We celebrated with a virtual reading at 7pm on Saturday 22nd April, with special guest support from our comrade across the pond, Mr Fred Voss, whose latest book is Someday There Will Be Machine Shops Full of Roses, available here and reviewed here. There was also a short author Q&A. Here's the video.........
Machine / Language is, amongst other things a chronicle of our descent into enmeshment with the very apparatus of our oppression: an oppression that functions legally through the economic exercise of state power, and intellectually, through the operation of language. These poems can be read in a number of ways: as documents of struggle, as aesthetic meditations, as an act of solidarity, and a mode of resistance. Machine/ Language owes much to Chinese worker poetry from across the last two decades, both in terms of their thematic freight and in its treatment. One of the ironies of capitalism is that while society itself is often figured as a living and frequently besieged organism, individual human bodies are more and more often treated as blunt instruments or faceless economic units.
This bitter paradox underscores Machine / Language. Martin Rowson’s nervy illustrations capture this contradiction, bringing us agonised grotesques: machine-men or man-machines, no longer the subjects of coercive capitalist control, but the willing apparatus through which this control perpetuates itself. The figures in Rowson’s drawings are both tragic and horrifying because their assimilation is not complete; their transformation forever imperfect: they retain enough self-knowledge to suffer. That’s their curse - but also our hope.
- Machine Language by Martin Hayes.pdf (190 Downloads)