Mapping The Unknown – Champalimaud neuroscience

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Champalimaud neuroscience event








Mapping the Unknown: The role of big ideas in science

30.7.2014 21h

Champalimaud Center for the Unknown – Lisbon, Portugal



Giacomo Rizzolatti  – originator of mirror neuron theory

Zach Mainen – Director, Champalimaud Neuroscience program


Artists: Poshu Wang, Alan Prohm, Rita Venturini


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Historically, visual poetries originate in an exploration of, or in an exultation in, the visual forms of language. Whether we consider the millennial arts of calligraphy (East Asian, Islamic or European), the ancient tradition of shaped-text or “pattern” poetry (Simias of Rhodes, ca. 300BC; George Herbert, 17th Century; Guillaume Apollinaire, 1910’s, etc.) or the particularly modern practice of spatialized free verse that begins with Stéphane Mallarmé at the end of the 19th Century, visual poetry emerges where writing realizes the complementary potentials of its own visual forms.

A gallery of samples:

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See some writings on Visual Poetics: Here

The fact that visual poetry today remains a marginal practice, rarely given much attention within the academy, is strange considering mainstream literature’s own anxieties in the face of the advancing visualization, or de-literarification, of culture. Where conventional literature now appears marginal, even archaic, within a cultural formation which increasingly privileges modes of viewing and mediated interactivity over traditional reading, visual poetry deserves recognition for having long ago assumed a position much more central to the major media shifts at work within culture.

For more on this, and the theory of literary intermediality, see my research page on visual poetics: here

100-year quick-scan: visual poetics
100-year quick-scan: visual poetics – please add what has been left out


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Isidore Isou, “The Evolution of Technical Sensibility in Poetry”

We can think of poetics as a technics of meaning experience mediated through discursive sign systems. Poetics in this sense can be a something applied at work by poets or architects, by gardeners or weathermen, and is necessarily “parapoetics” in the sense Steve McCaffery gives the term[*], not a blending of poetry with other media, but a contamination of its creative/critical principle into other discourses.

The redefinition of poetry that ensues displaces poetry’s identity claims from their native terrain in verbal linguistics, to a transmedial, cognitive plane of description where they hold by established analogy between how content is handled and processed in different perceptual/receptive modes, and experienced there as poetic.

This is what that looks like, or similar.

Read A as B.

Online Attention Tracking app, showing as stimulus “Voice Drinker/The Artificial Given ” by Arakawa

See my course on Total Poetics: Here

[*] Steve McCaffery, “Parapoetics and the Architectural Leap”, in Architectures of Poetry, ed. María Eugenia Díaz Sánchez and Craig Douglas Dworkin. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004.