Hannes Bajohr

Wrought Material - Text Processing

(German title: Halbzeug)
ca. 109 pages
Hannes Bajohr
Foto: Hannes Bajohr

Hannes Bajohr, born in Berlin in 1984, studied Philosophy, German Literature und History in Berlin and New York and earned his PhD with a thesis on Hans Blumenberg's philosophy of language. Apart from his academic work, he has translated Kenneth Goldsmith and Judith Shklar, among others, from the English and is the author of prose, essays and digital poetry.

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English world rights (Counterpath Press)


When everything is text, because everything is code, there is no more work, only wrought material, a semi-finished product. Images, films, sounds, words – in the digital world, everything is open to being (re)processed, transcoded and developed. Hannes Bajohr’s volume of poetry proves that astute poems can be created from recycled texts. Inspired by the avantgarde of modernity, he employs 21st-century technique: aided by algorithms, he has fragmented, transcribed and reordered Kafka‘s novels, government protocolls climate reports and much more. In doing so, his poems open up an entirely different perspective on reception and authorship in the age of digitalisation.


»If this poetry were under the patronage of a deity, as Apollo and Dionysus once represented visual and theatrical art respectively, the god Proteus would have to be responsible in this case. The deity that was able to change his appearance in an instant. Whenever Bajohr’s Protean poetry is founded on an infectious conceptual idea, it delivers illuminating cross-sections of linguistic milieus and cultures. The verses shine with wit and finesse surprisingly often […]« Christian Metz, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»Bajohr familiarises us with synaesthetic adventures and makes us keen to try the technique ourselves on other objects.« Hans Hütt, taz. die tageszeitung

»He creates atmospheric density and an immediate expression that isn’t just transported via reading the concept but via reading the text.« Miriam Zeh, Deutschlandfunk

»It‘s an exciting game with words that the literary scholar orchestrates here.« Friederike Stephaudt, blog.goethe.de

»Bajohr‘s book […] is fun and encourages an examination of the materiality of poetry, language, expression.« Timo Brandt, signaturen-magazin.de