[iDC] Introduction

Tyler Coburn tyler.coburn at gmail.com
Thu Sep 4 13:41:49 UTC 2014

Hi all,

I've enjoyed reading your posts and wanted to take the opportunity to
introduce myself.  I'm Tyler Coburn, an artist and writer based in New
York.  For the conference, I'll be doing a few things, including a reading
from my book, *I'm that angel.  *

The protagonist of the text is a content farmer who works for
an organization like Demand Media, filing articles based on words peaking
in Google Trends. A high quota of trending language, the wisdom goes, will
trick the algorithm into awarding higher search rankings, yielding more
"eyeballs" on the article--a standard metric of our online value.

Writing from this perspective became an exercise in claiming time and space
in a field of production structured by quotas of language. Given that we
rarely register strict delineations of personal and waged computer work, I
envisaged the spans between buzzwords as spaces to disclose the character's
inner life through anecdotes, speculations, anxieties, rants and the bits
and bobs of cultural matter that periodically seed our individual content
farms. The method is provisional--and the cultural analysis sometimes
cripplingly pessimistic--but there's also a belief in the book about the
literary possibilities for the programmatic and vernacular languages of the

By design, this book was written to be performed in data centers (the New
York readings occurred in February 2013 at The Google Building), but I
occasionally read for other appropriate contexts.  Trebor, Sam and I are
presently at work finding a classroom on campus that can simulate the
cramped quarters of the data center office spaces where I normally read.
 Suffice it to say that it will be a small affair (15-20 people), and we'll
be announcing sign-ups closer to the conference.  I hope some of you will
be interested in attending.

In addition, I'll be talking on a panel about *The Warp*, a project I've
elaborated over the past year-and-a-half, which involves some MTurkers.
 I'm running a bit long here, so if you're interested in learning more
about either project, have a browse round my website: www.tylercoburn.com

I look forward to meeting you all and learning more about your work.

Tyler Coburn
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