“The Art of Deleting: A Study of Erasure Poetry, Practices of Control, Surveillance, and Censorship” (ARTDEL) is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action led by Álvaro Seiça that addresses the topic of erasure as a poetic, aesthetic, and political act.
The project’s research is carried out at the University of Bergen, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Coimbra (2018-2021).
ARTDEL at UCLA IS Colloquium
ARTDEL analyzes the relations between contemporary poetry and erasure with a focus on poetic works that show marks of deletion, cross-out, blackout, whiteout, or algorithmic erasures as forms of resistance and activism in digital culture. The project addresses various levels of erasure, by focusing on its social, political, and aesthetic dimensions, and by tracing its antecedents.
ARTDEL elaborates case studies on the cultural and political contexts of production and reception of poetry in Portugal, China, and the United States. The research compares practices of “hard” censorship applied to works of poetry in fascist and communist regimes, and practices of “soft” censorship applied in contemporary democratic and network societies.
The project is a comparative study of the legal and political processes applied by the state apparatus in the control and regulation of the literary field, particularly in poetry. From this context, it investigates whether the superstructures of state control, surveillance, and censorship influence contemporary works of erasure poetry.
Due to the scientific, socio-political, and critical perspectives concerning power and technology, ARTDEL is a timely project that significantly contributes to new knowledge on cultural production in the digital age, but also how different ideological regimes conditioned and continue to condition literary production and intellectual life.
Exhibition: Obras Proibidas e Censuradas no Estado Novo [Forbidden and Censored Books during the Estado Novo]
National Library of Portugal, May 3 — Sep. 3, 2022
Curators: Álvaro Seiça, Luís Sá, and Manuela Rêgo
This exhibition shows, for the first time ever, a selection of original books censored during the “Estado Novo” (1933-74) dictatorship. Given the number of copies censored, stamped, underlined, and expurgated that are now revealed, the exhibition is a new contribution towards studying the effects of book censorship on Portuguese and Lusophone culture, but also on foreign literature that was imported or translated in Portugal. Until today, the original copies from the Library/Archive of the Direcção dos Serviços de Censura (The Directorate of Censorship Services) – which, under different names, kept an archive between 1934 and 1974 – were unknown to the public. The discovery of this hidden treasure is a highly significant moment, since it enriches the study and perception of the censorial practice as a heterogeneous and fluctuating process during almost half a century. link.
Exhibition leaflet: link
Festival and Conference: Erase!
A digital festival and conference on the poetics and politics of erasure.
September 20-24, 2021
Online: All events are free and archived at erase.artdel.net
Screenings: Bergen, Norway
Bergen Public Library, University of Bergen Humanities Library, KMD Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, and University of Bergen campus screens
ERASE is a digital festival and conference on the poetics and politics of erasure. It is a hybrid event, taking place online and on-site. It blends the festival and conference format to showcase commissioned video presentations of creative works, and to contribute to a critical debate on the theme of erasure. ERASE invites international guests to reflect on how the poetic, literary, and artistic practices of erasure relate to wider discussion on aesthetics, technology, and politics.
ERASE brings together poets, artists, and critics from Angola, Chile, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Portugal, Taiwan, and the United States.
Guest artists: Daniel C. Howe, Hung Hung, Raquel Lima, Winnie Soon, Carlos Soto-Román
Guest critics: Florian Cramer, Tammy Lai-Ming Ho, Bruno Ministro, Juliana Spahr
Curator and editor: Álvaro Seiça
Design and website: Manufactura Independente
Workshops and Seminars
- 2019 (Feb. 12): Digital Culture Research Group, Data Viz and OpenRefine workshop, University of Bergen.
- 2018 (Nov. 15): Digital Culture Research Group, Erasure works documentation and typology, research seminar, University of Bergen.
- 2022 (June 3): “Deslocações do Livro: A Biblioteca dos Serviços de Censura do Estado Novo.” Conference paper: MATLIT Postdoc Symposium 2022, University of Coimbra. link
- 2022 (May 4): “Coleção Biblioteca da Censura.” Book collection presentation and talk on the “Censorship Library.” Festival Lisboa 5L, National Library of Portugal. link and link
- 2022 (May 3, 4, 9): “Visita guiada: Obras Proibidas e Censuradas no Estado Novo [Guided tour: Forbidden and Censored Books during the Estado Novo].” National Library of Portugal. link
- 2021 (April 14): “Poesia Cinética: O Caso da Censura a Roda Lume de E. M. de Melo e Castro.” Conference paper: Banned Images: Cinema and Literature in the Iberian Peninsula – 20th and 21st Centuries, FLUL, University of Lisbon. link
- 2020 (Dec. 3): ARTDEL Invited Talk “The Art of Deleting: On Poetry and Erasure” by Álvaro Seiça, Emerging Breslauer Scholar, Visiting Researcher, UCLA Information Studies Colloquium. link. Watch the recorded talk on YouTube: link
- 2020 (June 9): “This Is the Paradox of Language.” Invited talk and poetry reading. Panel: “Digital Poetry: Politically Programmed,” curated by Annette Gilbert and moderated by Hannes Bajohr. With Kathrin Passig and Nick Thurston. Poesiefestival Berlin 2020. link
- 2019 (Oct. 17-18): Roundtable and Workshop paper feedback “Electronic Literature [Frame]works for the Creative Digital Humanities,” UC Santa Barbara, Digital Arts and Humanities Commons, Peder Sather Grant Collaboration.
- 2019 (July 16): “Erasure Poetry: Introduction and Visualization.” Conference paper, ELO 2019, University College Cork, Ireland. link
- 2019 (June 11): “Poesia e Rasura.” MATLIT: Materialities of Literature postdoc conference presentation, University of Coimbra, Portugal. link
- 2018 (Aug. 14): “Literature Mods.” Conference paper, ELO 2018, UQAM, Canada. link
- Seiça, Álvaro. “Colecção Biblioteca da Censura: Encarte.” Público (May 7, 2022). link
- Seiça, Álvaro. “Obras Proibidas e Censuradas no Estado Novo: Folha de Sala / Forbidden and Censored Books during the Estado Novo: Exhibition Leaflet.” National Library of Portugal, 2022. link or link
- Seiça, Álvaro. “Biblioteca da Censura: A Devolução ao Público.” Público (Apr. 23, 2022). link
- Seiça, Álvaro. “Imoral, Comunista e Pornográfica: A Biblioteca dos Serviços de Censura do Estado Novo.” Obras Proibidas e Censuradas no Estado Novo, ed. by Álvaro Seiça, Luís Sá and Manuela Rêgo. Lisbon: Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (forthcoming 2022). link
- Seiça, Álvaro. “The Erasing Impulse: Veiling and Unveiling the Poetic and the Political.” Global Perspectives on Digital Literature, ed. by Torsa Ghosal. New York: Routledge (forthcoming 2022).
- Seiça, Álvaro. “Depending or Transgressing? Kinetic Writing that Belongs and Breaks Away.” Interférences Littéraires / Literaire interferenties 25, ed. Chris Tanasescu (2021): 283-305. link
- Seiça, Álvaro. “Kinetic Poetry.” Electronic Literature as Digital Humanities: Contexts, Forms, and Practices, ed. by Dene Grigar and James O’Sullivan. London: Bloomsbury, 2021: 173-202. doi:10.5040/9781501363474.ch-015. link
- Seiça, Álvaro. “A Critique of Control and Black Boxes: Lit Mods of Ian Hatcher’s ‘⌰ (Total Runout)’”. Poetics Today 41.4 (2020): 503-537. doi:10.1215/03335372-8720043. Publisher version: link Accepted Manuscript Open Access: link
- Seiça, Álvaro. “E. M. de Melo e Castro: A Palavra Inovada.” Po-ex.net (Sep. 10, 2020). link
- Seiça, Álvaro. “Lit Mods.” Electronic Book Review (Sep. 6, 2020). doi:10.7273/hphy-bs66. link
- Seiça, Álvaro. “upoesia v0.1 [demo].” Fobias - Fonias - Fagias. Escritas Experimentais e Eletrónicas Ibero-Afro-Latinoamericanas, ed. by Claudia Kozak and Rui Torres. Porto: Publicações UFP, 2019: 292-321. link
- Karhio, Anne, and Álvaro Seiça. “Other Codes / Cóid Eile: Re-thinking Context in Digital Literature.” Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures 20 (2019), “Special Issue: Other Codes / Cóid Eile.” doi:10.20415/hyp/020.i01. link
- Seiça, Álvaro (ed.) Biblioteca da Censura. 25 vols. Lisbon: Público / A Bela e o Monstro, 2022-24. 25 facsimile books by John Reed, Joseph Conrad, Manuel da Fonseca, Natália Correia, André Malraux, Bernardo Santareno, Soeiro Pereira Gomes, Jorge Amado, Orlando da Costa, Alexandre Cabral, Carmen de Figueiredo, Graciliano Ramos, Maria Lamas and Teixeira de Pascoais, Romeu Correia, Papiniano Carlos, Barata Dias, Jaime Salazar Sampaio, José Cardoso Pires, Mário Ruivo, Ferro Rodrigues, Maria Natália Duarte Silva, Matilde Rosa Araújo and Luiz Pacheco, Jean-Paul Sartre, Eugénio de Andrade, Federico García Lorca, José Fernandes Fafe, Luís Francisco Rebello and Miguel Torga, Manuel Teixeira Gomes, Friedrich Nietzsche, Maia Alcoforado, Daniel Filipe, Albano Negrão, and Lev Tolstoi. link
- Karhio, Anne, and Álvaro Seiça (eds.) Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures 20 (2019), “Special Issue: Other Codes / Cóid Eile.” doi:10.20415/hyp/020. link
- “Entrevista a Liberto Cruz (Álvaro Neto).” (Jul. 28, 2020, under edition).
- “Mãos e Ouvidos: O Corpo da Escrita como Resistência Contra a Censura Fascista. Conversa entre Maria Teresa Horta e Álvaro Seiça.” (Dec. 30, 2019, under edition).
- “Entrevista a Nuno Júdice.” (Dec. 9, 2019, under edition)
Slides, videos, datasets, and source files are available in Open Access via the Zenodo repository
- Seiça, Álvaro. (2020, December 3). The Erasing Impulse: Constellations of Practices. Zenodo.
- Seiça, Álvaro. (2020, December 3). The Erasing Impulse: Documenting, Classifying, and Visualizing. Zenodo.
- Seiça, Álvaro. (2020, November 18). DuckDuckGo: 'Erasure poem' query. Zenodo.
- Seiça, Álvaro. (2020, November 19). Instagram: #blackoutpoetry query. Zenodo.
- Seiça, Álvaro. (2020, November 19). Instagram: #erasurepoetry query. Zenodo.
- Seiça, Álvaro. (2021). “Erasure Dataset”. Zenodo
This dataset compiles +400 creative works that employ erasure techniques.
Seiça, Álvaro. (2021). “Censored Books during the Portuguese Estado Novo: Transcription Dataset of the Censorship Commission's Card Files (1934-74)”. Zenodo
- This spreadsheet contributes to a new bibliography of censored books under the Portuguese Estado Novo dictatorial regime. Version 1 (antt-dsc-book-card-files-a-b) contains the transcription of the data fields of 1,015 card files of censored books, which are indexed by author surname in letters A and B.
Diagrams and Visualizations
Seiça, Álvaro. (2021). “Erasure Typology”. Zenodo
Visualization example: Erasure Typology Cluster Dendrogram (Source-Media-Technique)
- 2018-20 Visiting Researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles. Advisor: Johanna Drucker. Duration: 2 years. Work: ARTDEL.
- 2019 University of Coimbra, FCSH/Nova University Lisbon, National Archives ANTT, and the National Library of Portugal. Duration: 6 months. Work: Archival work for ARTDEL.
- European Union ARTDEL Periodic Report: 10 pages. Partly available here
New Memberships and Committees
- 2021: Crystal Vilenica Award 2021 Jury President, Slovenia
- 2021- Editorial board: Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures (USA) and peer-review ELO 2021 Exhibitions.
- 2020- Member: Centre for Portuguese Literature, University of Coimbra, Portugal.
- 2019: Peer-reviewer: Electronic Book Review (USA) and CITAR Journal of Science and Technology of the Arts (Portugal)
- 2019: Program Committee: ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media, Hof University (Germany). link
- 2019: Scientific Committee: 21st International Conference Consciousness Reframed, UCP, Porto (Portugal). link
- 2018: Peer-reviewer: Mémoires du Livre / Studies in Book Culture (Canada) and Human IT (Sweden)
- 2018- Editorial board: Cibertextualidades e-book collection. link
- 2020-12— Collaborating Member: Centre for Portuguese Literature, University of Coimbra
- 2013-08— Member: Electronic Literature and Digital Culture Research Groups, University of Bergen
- 2018-09—2020-09: Visiting Researcher: Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
- 2019-03—2019-08: Postdoctoral Fellow: Materialities of Literature, University of Coimbra
- 2020 Special Grant for the Translation and Publication of Portuguese Authors: Portugal-Leipzig Book Fair 2021. DGLAB and Camões Institute. Book Previsão para 365 Poemas by Álvaro Seiça. 365 vorhergesagte Gedichte. Trans. by Mathias Traxler. Cologne: Parasitenpresse, 2021. link
- OpenRefine with ITS Urban Planning Code Camp (Jan. 24, 2019, UCLA Data Science Center). Attendance
- Python Workshop (Jan. 25, 2019, org. UCLA Data Science Center). Attendance
- Algorithms, Infrastructures, Art, Curation (Jan. 26, 2019, CalArts). Attendance
- Command-line Workshop (Jan. 30, 2019, org. UCLA Data Science Center). Attendance
- Transmediale 2019 (Jan/Feb. 2019, HkW, Germany, org. Kristoffer Gansing). Symposium attendance and workshop participation (“Visual Evidence: - Methods and Tools for Human Rights Investigation” by VFRAME/Syrian Archive).
- Urgent Publishing: New Strategies in Post-Truth Times (May 2019, ArtEZ, Netherlands, org. Florian Cramer and Geert Lovink). Attendance and workshop participation (“Say it Ain’t so: Sound-to-voice-to-speech” by Amy Pickles and Cristina Cochior)
- Consciousness Reframed (June 2019, Portugal, org. UCP/Planetary Collegium). Scientific Committee/Attendance.
- Postdoc MATLIT (June 11, 2019, University of Coimbra, Portugal, org. Manuel Portela). Talk on ARTDEL entitled “Poesia e Rasura.” link
- Ana Hatherly: Programabilidade e Criação (June 2019, Portugal, org. Ana Marques). Attendance
- Electronic Literature Organization 2019 (July 2019, UCC, Ireland, org. James O’Sullivan). Conference paper on “Erasure and Poetry.”
- Electronic Literature as Critical Digital Humanities Workshop (Oct. 2019, UCSB, org. Alexandra Saum-Pascual, Scott Rettberg and Jeremy Douglass). Participation with paper “Lit Mods.”
- Colloquium 100 Years of Jorge de Sena (Nov. 15, 2019, UCSB). Attendance
- Transmediale 2020 (Jan 2020, Germany, org. Kristoffer Gansing). Attendance/Workshop.
- Ver/Rever a Escrita de Mulheres [1926-1974] (March 5-6, 2020, Portugal, Colégio Almada Negreiros). Submit 300-word paper abstract by Nov. 15, 2019.
- Banned Images: Cinema and Literature in the Iberian Peninsula – 20th and 21st Centuries (April 1-3, 2020, Portugal, org. FLUL/FCSH, postponed due to COVID-19). Submitted abstract for panel by Nov. 30, 2019, and delivered conference paper on April 2021.
- Internet Freedom Festival 2020 (April 20-24, 2020, Spain, org. Sandy Ordóñez and Pepe Borrás). Postponed.
- 9th Biennial Surveillance & Society conference (June 8-10, 2020, Erasmus University Rotterdam, org. Surveillance Studies Network). Postponed.
- Documentary Poetry, Popular Protest and Activism Conference (June 11-13, 2020, The American University of Paris, org. Geoff Gilbert and William Dow). Submitted paper abstract by Jan. 15, 2020 on poetry, erasure, and documentary form in the US. Postponed.