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Monday, May 03, 2010

Relational poetics. poetic practice

I. Policy. Performances


a) the poetic relationship

Looking at the vitality of art reshaping it’s object in the last 20 years, we realize that literature might seem an fancy old lady, who purchases fashionable gadgets occasionally but only in her apartment decorated with lace is where she feels best. Sometimes one suspects she’s not even watching TV either.


b) emotional pornography

It's almost an automatism to speak about lost generations, shattered illusions, betrayed ideals, etc. And who could dear challenge God knows what individual that is beaten. How would one hit people that had fallen?!

There is no difficulty to realize that for two hundred years there has been only people who have lost. Who said that won anything since Napoleon?! Only dictators, and there was just propaganda. Even revolutions are not meant anymore as symbols of victory.

c. cultural entertainment & political dada

The illusion that the speech was ever any other than defect is more obvious when you realize that the media machine simply assumes the traditional role of the artist, of visual and orality artisan to provide a consumer version for the Odes of Pindar (for example).

Assertiveness is the quality that makes the events to be suspicious.
The poet does not produce anything concrete. Ironically, no other occupation is not in a position as immaterial as that of the poet.

With one exception: here comes the irony: the politician.


4. poetic organization

Political power builds its strength on the organization and management of network resources set behind its symbolic value. What keeps eccentric the poetry is quite the opposite of political power: isolation, discrediting groups and encouraging a lack of responsibility. And this is exactly what we should not accept. Here can begin poetry

Short stories

May, 2009

As a preface for the 100 anniversary Poetics of the Quotidian meetings we had prepared a debate on how poetry is perceived and written today. This text is an adaptation of a conference designed during January to May 2009 for the space of art and contemporary culture Unicredit Pavilion in Bucharest.


Compared to contemporary art, literature (especially the Romanian one) remains much quieter. Any output to a wide audience is automatically suspected of cheap commercialism. Surprisingly or not, aesthetic tendencies raised by Nicolas Bourriaud in 2002 with his famous series of comments over contemporary artists can be found in a basic XIXth century text, where Romanticism was described by F. Schlegel.
In this way we can recover a literary consciousness that puts forward the effectiveness of poetic approach in contemporary society, beyond the traditional aesthetics and stubbornness of dwelling exclusively an aesthetic autonomy.

This text aims to pursue a number of genuine poetic elements identified as functional in the various areas of social life and politics today.

Whether metaphorical scrap, rhetoric performances more or less cheap, economic models, political discourse, media are all based on elements and even structures specific to poetry. In the end, anarchy and rigid conservatorism both assume victimization as a personal process.




Poetic relationship

All you know about figures of speech, fixed forms or concepts that the universe poetic, lyrical feeling you can find raised in literary criticism or school textbooks that have selected poems published in the last 10 years, but implementation of these elements can no longer work.

As a reader, without any pretensions of art criticism, I see relational aesthetics as one of the most important tests of theoretical approach to recovery original art in social magnitude.

I was asked many times how a specialized field in forging lines of force of the word has not offered no theoretical formulation that can compare to a conceptual ruptures of the art or music in the last half century.

It is a surprise to find a correlation between the formulations of the theory of art that changed the essential perspective on today's artistic act and the different ways that the poetic act was identified over time.

One of the biggest problems for a contemporary reader is the inaccuracy of synthetic formulations in literary history. Usually, the specific elements listed for any literary movements are only a few features that could provide arguments in an approach aimed to differentiate artificially between historical moments.

When it is mentioned Western medieval poetry literary history states the resignation from the poet's creative position and focuses on the song, the verse as word craft, it is only a simplification of reality.

The studies in medieval poetics (the transition from poetry to poetics is perhaps best illustrated in this moment - WTH Jackson Medieval Literature: A History and a Guide) insists ovet the meeting between poetry (written in Latin scholastic era in obligatory relationship with Christian vision) and vernacular poetry. However, when you read verses like

Who's that I hear?—It's me—Who?—Your heart
Hanging on by the thinnest thread
I lose all my strength, substance, and fluid
When I see you withdrawn this way all alone
Like a whipped cur sulking in the corner
Is it due to your mad hedonism?—
What's it to you?—I have to suffer for it—
Leave me alone—Why?—I'll think about it—
When will you do that?—When I've grown up—
I've nothing more to tell you—I'll survive without it—

(The Debate Between Villon And His Heart by François Villon translated by Galway Kinnell) .


you can understand that the vitality of the poetic language goes far beyond the intentions of poetic theories. The same happens with any poetic moment that you may choose. Texts that founded literary movements had more nuances than historic simplifications can address.
Only when we find the theoretical formulations signed by Friedrich Schlegel (1772-1829) we can see that a historic perspective overlooks the very vitality poetics at a certain moment. “All art has been contemporary” states
a work by Maurizio Nannucci at the entrance of Alte Museum in Berlin. That quality which have to be contemporary poetics in relation to vital principles of their time in a lose sight of the man approaches: „Romantic poetry is a progressive, universal poetry. Its aim isn’t merely to reunite all the separate species of poetry and put poetry in touch with philosophy and rhetoric. It tries to and should mix and fuse poetry and prose, inspiration and criticism, the poetry of art and the poetry of nature; and make poetry lively and social, and life and society poetical; poeticize wit and fill and saturate the forms of art with every kind of good, solid matter for instruction, and animate them with the pulsations of humor.“ (here)

I am not sure when you thought last time about romantic poetry but I am almost certain you haven’t included humor and the clash between the society and aesthetics. Yet it is a quote signed by F. Schlegel and one of the birth acts of Romanticism.

To conclude our introduction I will add the indication offered by a French art critic in order to determine the mutation targeted in relational aesthetics: Art begins to aim rather the sphere of human interactions and its social context than the affirmation of self and private symbolic space (Nicolas Bourriaud-Relational Aesthetics 1998).
As the theoretical formulation of relational aesthetics were caused by lack of effectiveness of the concepts required in the critical art of the 60’s and by the search for functional criteria to address contemporary artistic approaches we can recognize the same moment where poetry criticism is blocked today.

II. Poetics


June, 2009

My first relational poetry event was a grid poem online. After a few months I repeated the experience as a preface to a workshop in Constanta (Eastern Romania). At some point I realized that it showed up quite a few events in this area and maybe it's time to see how they stay together.

Right after I staged poem scale experiment in Bratislava, where, the audience chose one letter from each of the 5 poems that I read, and in the end, all the letters were dictated to be written in a hopscotch in form of the Slovak word basen (poem). Sure, relational poetics is anything (or can be). and yet ...



... Where we come from

It’s no need to claim we invented the wheel. I've heard before about relational poetics. In 2005 a number of Fascicle publication, Alan Gilbert concludes his dialogue with Dale Smith talking exactly about the relational poetics: "a sensitivity to relationship and context, an understanding of language and even consciousness as ongoing negotiation, an emphasis on listening, all of which are accompanied by the inevitable failures you mention, are at the heart of my sense of an aesthetics and an ethics that is neither an aesthetics nor an ethics, but are part of a larger critical and creative reevaluation of these categories."

Since 1990 Édouard Glissant has published essays on poetry in the volume "Poetique de la relation" (Gallimard). Later he lectured on his concept with Tunisian poet Amina Said. His concept is based on the specific problems of poetry in Antilles (where Glissant originates, in fact) and emphasizes individual identity issues, language and society.

I would be even more radical, because the forms of poetry in their change have drawn changes concerning the role of poetry, but basically something persisted. And it is not rhymes, or rhythm and meter ... and not even the written text that persists.

If you had read Homer or Pindar than you realize that not even the poet’s self is customary in the poem. So we are left to formulate a specific "to be together" as the poet Constantin Acosmei would say in “poezie.puterea” documentary film, "with people from different places, from different times”. And from here ...

... Where we have seen each other

As I said erlier, the first workshop of relational poetics that I was invited to perform was in Timisoara, in the days of “Save Student House” campaign. What emerged was a spectacular map, edited by Ana Toma in a one copy hand-made volume. Instead of streets, the rule was to name poets and quotes from poems related to Timisoara.

Also in Timisoara was organized and first public meeting of relational poetics. In the Cărtureşti bookshop tea-house from Timisoara readers took a line willing to have a poem written especially for each of them by the invited poets. This time, the poets spoke in turn with each reader and wrote poetry or prose turned from what they were told by the public.

The series of workshops from Timisoara ended with YourPoeticMap at Sand Book Bookshop. This time the workshop completed a series of 5 pages for each participant. Each page represented aspects of poetic perception of the participant.

Then, the project was developed in Constanta. And there are still things to be done about editing YourPoeticMap. Not that it would be of great difficulty, but it introduces some terms into question as...


... a manifesto

Last year (2008), Ian Irvine has launched a transpersonal-relational poetics manifesto changing the focus theory of poetry to the development of a non-oppressive language. The theory calls for experiments with language forms and uses references to experiments with alienated forms of language and moves the whole story in a social area.

It is still an opportunity to emphasize some theoretical historical landmarks: Oulipean techniques associated with 'Constraints Based' writing (though with minimal emphasis on mathematical concepts), various 'Language' poetry techniques, non-Western techniques related to anti-colonialist/ethno poetic insights, as well as a range of revised and up-dated 20th century avant-garde techniques / concepts eg: 'Writing as Process', 'chance operations', 'deconstructive appropriation' etc.. Certain TRP techniques might also be described as original. The interactivity (and process / relational possibilities) offered by the WWW is also under exploration by TPR writers. Another area of interest is creativity in relation to personal healing and political activism. In this sense some concepts drawn from 'narrative therapy' is also relevant to the TRP perspectives and praxis."

"Poetics of relation" is the concept provided by Edouard Glissant (Galimard, 1990, University of Michigan, 1997). The writer born in French Antilles invokes as first poets of relation Victor Segalen, Raymond Roussel and Henri Rousseau. Glissant considers them the first creators to prove the kickbak that an event from a remote culture can have over the life of an individual in modernity (op cit, p. 27). As the unexplored territories geographically shrank the act of discovering the other is replaced by the „understanding” of the other as a foreign civilization. But this understanding has a aggressive meaning. The events that take place in a remote space have a bigger importance for an individual than personal and familial events ever can.

Glissant sorts a vocal language and a practical one and calls for a need for de- colonization of creoles languages by a „conspiracy of hiding sense”. The release from conventional forms of transparency in the language, the deliberate use of linguistic opacity is used as an instrument of poetic politics. In the history of literature, the same case can be considered regarding Dante’s choice for vernacular Italian instead of imperial Latin («Patke, Rajeev S., in Postcolonial Poetry in English », Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 98).

When theorizing of the 80’s Romanian textualism, Marin Mincu insisted on how the authors “cut” aspects of reality to provide their text. Relational Poetics is an invitation to record cuts that authors and readers prefer for these partially un-textual poems that we currently call living.



III. Practice. poets, readers, speakers = inhabitants

By mid 2008, a series of events held in Bucharest, Timisoara, Constanta, Bratislava, Prague and Paris had been transformed in practice for these considerations, using poetry as a tool for communication, documentation and response to immediaty reality. If for Prague and Paris, projects for which we worked with Claudiu Komartin and Ana Maria Sandu were held so far only in the virtual environment, for all other events are documented in order to restore and indicate the stages of each workshops.

I added some notes relating to Poetics of the Quotidian meetings, which, in 2005, was a continuous exercise and relationship with literature.

personalPOETICmapping

(Timisoara, May 2009)

For each of us the world looks different. Sand Book Bookshop invited readers to Poetics of the Quotidian for mapping their poetic world.

Razvan Tupa and Moni Stănilă prepared writing instruments for each of those who wished to participate in this workshop.


WORKSHOP DURATION: 80-120 min


CONDUCT:
-Each participant will have 5 (five) pages of A4 paper and writing instruments.
The name of your poetic map is your name.


- Choose a sign to represent you and you use it on every page of the workshop. Put the sign on each of the five pages.

- It is important that each participant to use each of the five pages in the order they will show that coordinate the workshop.

- The workshop has five stages (one for each of the five pages of the participants)

- At the end of each stage, your sheet is photographed.

- The end of the workshop is marked by setting up an image in two ways:

1: by joining all the drawings with the same number (all 1 then every 2 etc.) to present a horizontal map.

2: the alignment of all pages (from 1 to 5 each time) and repeat the full presentation for each participant.

You
In front of you is world
Behind you is the world
In your left is the world
The world is your right
Above is your world
Below is your world
Before you is the world and
After you is world
When is your world



Carried:
Page 1
1: Think about the strongest feeling: - 5 min
If it is a taste - description of the area into the brain (cerebral cortex) / write on the edge of the sheet.
If it is an odor-limbic system (brain center) write in the center of the sheet
If it is related to touch - sensory cortex - the left half of sheet
If it is related to hearing - temporal lobe - the right half of sheet.

2: What would make you happy (s): - 5 min

3: When finished, ask someone to read


Page 2
4: Places: important for you (in the center of the page) 6 min
Geographical or emotional
5: items specific for you in these places (sounds, people, buildings) 4 min
6: Ask someone to read

Page 3
7: How you see others - write about them - 5 min
8: How do others see you. give them your sheet to write - 5 min
9: Ask someone to read

Page 4
10: dream write / drawing - 10 minutes
11: choose another person in the room and, if you have writen your dream, ask him/her to draw it on your sheet. If you've drawn your dream, you ask them to write what you drew on your sheet. 5 min


Page 5
12: Words-strings-order-words that do order. Your labels: sharing the world - 10 min

End
Each participant receives their pages bonded in a cover as a book-manuscript in a single copy.

POET RELATION
reader and writer of poetry
do things in words
Relational Poetics is only one meeting between poetry and poetry, between poetry and ways of seeing, especially the ways to affirm the presence of real dimensions of poetry.
Relational Poetics is not a discovery.
Relational Poetics is not an invention.
Relational Poetics is a meeting and, moreover, growing sense that already attend this meeting.
What do you do with poetry
On one hand this is what you do with poetry.
What is poetry to you
E point where we must face cards. We are interested if poetry or something to say in that form of expression. Yes, and more: It's good that the poem is reduced to poetry?
What we have in common
If poetry is a medium, an area where something happens, they are landmarks that look?
Who says
you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you

Poetics of the Quotidian poll
2005-2009



1. What was the most unexpected reaction that you had from a reader?
2. How do you want your writing not to be read?
3. With what writer don’t you want in any circumstances to be confused? Why?
4. Where do you think is best to be read what you write?
5. If you were just a reader, what would you believe about what you write?
6. What has changed in your writing from the first publication until now? What caused this change?
7. What would change about your writing if you would live somewhere else? (where and why?)
8. What is your relationship with different literary genres?
9. If you choose a single piece of what you wrote what would it be?
10. Who influenced you mostly? How?

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