When you encounter work by Mez, the first thing that jumps out is her idiosyncratic use of language, which she calls “mezangelle” and I can describe as a mixture of code, English, ASCII art, and phonetic and rebus writing. You don’t need to be able to read code to understand her writing, but it helps to recognize its basic structure, components, and conventions.For example, the image above uses HTML tagging system to invent codes such as <tremor> <fracture> and <polymer>, organized visually with convention used for tables and lists, and concluding what seems like a painful moment by closing the tags </polymer>, </fracture>, </tremor>.Mez has been drawing attention to language in digital environments since the mid 1990s and while her first-generation digital objects are humble text files distributed through listservs, blogs, and social media, they contain code designed to run in the most flexible processors available: human brains.Featured in Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 2.
Alan Sondheim is a prolific writer, musician, and artist who uses the Internet as an inspiration and means for publication. The sheer mass of text he has produced in the past 15+ years is so staggering that it reminds me of Basil Bunting’s “On the Flyleaf of Pound’s Cantos.” To be specific, here are some numbers compiled after cutting and pasting all the text in the files which constitute this portion of Sondheim’s Internet Text:
15,880,841 bytes (almost 16 MB) of pure text.
15,080,183 characters (counting spaces).
7,881 pages of single-spaced 10.5 pt New Courier text with 1” margins.