readme.spampoem - out of office card

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Title: readme.SpamPoem
Year of production: 2014
Medium: Internet / Net.Art

:: Description ::

In collaboration with Poet Susan Scarlata (US)

readme.SpamPoem is a collection of poems composed out of the found materials that have been filtered as ‘Spam’ through the computation of an email system. Inspired by Dadaism and the Oulipo school of poetics, it is a series shaped through instructions, constraints, randomness and found language. This piece explores the computation and design of an email system through its auto-reply, canned responses, email subject query and spam filtering features. Through turning an email system into a poetry machine, it alters how readers encounter spam by re-appropriating spam-language, and asking the questions: What is spam? How does it appeal using various rhetorical devices to engage with others? and How is it filtered, generated, received, and can that reception be altered? An intimate relation is established with banal medium and language.

:: How it works ::

To experience the work, one can simply send an email to with any mobile devices or personal computers, then the reader will receive an auto-reply email with a spam poem. Subsequently, by following the instruction of the auto-reply email, the reader can start composing other new email message with a “different subject line” to receive other spam poem(s). Explore your imagination of spam.

* We recommend you to compose a new email rather than ‘reply’ any of our email and change its subject line.

* The functioning of this work is subject to the availability of canned responses features and within the email storage limit of Gmail.

:: Exhibition(s) ::

:: Acknowledgement ::

Matthew Britton and Polly Poon