Information, derived from the Latin informare, or "to give form to," the connotation being the imposition of structure upon some indeterminate mass, the way a man turns to a woman and says, "wasn’t that something," the reason an amoeba identifies and absorbs a bacterium, how a disembodied voice traverses a fiberoptic cable under the waves to eventually nest in someone’s ear, causing intention to arise. Information presumes an observer outside the feedback loop, the closed system, who determines the goal of that system. Of course, when we write or speak, information is not exchanged between sender and receiver; signals are.

The sender’s meaning must be interpreted by the receiver outside the transmission itself—and so meaning and information are inversely related: a jumble of letters contains more information—more possible interpretations—than a crystalline combination of subject/predicate. Serge Gavronsky, in his triad of pieces—poem, criticism, translation—delves into how the transmission of meaning is enacted by the process of translation, demonstrating how the creative act of reconstitution is related to our notions of (in)fidelity. Stephanie Strickland’s WaveSon.nets are paratactic, existent, like the horoscope in mid-ph(r)ase, independent of each other yet conjoined, syntactic, when read together. Linda Carolli’s Speak, in sifting through transferences and allowing the reader to navigate a multiple path through the text literalizes Deleuze and Guattari’s injuction to "form a line, never a point." Ed Osborn’s Shuffleboardwalking attempts to emulate in sound the most necessary yet ultimately elusive voice—consciousness’ internal monologue—by making the meander of thought—silent, pervasive, omnipotent—an audible form. Jody Zellen’s Visual Chaos, a mobile of perpetual motion, embodies the process whereby a system that loses information over time gains in entropy—the more we are given to look at, the less we comprehend, shedding light on the fact that our very notion of comprehension—from the Latin comprehenden, or com (together) + prehendere (to grasp)—is based on the transmutation of something dynamic into something static, a reduction of slipperiness into something the mind can hold.

From these pieces, along with the work of our other contributors, we can draw a conclusion: that a work of art is related to the production of information by overplus, that which resists being reified into dead weight. An authentic—notion that is anathema in our postmodern age—work of art is alive, afloat, stilled into interpretation for no more than a moment. It is the perfect conjunction of kinetic and potential energy, sheer musicality and gravitas, the kind of information that has no use and no value—and thus remains absolutely crucial for our sustenance.

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