A new ebook in GAMMM: Nanni Balestrini’s TAPE MARK I (1962).
TAPE MARK I was published in Almanacco Letterario Bompiani in 1962. Balestrini used an IBM 7070 computer with 322 punched cards giving 1200 instructions. The program recombined fragments taken from three different texts: Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, Paul Goldwin’s The Mystery of the Elevator, and Michihito Hachiya’s Hiroshima Diary. The program constructed several series of words using these elements, avoiding juxtaposing elements from the same extracts. The output was six line poems with four metrical units per line – later edited for grammar and punctuation.