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Craig Saper




In Automatic Reading, Craig Saper presents two emerging forms of poetry. First, in a demonstration of his recently constructed reading machine at, automatic reading appears as a form of poetry, para-literacy poetics, and avant-garde history. Second, Saper will perform typøêtry through an automatic reading, and place that genre in a historical lineage. The concept of automatic reading builds on decades of Saper's writing and research on, and through, visual-, concrete-, networked-, machined-, video-, and socio-poetry. The title of this presentation explicitly alludes to Surrealist “automatic writing." Unconscious-automatic poetry hides in plain sight, revealed through the act of reading. Before literacy, even before our phonetic translation of letters and words, reading begins with a visual poetry. We do not notice this visual poetry in naturalized reading processes, but it pops out in machine reading, in typøs, stray marks, censors’ bars, an editor’s corrections, voice-misrecognition, and in anything that foregrounds the visual pōətry [sic] that precedes, even as it makes possible, a type of meaning-making.

Craig Saper, a Professor in the Language, Literacy & Culture Doctoral Program at UMBC in Baltimore, Maryland, has published: Artificial MythologiesNetworked ArtThe Amazing Adventures of Bob Brown; and, with his pseudonym dj Readies Intimate Bureaucracies: a manifesto. He has co-edited scholarly collections and most recently on: ElectracyImaging PlaceDrifts, and, Mapping Culture Multimodally. He edited and introduced five volumes of Bob Brown's avant-garde books: The ReadiesWordsGems1450-1950; and Houdini. A google search will pull-up his many published chapters and articles on visual poetry, art, media, Fluxus, artists books, and literary theory and history. He built the reading machine at, co-curated TypeBound (on typewriter and sculptural poetry), and was the co-founder of He is the co-publisher of the Hyper-Electric Press digital book-equivalent series, and on the editorial boards of,, and Textshop Experiments. His next book on the "auteur publisher" was recently accepted for publication by Edinburgh University Press. He hopes to publish his annotated and introduced new edition of Readies for Bob Brown's Machine, which is the inspiration for Saper's own online machine.