Ian Hatcher's Prosthesis is a collection infused with the syntax of source code and the cadences of machinic speech, concerned with the question of where the apparatus ends and the body begins. The book's text, composed in part with custom software, combines human and computer languages into a hybrid of uncanny musicality. It functions both as poetry on the page and as a set of scores for Hatcher's virtuosic live performances.
Listen to Hatcher read from Prosthesis here.
Flooded with voices not its own, with flows of information and code both seductive and alienating, the multitudinous "I" speaking from within Prosthesis addresses us tenderly, beseechingly, grappling with felt loss, with immersive gain, both of which overwhelm as wave after wave of irreversible feedback expand the entrapping and enabling network, itself a prosthesis for us all.
Ian Hatcher has always understood that there is no life or language without prosthesis, and he is wonderful in his ability to make prosthetic beauty in language, for us, his listening readers. Everyday our language is being transfigured by processes and devices — enjoined to us and running in our bodies, minds, and memories. Hatcher knows, feels, and makes these processes his writing. At times, they may present and celebrate themselves as glitched symbolic images, yet they are true impressions of what we are already and of what we may become. Consciously and carefully — full of care for himself and us — Hatcher then learns to perform these intimate processes with skill, and so he demonstrates in expressive action just how we've been prosthetically transformed. His book is also the voices he has made, a language art with strong and deep affect and significance, an instant contemporary classic of aurature.
No one has explored our current language as signal and processing in quite the same way as Ian Hatcher. In Prosthesis, he exposes the code structure of natural language through his deft combination of formal procedures and intuitive interventions. These test pattern / text pattern works perform their constructions / deconstructions of the communicative structures of contemporary poetic practice in acts of (un)making that are sensually rich and intellectually provocative. Be sure to look at these works—and listen to Hatcher's performances—to sense their timings and shaped rhythms, their staccato repetitions, combinatoric sequences, algorithmic arrays, and their elegant dissections of traditional poetic forms.
Ian Hatcher is a text / sound / code / performance artist based in New York.