Mallarmé's Self-replicating Machine: A Throw of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance
This paper explores the artistic legacy of Stéphane Mallarmé’s 1897 poem “Un Coup de Dés Jamais N’Abolirà le Hasard” through a selection of derivative works, in order to demonstrate how the poem can be interpreted in digital environments as a self-replicating machine, programmatically facilitating the ongoing production of potentially countless ulterior works, including our own internet recasting called www.athrowofthedicewillneverabolishchance.com. Through a detailed discussion of this work, we will attempt to draw a lineage between Mallarmé’s original poem/book of 1897 and Google, incorporated a century later, in 1997. In conclusion, we will speculate on the potential that our interpretation of Mallarmé’s work may provide a form of poetry for non-human readers, which we interpret as a metaphysical search for meaning by the kinds of Artificial Intelligence programs currently in development by corporations such as Google.
electronic literature, generative poetry, remediation, Google
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