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Mapping the Unknown: The role of big ideas in science
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
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:
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
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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.
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.