Negative Poetry: Human Algorithm

Online performance

Rae Armantrout


  1. Operation Phantom Fury.
  2. The full force
  3. of the will to live
  4. is fixed
  5. on the next
  6. occasion:
  7. someone
  8. coming with a tray,
  9. someone
  10. calling a number.
  11. Each material
  12. fact
  13. is a pose,
  14. an answer
  15. waiting to be chosen.
  16. "Just so," it says.
  17. "Ask again!"

Negative Poetry Human Algorithm is an online performance bridging collective thinking, theatre and complexity science. A computer made of people tackles the complex task of transforming a poem into its opposite, thereby generating a potentially infinite combinatorial polyphony of possibilities.

The work is a collaboration between Katarina Petrović, Orion Maxted and The Interactions group. The Interactions group is a transdisciplinary ‘thought band’ of roughly 20 artists, scientists and philosophers who together explore the weird and wonderful folds in the dimensions of all possible collective thought through experiments in collective intelligence, complexity science, cybernetics and algorithmic theatre.

Interactors: Orion Maxted (theatre maker/artscientist), Katarina Petrović (artscientist), Renske Vroomans (evolutionary biologist), Enrico Sandro Colizzi (evolutionary biologist), Izabelė Jonušaitė (philosopher), Sára Iványi (poet), Thomas Dudkiewicz (theatre maker), Marie Groothof (theatre maker) and Cadell Last (philosopher).

Programming and technical support by Keez Duyves (PIPSlab) and Jur de Vries. The Interactions group is hosted and supported by the Institute for Advanced Study, University of Amsterdam (IAS).


NPHA is part of a larger research study by Katarina Petrović. To view the entire exhibition please go to the home page.