“As Assange is the first to admit, his strategy has a history. He traces it, with understated irony, to the strategy the U.S. adopted in its fight against terrorist organizations after 9/11. Reading Bady’s piece, I recognized the strategy from a different sphere entirely: poetry.

In their most stringent formulations, the Language poets of the 1970s and 80s set forth a politically charged theory that saw ordinary language as an ally of capitalist oppression. Steve McCaffery argued that “the structural support of both literacy and capitalist economy is reference,” and in “The Dollar Value of Poetry,” Charles Bernstein argued that: the social forces hold sway in all the rules for the ‘clear’ and ‘orderly’ functioning of language and Caesar himself is the patron of our grammar books….

David Eggleton : “Much fuss is made of the fact that ‘now no-one does a whole lot of reading’ etc. etc. – all people really care about is the movies, even book page editors and reviewers. Poetry carries on, but the new factor in the poetry equation (writer/reader) is the custodial critic/curator / reviewer. Poets are used as counters between warring ideological tribes intent on rehabilitation or demolition.”


adrift in an ideological domain
temperate scavengers
work on notions of imperfect disclosure


“Crystalpunk is a simpleton stampede, a coxcomb carnival, a daydreamers cabal, a platitude-peddling potlatch, a nihilists ambulation on tiptoe, an incantation of the language in the corners of your eyes, a wild farrago of those who run before they can walk, an ABD of being Free from the NOW! NOW! NOW! We wear non-matching socks: that is who we are!”

MoMA.org | The Collection | Inasmuch As It Is Always Already Taking Place. 1990