Jim Andrews and Lionel Kearns led a brilliant discussion on life, poetry and the past. Andrews presented his piece On Lionel Kearns, a binary meditation in Shockwave on
the work of the Vancouver poet. Kearns is one of very few poets who have been thinking about digital poetics and the synthesis implied by electronic media since the early sixties. Andrews works with texts, visual poems, and animated poetry videos by Kearns that were written/produced from the early sixties through the mid eighties. On Lionel Kearns is a tribute to Kearns's polyartistic synthesis of arts, media, language and the binary, and is an attempt to extend Kearns's experimental poetics into the contemporary landscape of software art. For instance, the work contains a great deal of 'imaging Lingo' that takes up Kearns's concern with reference, identity, infinity, fractals, and loops toward the creation of interactive visual poetry. He also updates such pieces as Kearns's "Participatory Poem" toward the creation of a piece where readers over the Internet can literally participate in the poem.
Jim Andrews is a poet-programmer-audio guy-critic-mathematician. He has been
publishing Vispo since 1995: He is the founder of the webartery list and
currently co-moderates the -empyre- list, both of which focus on digital
art. He is also the founder of the Mocambopo poetry reading series in
Victoria Canada, and produced the Fine Lines and ?Frame?
literary/experimental radio shows in the eighties that were heard across
Canada on campus/community stations each week for six years. He currently
lives in Victoria.
During his active days as a Canadian poet (1960-1986) Lionel Kearns experimented with a range of forms and formats, and was one of the first writers to embrace the new technology. Some of his earlier work, and his ideas on the nature and potential of poetic form, foreshadowed the contemporary arena of web-based digital poetry.