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John Cayley

Providence, RI
United States
Record Status: 
John Cayley
Short biography: 

John Cayley practices digital language arts, and has been a poet, translator, publisher, and bookdealer. Links to his writing in networked and programmable media are at Recent and ongoing projects include imposition, riverIsland, what we will, and The Readers Project ( His last printed book of poems, adaptations and translations was Ink Bamboo (Agenda & Belew, 1996). Cayley was the winner of the Electronic Literature Organization's Award for Poetry 2001 ( He has taught or been associated with a number of universities in the United Kingdom, including the Performance Writing degree at Dartington College of Arts and the Department of English, Royal Holloway College, University of London, where he was an Honorary Research Associate. In the United States, he has taught or directed research at the University of California San Diego and Brown University, where he is now Professor of Literary Arts, with a brief to teach and develop writing in digital media. His most recent work explores ambient poetics in programmable media, writing in immersive artificial audiovisual environments, and aestheticized vectors of reading; with parallel theoretical interventions concerning the role of code, the temporal properties of textuality, and 'writing to be found' with/against the services of totalizing statistical models of language.

Works contributed to:

Critical writing by this author:

Title Publication Type Yearsort descending
The Readers Project: Procedural Agents and Literary Vectors Article in a print journal
New Media Poetry: Poetic Innovation and New Technologies Issue of a journal 1996
Pressing the ‘Reveal Code’ Key Article in an online journal 1996
Potentialities of Literary Cybertext Article in a print journal 1996
Performances Of Writing In The Age Of Digital Transliteration Conference paper or presentation 1998
In the Event of Text Interview 1999
Literary Programming (In the Age of Digital Transliteration) Conference paper or presentation 1999
The Code is not the Text (unless it is the Text) Article in an online journal 2002
Inner Workings: Code and Representations of Interiority in New Media Poetics Article or chapter in a book 2003
Literal Art Article in an online journal 2004
Der Code ist nicht der Text (es sei denn, er ist der Text) / The Code is not the Text (unless it is the Text) Article or chapter in a book 2004
Writing on Complex Surfaces Article in an online journal 2005
Time, Code, Language: New Media Poetics and Programmed Signification Article or chapter in a book 2006
An Interview with John Cayley on "Torus" Interview 2006
Weapons Of The Deconstructive Masses: Whatever the Electronic in Electronic Literature may or may not mean Article in an online journal, Conference paper or presentation 2008
SURFACE TEXT: Text as Surface in Immersive 3D Environments Invited lecture 2009
Screen Writing: A Practice-based, EuroRelative Introduction to Digital Literature and Poetics Article or chapter in a book 2009
Cave Writing: Reshaping Writing at Brown Conference panel or roundtable 2010
The Gravity of the Leaf: Phenomenologies of Literary Inscription in Media-Constituted Diegetic Worlds Article or chapter in a book 2010
The Institution of the Book: Why Shelley Jackson Doesn't Write Hypertext Invited lecture 2011
Is There a Message in the Medium? The Materiality of Language Conference paper or presentation 2011
Revolution and Literal Poetics: Writing to be Found and the Natural Language Liberation Fron Conference paper or presentation 2011
Writing to be Found and Writing Readers Article in an online journal 2011
The Artist, the Database, and the Project of the University Conference paper or presentation 2012
Ceux l'[image] encore/ une image langue: Beginning with How it is when translating certain processes of electronic literature Conference paper or presentation 2012
"How It Is in Common Tongues": an interview with John Cayley and Daniel Howe Interview 2012
Invisible Participation: Language and the Internet Conference paper or presentation 2012
“III=II=I=I=II=III” Conference paper or presentation 2012
Terms of Use Conference paper or presentation 2012
Reading and Giving–Voice and Language Article in a print journal 2013
The Johns Hopkins Guide to Digital Media Book (collection) 2014

Editorial work:

Title Yearsort descending Publisher
Process Window: Code Work, Code Aesthetics, Code Poetics 2003 Cybertext Yearbook
Electronic Poetics 2003 Cybertext Yearbook
Cybertext Yearbook 2002-2003 2003 University of Jyväskylä, Cybertext Yearbook

Events arranged:

Event City Date Event type Edit link
E-Poetry 2005 London 28.09.2005 Festival
Electronic Literature Organization 2010: Archive & Innovate Providence 03.06.2010 Conference

Curator of:

Title City Country Date
Interrupt II Studio Providence United States February 10, 2012 to February 12, 2012

Teaching Resource created by this person:

Research Collection that references this entry:

Full Name: 
John Cayley
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Record posted by: 
Eric Dean Rasmussen