Translating Computational Writing:
Nick Montfort at Amherst College
Nick Montfort is a poet who develops literary generators and other computational art and writing. He is also the principal of the naming firm Nomnym, is a scholar of computational art and media, and has undertaken dozens of academic and literary collaborations. He is on the MIT faculty in the CMS/Writing section.
Montfort has helped to establish several new academic fields: Platform studies, critical code studies, and electronic literature. He founded and directs The Trope Tank, a DIY and boundary-transgressing MIT research lab that undertakes scholarly and aesthetic projects and offers material computing resources.
On November 5th, 2015, Professor Montfort visited Amherst College to talk about translating computational writing. Montfort’s project,The Renderings, has worked to locate computational writing and similar sorts of literary art, seeking global examples of this practice and translating them into English for those in our language community. This type of writing, although obscure, is every bit as real, and artificial, as other cultural and literary production, and functions both to show the literary potential of computing and to reveal aspects of other cultures. In his talk, he explained some of the particular challenges of translating computational literature.