Ringing the Changes


Ringing the Changes

Counterpath Press 2020
Using Electricity Series

"Strickland continues the tradition of poetic text generation, engaging at the same with material constraints resulting from 17th century pattern-ringing. The practice consists of competing teams ringing church bells based on highly complex mathematical patterns. Building on these, the poet and her team created elaborate and complex algorithms that generate the poetry woven out of textual data harvested from writings of Sha Xin Wei, Simone Weil, Hito Steyerl, and Yuk Hui among others. Written with Python code, the work demonstrates the powerful 'poetics of juxtaposition', where the list of names of Black men and women subjected to state-sanctioned violence strongly resonates throughout the whole text."

— Lai-Tze Fan

"While Ringing the Changes is not explicitly a work of computational poetry that aims to dismantle racist logics and architectures, it is a work that uses computational architectures—another invisible and covert system of logic that structures our world—to evoke resonant, cultural patterns through seemingly random juxtaposition of texts. The textual data feeding this algorithm and surfacing, as poetry, according to mathematical patterns address a range of topics: reflections on art and media, histories of information and its categorization, lessons in computational logic and quantum physics, discussions of technologies and textiles, and narratives of storytelling and/as human movement. The poetry that emerges, then, is a deftly woven text/ile that brings together such disparate elements so that each might resonate beyond its own (con)textual limits."

— Sarah Whitcomb Laiola

"This may seem like a conceptual book of code-generated variational literature, but it is also a book about fids; fids are ancient nautical tools for splicing threads, for weaving resilient patterns, for coding matter, for inhabiting information, for slowing down again and again shards and fragments of the infinite embodied. Contemplate this book as you would a rope woven from data, from minds, from math, from love."

— David Jhave Johnston

"Stephanie Strickland's Ringing the Changes takes as its master metaphor the embodied practices of English bell ringing, in which seven different bells are rung in highly organized permutations that are mathematically precise. Her "ringing" then creates hypertextual juxtapositions citing passages from works on mathematics, particle physics, computational theory, environmental awareness, and the science and art of bell ringing (among many other topics) to gesture toward the larger changes that the new millennium is bringing about . . . a rich medley of changes in the ways we think about what being human means, both in traditional and contemporary contexts.

— N. Katherine Hayles, author of Unthought: The Power of the Cognitive Nonconscious