. Her writing has appeared in a number of friendly and familiar places. She is the Poetry and Nonfiction Editor at SPAM Press.
loll jung is a human animal residing in Glasgow, Scotland, with poetic and essayistic creative and critical work published with Dostoyevsky Wannabe, Nothing Personal, SPAM, Adjacent Pineapple, Gutter, and MAP. They joined the SPAM editorial team in 2020, are one of 30 Scotland-based writers in the RSE-funded DeathWrites network, and run an autotheoretical playground over on Substack called for one month · one month after. Their work examines processes of decline and regeneration through hybrid essaying and poetry, grappling with instances of the queer body moving through time, mythology, and memory. Loll is currently working toward a doctorate of fine arts in creative writing at the University of Glasgow.
Maria Sledmere has authored over twenty books of poetry, including Cocoa and Nothing with Colin Herd (SPAM Press), Visions & Feed (HVTN Press), String Feeling (Erotoplasty Editions), The Luna Erratum (Dostoyevsky Wannabe) and neutral milky halo (Guillemot Press). She recently co-edited The Last Song: Words for Frightened Rabbit (Broken Sleep Books) with Aaron Kent. She is editor-in-chief of SPAM Press and a member of A+E Collective, and lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Strathclyde and Tutor in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow and Beyond Form Creative Writing. She is editor-in-chief of SPAM Press, a member of A+E Collective and recent writer in residence at The Grammarsow in West Cornwall.
Poetics of Cringe
Cringe is an inward experience, almost a shiver of reaction to something embarrassing, excessive or otherwise disgusting. But we all share it. To be online is to be constantly exposed to first and secondhand cringe, gleaming from its decontextualised content soup. Algorithms are cringe, speech is cringe, reels are cringe, all-caps are cringe, hashtags are cringe, memes are cringe, devotion is cringe. In his Instamatic Poems (1972), Edwin Morgan wrote of ‘A picture of a picture of a picture’ (‘Mougins Provence September 1971’). We looked at a Zoom of ourselves looking at ourselves so zoomily. Cringe is the sticky residue of regress or suspension. It leaves us in our ‘ugly feelings’ (Sianne Ngai), cringe with longing.
Even as we cringe from it, cringe is addictive! Let’s go through it?
In a 2022 piece for Poetry Foundation, Chaelee Dalton writes: ‘Fanfiction is often called cringe because anyone can write anything about anything, meaning in reality, mostly young queer women and trans people can write mostly queer stuff about pop culture they love’. In this workshop with Maria Sledmere, we’ll explore the queer art of cringe through desire, play, poemmaxxing and (dis)avowal. Working through forms and genres of cringe such as lyric, blogging, fan art and the pov or confessional, we’ll write and engage with work which positions cringe as a post-internet experience of queer intimacy, ekphrasis and reclamation.
Through co-writing, cringe-writing and some gallus experiments, let’s embrace radical amateurism and go deep into overshare and detritus.
Access: This workshop will take place on Zoom and include both visual and textual materials. We will make use of the Chat function but the majority of writing takes place individually.
A conversation with
Parel Joy and Ian Macartney
Brilliant Vibrating Interface #3: Interview with Parel JoyIan Macartney speaks to Parel Joy, whose pamphlet “The Queen of Cups and other poems” was part of SPAM’s Season 6. But Parel’s practice also expands to editing the ‘Dyke Love’ zine, launched to a packed crowd in Glasgow’s Bonjour, as well as work with the Amsterdam Library’s queer archive, literary translation, printmaking, and more. Over a pot of Moroccan tea on a rainy day in Haarlem, just outside of Amsterdam, Ian and Parel discuss lockdown temporality, translation, “eco-queer grindsets”, Aberdeen hauntology, cottagecore, nostalgia, Scottish community online and off, archive, utopia, tarot, and more. This episode was kindly supported by the Edwin Morgan Trust's Second Life Award.
Drawing upon Edwin Morgan’s passion for poetry in dialogue with the visual, the anthology and accompanying digital exhibition will give space to queer writers and multi-disciplinary practitioners with a Scottish connection to re-imagine and dream how technology, poetics, and hybrid writing can create more abundant, queer and playful digital worlds.
Work created or developed from the workshops that have been running as part of the Edwin Morgan Second Life Prize is highly encouraged!
We also welcome submissions from those beyond the writing sphere, with space to present multimedia work, the sonic & visual, as well as text.
For more inspiration, or if you missed any of the workshops, head to our BVI page, where you can access all the workshop handouts.
Submissions are open between Wednesday 22nd March 2023 – Saturday 22nd April 2023, and are max 4 x A5 pages or 5-10 minutes duration (reading pages/sound/vid/e-lit reading or gameplay time).
You can send your submissions with the subject header 'Brilliant Vibrating Interface' to email@example.com.
Brilliant Vibrating Interface anthology & online ~digital sibling~
For the culmination of SPAM’s year-long project Brilliant Vibrating Interface: Queering the Post-internet through Poetics & Practice, kindly funded by the Edwin Morgan Second Life Awards (for more info, see here), we are calling for submissions of unpublished work by queer practitioners working with text with a connection to Scotland that can include, but is not limited to:
transmedial tantrums / electronic writing / code poetics / osmotic enquiries / time-based collage / binaural brb ballads / fungi fanfic interfaces / augmented reality art writing / usb elegy / platonic point-and-click adventure / lurker lyric / strawberry vibes / manifestos for a queer utopia / asemic writing / treaties on pearlescent poetics / archival fugue / blender sculptures of the video box / glitch grammar / slippery terrains in the echo chamber / a florilegium of remixed reddit responses / ode to the body becoming hologram / hyperlink-laced concrete poetry / the computer’s first christmas card / pleasure pixellated / cringe confessionals / lossless Nessie’s onomatopeix / landfill barbie drabbles / semantics of froth / cuteness in the cloud / variables on orbit crumbs / intertextual imprints / geocities' architexture / digitaxis / dance-literature / the lud(th)ic(c)
This anthology offers a space to provoke a queer questioning of hybrid text in our post-internet environment in the year 2023. Uniting several concerns of Edwin Morgan’s work—queerness, experiment, hybridity and technology—this anthology hopes to trace the liquid pixels, folds and veils of various kinds of interface: from language to the ever-present digital screens of our lives. How do societal strictures on queerness influence content and form? How can queerness be expressed within the ever-widening gyre of a rainbow capitalist hyper-queer euphoria and lawmaking that devastates queer communities and undermines human rights? What new worlds, sanctuaries, and utopias can hybrid work and post-internet poetics allow us to explore?