Video poetry

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Video poetry is poetry in video form. It is also known as videopoetry, video-visual poetry, poetronica, poetry video, media poetry, or Cin(E)-Poetry depending on the length and content of the video work and the techniques employed (e.g. digital technology) in its creation.

Video poetry is a wide-ranging category where very different typologies of works converge. Some video poetry works use digital elaboration to achieve Digital poetry that is entirely generated by software. When absent of digital effects, video poetry is akin to performance works or a poetry reading recorded in video (digital or analogue) but goes beyond the straightforward act of recording to establish a link with video art. In this sense, video poetry is a particular form of video art comprising poetry texts elaborated at various acoustic and visual levels.[1]


In 1978, Canadian poet Tom Konyves used the term "videopoetry"[2] to describe "Sympathies of War",[3] his first work in the genre, and is considered to be one of the original pioneers of the form. He began researching videopoetry in 2008, resulting in the 2011 publication Videopoetry: A Manifesto, that defined the form as "a genre of poetry displayed on a screen, distinguished by its time-based, poetic juxtaposition of images with text and sound. In the measured blending of these three elements, it produces in the viewer the realization of a poetic experience."[4]

In the early 1980s Gianni Toti began mixing cinema, poetry text, and electronic images to create a new genre called “poetronica”. In general, his video poem operas are films produced with the support of cultural centers such as the Centre de Recherche Pierre Schaeffer (CICV) in Montbéliard (France) and various universities. Gianni Toti could be considered the intellectual father of the term and the most active researcher on the subject, developing several conceptual and artistic derivative artifacts such as "VideoPoemOpera", "VideoSyntheatronica", "VideoPoemetti", among others.

In the late 1980s, Richard Kostelanetz produced video poems and fictions exclusive of kinetic words by using Amiga text programs. These short sequences were collected in randomly accessed DVDs titled, Video Poems and Video Fictions.

Video poetry developed in the 1990s, with short experimental video works and video installations which vary in typology, length, and structure.

Authors who have contributed to video poetry as a specific genre exclusive from video art include Arnaldo Antunes, Philippe Boisnard,[5] Jennifer Bozick and Kevin McCoy, Caterina Davinio, Gary Hill, Philadelpho Menezes, and Billy Collins, former poet laureate of the United States.

Also defined as video poetry are videos without the presence of poetry as text. Some media poems utilize words in motion, emphasized in their iconic and typographical aspects grounded in the Futurist tradition. These pieces are elaborated digitally using animation software and computer graphics. Among the authors who explored this genre in the 1990s are Arnaldo Antunes, and Caterina Davinio.

Among sound and performance artists related to poetry performance in video (but emphasizing the specific video language) are Akhenaton, Litsa Spathi,Gabriele Labanauskaite with group AVaspo and Fernando Aguiar.


  1. ^ Caterina Davinio, Tecno-Poesia e realtà virtuali (Techno-Poetry and Virtual Reality), essay (It/En), with preface by Eugenio Miccini Mantova, Sometti, 2002.
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  5. ^ Boisnard won the Multi-media Grand Prize awarded by the SGDL de France for his video poetry creations.


  • Eduardo KAC, New Media Poetry: Poetic Innovation and New Technologies, "Visible Language" Vol. 30, No. 2, Rhode Island School of Design, 1996
  • AAVV, La coscienza luccicante. Dalla videoarte all’arte interattiva, Gangemi, Rome 1998
  • S. BORDINI, Videoarte e arte, Ed Lithos, Rome 1995
  • Caterina DAVINIO, Tecno-Poesia e realtà virtuali (Techno-Poetry and Virtual Reality), essay with preface by Eugenio Miccini (It/En), Mantova, Sometti, 2002.
  • Caterina DAVINIO, “Parole virtuali. La poesia video-visiva tra arte elettronica e avanguardia”, in "Doc(K)s. Un notre web” (book & CD), serie 3, 21, 22, 23, 24, Ajaccio (F) 1999
  • Caterina DAVINIO, "Scritture/Realtà virtuali" in "Doc(K)s" (web), 2000
  • Sandra LISCHI, "Elettronica, videoarte e poetronica", in Vito ZAGARRIO (a cura di), Storia del cinema italiano 1977-1985, Guido Lombardi
  • Sandra LISCHI, Visioni elettroniche, Fondazione Scuola Nazionale di Cinema. Collection: Biblioteca di bianco e nero, Rome/Venice, Marsilio, 2001
  • Gianni TOTI, "Il video artista, cattiva coscienza della TV", «Cinemasessanta», 190, January–February 1990.
  • Marco Maria Gazzano, Gianni TOTI, "Immagine & Pubblico. Video", special n. dedicated to video art, suppl. n. 2/3, April – September, Ente Autonomo Gestione Cinema, Rome 1990
  • Gianni TOTI. "Il tempo del senso", in “Internet Catalogue”, XVIII VideoArt Festival, Locarno (CH) 1997


See also[edit]