7º International Meeting of
Experimental, Sound & Visual Poetry
INTRODUCTION: A LIQUID WORLD
by Committee on Organization (Argentina)
Over the past few years, and from different places, we have referred to Simias de Rodas, the magical labyrinths and squares of the Middle Ages, Mallarmé’s Coup de Dés, Apollinaire’s Calligrames, the Futurists’ words-in-freedom, Schwitters’ sound poem; and from the mid 1900’s, to the Brazilians’ concrete poems, Letterism, the mathematical poems by Vigo and the whole array of artistic production of the past thirty years; the Cold War, the Cuban Revolution, the Vietnam war, the hippie movement, the Cultural Revolution in China, the Latin American guerrillas, May ‘68, and the bloody repression in Argentina with over 30,000 missing people behind, we arrive at post-modernity, the fall of the Berlin wall, and the triumph of neo-liberalism.
This mix-up of developments is just a tiny portion of the world cultural, social, and economic developments of the past hundred years. The continuum narrative format, and its absolute disorder is an attempt to depict the ways of doing artwork in the early 21st century.
We would say, after the Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, that we are undergoing a liquid modernity, in reference to the impossibility of liquids to maintain their shape for a long time. This state of liquid instability can also be related to the ongoing processes in art, and, consequently, in Visual Poetry too.
Suffice it to look at the works exhibited in this 7th Meeting to recognize that a distinctive door opened up that permits the addition of traditional practices, and provides the tools to explore and include new languages and technologies into Visual Poetry as a whole.
Today, artists appropriate practices that in times past operated in separate compartments and that, if ever mixed, became timid experiences incapable of resisting specialized experts’ criticism.
What we could call the third vanguard, or art of the third millennium, has detached itself of labels and fits with no ism but, no doubt, will additionally fit with all, as a whole. Neither is the phenomenon explained by a technological demand since each artist makes use of what comes within its reach with no canon whatsoever conditioning its practices.
Crossings, contradictions, hybridizations, collisions, simulations, appropriations, and symbiosis are, among others, the traits of this contemporary practice. Videos, digital photographs, e-mails, fast prints, CDs, plotters, and whichever the market supplies daily will become tools to be appropriated by artists to invent new ways of seeing and looking at Visual Poetry.
Buenos Aires, September 2004.
* translated by María Rosa Andreotti