6° International Meeting of
Experimental, Sound & Visual Poetry
. PRESENTATION .
Committee on organization
A new way for an old poem
"In the poem-object poetry doesn't function exclusively as a bridge, but also as an explosive. Taken away from its context, objects deviate from their uses and meaning. They vary between what they are and what they have meant. They're no longer objects nor entirely signs. Then what they are? They are mute things that speak. To see them is to hear them. What do they say? They express riddles, enigmas. Suddenly those enigmas open up and, like a chrysalis and a butterfly, let instant revelations go". Octavio Paz
A new version of the Visual Poetry Meeting begins, and we are facing a new change regarding the images sent by participants in comparison with previous works.
It's possibly necessary to get into this process to see the reasons that made this change happen. In order to do so, we should look back and see what was going on ever since artists decided to turn both letters and words into images.
Since early 20th century, considering what futuristic artists have done with their words of freedom till the present day many elements have been added.
Halfway through the century the artists who produced the Concrete Poetry start creating their own poems, when words turned into graphic images.
In this case lyrics still keep their original format with little sign variations, though in redundance and ambiguity they build up a very familiar artistic structure, which eventually became the Concrete Painting.
But from that moment until today lyrics interacted more and more with the semantics, linking the object from all its meanings: found object, trivial object and metaphoric object, in fact a rich catalog featuring the many ways the object becomes part of the visual poem, clearly shown in works exhibited all over the world, not forgetting the tool that helped to expand the assorted meanings of the contemporary visual poetry: the computer. The print had already helped works' production. The typographic printing, as well as offset and xerography helped the artists to multiply both the quality and the plastics' structure, let alone photography in the early 20th century.
Nowadays the production of objects is the largest ever. Discards will be finally recovered by artists and filled with poetic meanings. Dreams, personal goals, the familiar saga, religious connotations and magic represnt only a few among the many subjects included in these object-poems.
In that junction made of lyrics, words and objects is where the poem-object is nowadays located.
There are some hurried people who insist on calling this "the aesthetics of the 21st century", but the century has just begun and so far we are currently enjoying the work collected in the last hundred fruitful years. Futurology isn't related to art, art is a living process and it's precisely because of its living character that it's able to go along the changes of society.
Video-poetry and multimedia works
We must also consider the participations enroled in poetical video and in the multimedia visual poetries.
Poetical video can be divided into two parts. The first part comprises the documentation of actions that took place in the past. Registered poetic actions may represent the artist's critical view on different sides of daily life turned into poetry as of actions carried on voluntarily.
Words take diverse forms that can be phonetic or graphic, always performed in public or private areas that would later become theatrical settings without any drama scripts.
Multimedia poetry is directly related to digital production, indeed a new way of expression.
We should meditate about the deep change that may come from now on and ask ourselves if the multimedia tools will provide plastic elements that will make the production of works possible in the future almost exclusively.
This wouldn't be the first time for such a question if we took into account those who were affected by the first films of the Lumiere brothers.
As usual art has an infinite number of expressions and reproductions, with lots of assorted tools that sometimes superimpose, cancel or complement between each other.
The experience of visual poetry is such a creative form that complementation is always present.
Actions (performances) and artist books
These two ways of expression have gone along visual poetry from the beginning. We can only assure that artists that perform poetry with their bodies, as well as those who publish artits books have incorporated a new technological range of images.
When Mallarme said that his poem "Un golpe de dados" represented his own enthusiasm that faced the signals that originated in the new city of the last days of the 19th century, he was launching a new aesthetics: visual poetry.
New tools for production, reproduction, and fast ways of communication for the new artists guarantee a long way for visual poetry that has just begun and that lacks a date, place or way of knowing which direction it has taken, or when it's going to end.