Title: Textfields *
Computerized Installation (9 digital canvas inside an immersed environment)
Year: 2008/2021

The twentieth century experimental poets were deeply attracted by the visual power of the word. Besides the ability of language to convey ideas, they saw in the act of writing an aesthetic background full of possible meanings. Poets like Guillaume Apollinaire or Filippo Tommaso Marinetti produced works where the letters were organized over a blank sheet in a very innovative way. These artists broke the classical conception of writing based on parallel lines, and they started to play with verses freely proliferating through the open space of a white sheet.

During the sixties and seventies these ideas reappeared in the concrete poetry, with artists like Augusto de Campos or Mira Schendel. These authors produced highly reflective works criticizing the excessive emotivism of traditional poetry. They wanted to scrutinize the possibilities of language and emphasize that shape of words and their spatial arrangement also determines the way people understand and receive artistic messages.

The piece TextFields, by Ivan Marino, selected between the fifty major works of ARCO-08,* is another step forward in the development of visual poetry. Ivan Marino recovers the contributions of Mira Schendel and exploits the computer media to open a new spectrum of possibilities linked to interactive and generative poetry; inside his digital canvas, Marino’s words move across the screens creating concepts or simple random motions, pushing the audience to reflect about sense and nonsense, about the order of language and the aesthetic chaos of the illogical things.

* Text from “Sixty commented major works”, in Enter-Arte Magazine Nr. 1 , February 2008, ARCO Contemporary Art Fair of Madrid, 2008. Main image: Mira Schendel works.