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Christian Bok’s Xenotext Launch Party
October 1, 2015, 12:00 AM
Enciphered in a bacterium, The Xenotext is the world’s first living poem. Internationally bestselling poet Christian Bök (Eunoia), has spent more than ten years writing what promises to be the first example of ‘living poetry.’ After successfully demonstrating his concept in a colony of E. coli, Bök is on the verge of enciphering a beautiful, anomalous poem into the genome of an unkillable bacterium (Deinococcus radiodurans), which can, in turn, ‘read’ his text, responding to it by manufacturing a viable, benign protein, whose sequence of amino acids enciphers yet another poem. The engineered organism might conceivably serve as a post-apocalyptic archive, capable of outlasting our civilization.
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