Download e-book for iPad: Horizons: The Poetics and Theory of the Intermedia (Studies by Dick Higgins

By Dick Higgins

Written for the lay reader in addition to for educational literary theorists, this publication bridges the gulf among the creative avant-garde in song, visible arts, and  experimental literature and the overall pub­lic. Higgins delves into a number of parts, yet this is an instance of 1 form of poem he works with: those pieces            that flow like thisthose pieces                        i say                                are snowflakes                        i saythose pieces            that stream like thisthose pieces Along with many different artists—John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Robert Rau­schenberg, and Jackson Mac Low come to mind—Dick Higgins has investigated and invented quite a few genres and kinds, operating specifically in intermedia, the fusion of 2 or extra discrete media. His poetics shuttle a ways from the poetry of the earlier. the following he makes use of the fu­sion of the “receiver’s” and the artist’s horizons, their wisdom, emotions, ex­periences, and imaginings to supply a vibrant account of creative experimentation over the past thirty years.

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In their performances they allude constantly to folk or popular culture, to the extent of wearing the kind of elaborate, almost psychedelic clothes associated with rock and roll groups—and they even trope the style of rock and roll to the point of listening to each other take riffs and solos and playing off each other as any tight rock group would. Their presentations are deliberately popular and light-spirited in order to minimize the gulf that usually exists between performer and audience in the new arts.

How does this affect their nature? These are questions which have not yet been answered in any satisfactory way, so far as I know. But to sum up: the potential for visual poetry lies in its introduction of space and visual shape—at the cost of momentum and kinetic inertia. A visual poem, if it has power, will not gain it from the sequence of verbal images in the same way that Vergil’s Aeneid did but, rather, in the way that the powerful anti-Hitler graphic photomontages of John Heartfield do. And in any case, the medium seems more suitable for the achievement of lyrical and analytical effects than for the mighty impact that western poetry sought for during the imperial era.

This gives their music a compelling effect that is, at best, hypnotic, but which indeed opens up the way to a critique of the surrealist sort which I mentioned earlier, that such music is an opiate, with all the problems which this entails. In fact the psychedelic movement of the 1960s exactly coincided with the beginnings of this music and it now appears, to some extent, to reflect the drug culture of the time. But the most rigorous of the modular composers was and is Steve Reich. Some of his pieces do have a catharsis-oriented climax.

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