May 27, 2007

E-poetry 2007 Paris Cellfone Video Documentary Extravaganza

by Scott Rettberg · , 7:13 am

First of all, let me point in brief to networked_performance for Simon Biggs’ very good report on the E-poetry 2007 Festival in Paris. I agreed with him that Robert Simanowski’s close reading of “Listening Post” was one of the best of the academic papers presented during the conference. I was also a fan of Jim Carpenter’s presentation, in which he talked in a clear and pragmatic way about best practices for writing good code for e-poetry, including distributing source code so that others can learn from it. Carpenter recently released a new version of his poetry engine, which will write some pretty good poems for you. There were many other papers and panel discussions as well, though this festival was primarily about the poetry. For four nights in a row, there were three to four hours of poetry readings. The E-Poetry scene is much more performance-oriented than other venues for electronic writing, and some of the performances were much more video art or performance (for example one work allegedly about the objectification of women included the performer disrobing on stage — providing the Festival with an early controversy, which all such gatherings require) than they were electronic writing as it is usually understood. That was fine with me. Overall, I appreciated my first experience of this very vibrant scene that exists between visual, conceptual, performance, computer, and writing. I also enjoyed the opportunity to meet many writers I have worked with and communicated with extensively online in person, in addition to spending time with old friends in one of the world’s great cities. Rather than a more formal report, I offer you this cellphone video extravaganza — short clips of 30 seconds to a minute of many readings from the festival. Forgive the quality — it was my phone used in dark crowded rooms filled with poets drinking in the poetry, after all.

Jeorg Piringer Performing at Divan Du Monde on the first night of the E-Poetry 2007 Festival in Paris.

A Brazilian epoet setting fire to her poems onstage, a la Jimi Hendrix.

Loss Glazier‘s poem, performed with dancers.

Chris Funkhouser reading from under a sheet, a work that featured dariens durians, stinky fruit.

Jim Rosenberg reading “Braided Vortex” during the second night of the Festival.

Aya Karpinska‘s reading, one of the best performances at E-Poetry.

Stephanie Strickland & Cynthia Lawson Jarmillo demonstrating “Slipping Glimpse.”

The Grand Text Auto Paris interview of John Cayley and Talan Memmott.

I broke away from the conference for a few hours to catch the Samuel Beckett exhibition at the Pompidou. Here’s a bit of “Not I.”

John Cayley’s Imposition was a work that enlisted the audience to download and play one of about 20 files, creating a whispering cacophony in the auditorium.

Maria Mencia demonstrating her cool interactive collage program “Cityscapes.”

Annie Abrahams’ “Girl Band” — a bilingual poem for 12 voices based on internet postings about fear.

Anick Bergeron performing her French translation/remediation of Nick Montfort’s “Ream.”

Talan Memmott‘s “Twittering,” an installation/experimental novel/performance.

Luc Dall’armellina‘s “See Venice and Die” was the closing piece of the E-poetry 2007 festival.

A view of Paris from the Pompidou escalator. Au revoir!