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American correspondences in visual and verbal practices

Mixed Messages presents and interrogates ten distinct moments from the arts of nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century America where visual and verbal forms blend and clash. Charting correspondences concerned with the expression and meaning of human experience, this volume moves beyond standard interdisciplinary theoretical approaches to consider the written and visual artwork in embodied, cognitive, and contextual terms. Offering a genuinely interdisciplinary contribution to the intersecting fields of art history, avant-garde studies, word-image relations, and literary studies, Mixed Messages takes in architecture, notebooks, poetry, painting, conceptual art, contemporary art, comic books, photographs and installations, ending with a speculative conclusion on the role of the body in the experience of digital mixed media. Each of the ten case studies explores the juxtaposition of visual and verbal forms in a manner that moves away from treating verbal and visual symbols as operating in binary or oppositional systems, and towards a consideration of mixed media, multi-media and intermedia work as brought together in acts of creation, exhibition, reading, viewing, and immersion. The collection advances research into embodiment theory, affect, pragmatist aesthetics, as well as into the continuing legacy of romanticism and of dada, conceptual art and surrealism in an American context.

Fred Herko’s history lesson
Paisid Aramphongphan

’s bodies meet: moving episodes in the history of horizontal resistance to the RSI of modern culture’s straightening mold. The sense of making history among 1960s avant-gardes stands in stark contrast to the uses of history in the queer repertoire, from Smith’s plastique to Herko’s attitudes. These moves are not always “avant-garde,” teleologically progressive, or intended to “break new ground,” as Rainer described the feeling among her peers at the Judson. 66 Yet, their promiscuous inter-media, inter-textual moves upend neat historical narratives. Dance’s sin might

in Horizontal together
Open Access (free)
Steven Feld

relationally, from when old technologies and techniques were new, to how new technologies and techniques become their mirror. The third reason is, bluntly, self-interest; I have been in regular contact and conversation with the authors for fifteen years, and count our many conferences, dialogues and Basilicata recording collaborations among the most stimulating of my forty-five years of experimental sonic, visual and textual inter-media collaborations in Papua New Guinea, Europe, Japan and West Africa. That leads me to say that one of the most productive dimensions of

in Sonic ethnography
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Closing thoughts
Richard J. Hand

scream of Lulu as she meets her annihilation. 2 In discussing the project, Whitehead explains: ‘In an intermedia concept like Pressures of the Unspeakable , the audience performs a different role, becoming “scream donors” to an answering machine “scream bank” located at the host station. These

in Listen in terror
Futurist cinema as metamedium
Carolina Fernández Castrillo

to the film industry. In their search for a total language, according to Giovanni Lista, the ‘first experimental film theorists and movie-makers have been Wagnerian’ (Lista 1987). André Gaudreault considers that intermedia relations established at the beginning of film history are essential to an understanding of how this medium reached its autonomy (Gaudreault 2004: 48–9). Futurists, together with members of subsequent avant-garde movements, believed that new technologies would allow a new synthetic art. For this reason, cinema was considered the perfect example

in Back to the Futurists
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Jack Smith, Ruth St. Denis, and the dance of gestures
Paisid Aramphongphan

to unpack the embeddedness of dance in Smith’s practice, and the broader workings of the queer inter-media imagination that he exemplifies as well. Smith claimed he had studied with St. Denis, if only for one day, during his stay in Los Angeles (which would have been in 1952), but “one day’s enough to get everything from a genius,” he reportedly remarked. 2 The Smith–St. Denis connection has been noted in passing in the Smith literature, yet something more than the influence is at stake. The St. Denis-inspired dancing and costume attest, I would argue, to the

in Horizontal together
Word and image in the twenty-first century. Envoi
Catherine Gander
Sarah Garland

1967.2 We are therefore advocating an essentially pragmatic approach to multimedia, mixed media and intermedia works which unites the sensual and symbolic in cognition, perception and affect, and which allows for a set of correspondences between verbal and visual elements. We seek to reassert the material aspects of these works, and to interlace analysis of the figurative and the imagistic with the concrete and literal. For all this, though, we are aware that there can be no self-evident materiality, and our interest in the book and the artwork as object, and in

in Mixed messages
Leah Modigliani

’s organization of the annual multi-media and performance-based Festivals of the Contemporary Arts (1961–67), including the 1965 festival titled ‘The Medium is the Message’ after Marshall McLuhan; the development of multi-media workshop Intermedia at 575 Beatty St. (1967–70); Al Neil and Sam Perry’s development of the Sound Club in 1965 and the club’s organization of the hallucinatory optics and popular music staging of the Trips Festival in 1966; artists Michael Morris and Vincent Trasov’s founding of Image Bank Correspondence Exchange (1969–79); the opening and international

in Engendering an avant-garde
Scotland’s screen destiny
Mark Thornton Burnett

Branagh ’ s ‘ The Shakespeare Film Company ’ /Intermedia (London: Intermedia, n.d.), n.p. Also on Branagh’s Macbeth , see ‘Branagh brings the Scottish play up to date’, Belfast News , 13 May (1999), p. 9; Samuel Crowl, ‘Communicating Shakespeare: An Interview with Kenneth Branagh’, Shakespeare Bulletin , 20.3 (2002), p. 28

in Shakespeare and Scotland
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Posthuman sound ecologies in the neo-avant-garde
Jesper Olsson

order to capture a new practice that integrated word and sound in intermedia configurations (Higgins, 1966 ). The need for a name became urgent with the Fylkingen festival in 1967 (see Hultberg, 2016 ). And even though many artists, composers and poets in Sweden were engaged in this kind of practice at the time, a specific starting point for the genre was soon identified: the work of Öyvind Fahlström. Fahlström was the most internationally renowned Swedish artist during the period. He was also the instigator of concrete poetry in Sweden through his manifesto from

in Tuning in to the neo-avant-garde