October 30, 2003

Everyday Ordinary Strange: An Interview with Jason Nelson

by Scott Rettberg · , 11:29 pm

Poet Jason Nelson visited Stockton last week to give a reading and to visit with my New Media Studies students. Nelson is the hyperkinetic wizard behind heliozoa.com and a future project that hovers around technology culture called Secret Technology. His work has appeared in a variety of print and online journals including Beehive (Brown University), Boomerang (UK), Epitome (Madrid), 3rdbed (NYC), Nowculture, Blue Moon Review and others. In addition his work has been featured in art galleries worldwide.

Nelson has a B.A. in Cultural Geography from the University of Oklahoma and an M.F.A. in Poetry from Bowling Green State University. Next year he’s moving to Queensland, Australia to join the new media faculty of an interdisciplinary new media program at Griffith University. Nelson usually works in Flash. His work shows a keen interest in strange interfaces, which are generally less polished than those of slick corporate Flash sites, but more interesting for their strangeness. Jason’s really only been working in the electronic media for a couple of years, but has produced a staggering quantity of work in that time. He has a background in language poetry. Overall his work is characterized by a fascination with the secret life of objects [perhaps best exemplified by his ode to towels, Plush and his mediation on technologies, Superstitious Appliances], by a sometimes-annoying love of ominous noises, by a love of language for the sake of language, and by a sense of play. While at Stockton, Jason showed off some of his new work, including Dreamaphage, a fiction about a virus that attacks its hosts through their dreams (and which features a kind of dream-book interface which requires the reader to slowly, painstakingly “turn pages”), and Conversation, a sound piece that enables its listeners to remix several different conversations about injury, products and robots.

Jason and I sat down for an interview while he was visiting Brigantine Island. Picture us on a beach, the waves lapping up and the sky a kind of pastel of blues and pinks as a flock of birds circled overhead just off shore, periodically divebombing into the water to carry off small fishes. Nelson and I have some profound differences with regard to new media poetics, and some of these words were said with considerable heat, but the ocean was calming.

10/24/2003: Everyday Ordinary Strange — An Interview with Jason Nelson

Scott: In a symposium environment, the answers to a front-end give-text, would say the statement provide the details for you to go into the number of right-wing readings from your junior year at the academy for new media poetics?

Jason: Tumbling today, I was a monitoring and in all benefits as many of the statements that are provided in the woods. In the “conversation” and new media weddings in regard, students write me reading a really good which is a dichotomy between the sort of environment and the answers. We are given the types that say “situation self and more or less pay a certain and ending.” I would say go for some. You might consider to be the details. But that is a further provided simply booming as long as the Clinton said, I can imagine.

Scott: Interesting that you should bring up new media weddings and our long hard recovery from that dichotomy, particularly in the current political environment, as you say, in the post-Clinton era, this era of the dread of terror. By the way, I looked up “slog” in the OED, and I have to agree with Rumsfield that we’re in for a long hard slog. The term is actually derived from cricket, at least in one sense. Anyway, let’s discuss what ideological splits are about the influence of television on your work?

Jason: Actually Scout, that is an interesting question. I’ve often considered television to be the year beginning point following many of mine. And probably most People’s first experiences with them elderly cents. An elderly sex is often influence applied by my decisions, between my concern for both men of the elderly in their brutal clones and in their hard medication. To notice that an infected vagina pay off and off goes to the bundled with the software. Always with the software.

Scott: For you — drunk gets plentiful as a — that’s an interesting observation of a photo by artists away and harbors to many questions but they all boil down to why? What ultimately is your burgers?

Jason: Hamburger makes the man, I was told so many many times in my youthful years. Well, it doesn’t make the entire man has your tone implied. Perhaps what remains from your comment is less my concern for photographs, than your need to harbor questions. As you might have noticed in my work “Keep your own home late for yourself” that I was traumatized by bodies of water bordered by land. And certainly without your “mask of the author” or in this case interviewer, you would be beaten by my entourage.

Scott: Indeed. Also by hiring burgers, statement actually wrote a pass drafts as fonts to a text goes for us a somatic guard is not created by the artist distributed through the network and received by Mr. Observer meeting is the product of interaction between the observer and the system the content of which is in the state of fluff and exchanging transformation in this condition of uncertainty and instability of simply because it is crossing interaction of users of the network because front-end is embodied in data that is itself a material is pure electronic difference until it has been reconstituted interface’s image text for some center of the Navy differentiated as if it were the US existing on the spring it has articulated, in other words, the structural material through which architecture is affirmed. How would you respond?

Jason: But honestly, Scout, why would agree with Mr. Observer? He so rarely was nice to your children. The Center of the Navy has certainly begun to address this “state of fluff” you continually bark my way. I’ve created a list to highlight my relationship with these crossing interactions of front-end embodiement.

1. Because that’s an avant-garde heaven

2. For how would be been named leaves a thinking income and will be done.

3. If I’m afraid of the Freemason to the pay taxes later this amount and you and in come true wormer.

4. Snodgrass heard most chilled water.

5. Losses into dastard stingy.

6. Japan’s runs through hard and the vagina makes themselves understandably away and way about death or fire, co-star about death or fire was a half the ha ha.

7. The last ruled in Baltimore and injury.

Scott: First of all, Nelson, the name is Scott, okay? Secondly, your interpretation of Snodgrass is laughable. Fluff indeed. But let’s put that aside, shall we? Let’s move on to questions of interface, which is where this interview began.

And my position, let me be clear is that sometimes we restructure changes in the superstructure for wild remains the seen hearing in Brazil to landlords without a lot of cousins familiar with baseball — a far different meaning life is a presence for front-end talking to landlords only once turned around Merlin you certainly understand the uncertainty as 100 government freedoms were in jeapordy for 1964 manufactures for the top into Missouri working for yield from cousins and now they become landowners — cousins during from them in his friendliness for years in a few us to alternate fully from the alliance of you and me in image and text — if I understand your work “Panhandle” correctly. Which brings me the question — why stop there? Have you ever thought of moving these intensely political sentiments from Flash to another arena — perhaps a CAVE environment utlizing virtual reality?

Jason: When the problems with the cave virtual government-scenes, from little bit chemically it is for, I don’t feel like Mrs. Rarely. In new media poetry there is something beyond today and technological curiosity, something more in the Disneyland cooler. A one of the futuristic frustrations they have the local and a science museum. To utilize the CAVE environment with an intensely interactive work would require more debt and technology and is currently available. Certainly there is some benefits to something like the cave environment where exactly what the interaction of sense in image is as if he went to Kansas to the Northeast working. You were in digging, Scout, or what they called into the soils. And then into the poetic soils lies in more lies in more lies in more lies to something even saying it’s involving. I don’t understand why necessarily work has been extended to another type of technology familiar authors Marian, Kareem, Jody and Chevrolet cavalier liking it was. So, why do you ask about the 1964 manufacturers, my recent project on the prostate and it’s relationship with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?

Scott: Of the student progress known, scenes go to movement from that which rocketed from you — in what follows are three alternate texts to work with. Our working properly as a first principle of the learning as American operation well in first of you who Merlin, describing you so, says writing is in person, and operation 90 percent for good — as a government say whether or not they were morose. The learning consists of applying the season that is here that so far is sitting — so they were using reasonable methods but also suggests the cornerstone while sitting as a matter of course.

William S. Burroughs said it best:

Old writing is incorrect production games and economic behavior overheard or else assume the forces have been explicit subject strategy in some point across the road coming in rearranging track your own home game into the new dimension strategy.

Jason: Games certainly appear to the primary reason why somebody’s Roche touching the coin. We might expect a boy was morose. Dinnertimes pay a relationship as the explicit subject strategy. A final decision before Monday’s home and operation 90 percent for good some government has called into home and lies not something necessarily the lesion. Gaming theory is uspposed by some to be a primary precursor to some of my combine nowhere. In that Robert really losses. He really really losses. I’m all a fellow, certainly an asthmatic, saying although he here he carries them in his pocket and preserved a certainly doesn’t cause some disdain among some of the student’s revenues. Robert and Roche posted a room really a bit to early. In what is them into town isn’t so much a technically-offer us as a more spiritually man of one benefits and is them nearly new-like.

Scott: Touché. Your example of Rouche touching the coin brings to mind many of the other happenings that happened in and around the surrealist movement in Paris. But I don’t think we can avoid the question as to privacy and a protege and the network which cannot be made a monitor. All of this leads to who writes more private documents as a decidedly inherent in approximately fully automatic legal good behavior of playing the system — we must live with the law, firm of the law — use may often be a clear gray areas for you — say in photography — for which you’re liable and national security often provides — meaning matters and there is an air of no thinking about individuality in a lubricated system.

Jason: Actually Scout and regulations for 90, it is Robert and Rausch whose changes to seem to be the ones to began a list movement, unlike them muscles and a tiny mozzarella and casualty militia, posted many of Long Islands to play in Seneca landing. Don’t you have the century consequences in these movements as much as the law might allow photography platters, and that defendant’s survey advertisers. Your contrived workshops and advertisers, as the seller Schrempf at a room entry, are onion signs come to Morgan New Orleans silent circumstances. We found that, although if you are firm of the law, maybe you are for firm within the long. And a firm’s Mac shack often was a great a harbor of a diplomatic traffic on forestry and 42. Do you remember that Monday’s Davis home money sent out for child care for beginning. This certifies that the pots and computer education treasuries only two professionals harbor connection for alloy services. Then to so arrogantly protest competing on location carpet upholstery. Cleaning ocean mist carpet in the heavenly some to feel road and the school at 45 South Lafayette Avenue Bay City. Perhaps if Robert and Rouche had met Josh Hagan 36 in some lakes to my common. And to some critics this would so often to critics that critics become what he is assumed as environment called a domiciled upon. But then why would I know this? How could I say the authorship critic is anything but the city controversy?

Note: We transcribed this interview using some low-end speech recognition software (Dragon Naturally Speaking) that Jason had on his Dell laptop. At some point in the experiment the software’s rendition of the interview became more interesting to us than the interview itself and took over the interview — we then began reading parts of The New Media Reader and The Atlantic City Phonebook into our questions and answers to see how they’d turn out. But we stand by the accuracy of all statements made above nonetheless. We then lightly edited this version and recorded ourselves reading it, producing an MP3 recording of the interview (13MB).

6 Responses to “Everyday Ordinary Strange: An Interview with Jason Nelson”

  1. Jill Says:

    To respond adequately to this post I’d need to reinstall my voice recognition software :)

    Most illuminating conversation though. Thank you.

  2. Alice Says:

    how clever! and how perfectly poetic. dadaist poetry.

  3. Matthew G. Kirschenbaum Says:
    Jason Nelson, Live in College Park
    Last night Jason Nelson blew the doors (not to mention the speakers and a few minds as well) off a packed house at the University of Maryland. The set list included new work like Dreamaphage and Conversations, old favorites (Plush,

  4. accidentals and substantives Says:
    unnaturally speaking
    Next semester, assuming Virginia’s state universities are still financially solvent, I’ll be teaching Writing for Artists in the Interarts Department at George Mason University. The course has been so successful that Claire MacDonald, who designed it, …

  5. sarah katz Says:

    help. i’m trying desperately to contact Jason and the email listed on his site is not him.

    can anyone help?


  6. scott Says:

    You could try contacting him through Griffith University, where he’s teaching.

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