Crossing Voices | 5-7 May 2014

Crossing Voices is both a public event and an effort to create a bridge between the contemporary experimental poetic scenes in UK and Italy. After a two-day workshop at CFZ, six young poets, three from UK – James Wilkes, Steven J. Fowler and Emma Bennett – and three from Italy – Andrea Leonessa, Ariadne Radi Cor and Alessandro Burbank – put together six collaborative projects working on their poetic languages through concepts of voice, sound, technology, performance, etc. Each project relates to the idea of fluidity interpreted in different possible ways to create new forms of poetic expression.

Here the performances’ videos:


The collective project directed by SJ Fowler at Crossing Voices explores the vocality of the other artists involved working with atonality and harmony. The protagonists arrange themselves in a circle, as in a chorus, sharing an experience of simultaneously producing vocal sound and listening theirs voices. This sound exercise deeps its roots in popular songs.


Alessandro Burbank is attracted by the chaos of mass communication media and how this strange mix of inputs can feed his poetic language. In his performative work, which recall the ancient rhapsodic chant accompanied by a sort of greek chorus in English, Burbank will read his text hampered by technology (via Skype) while on the screen will appear simultaneously other windows with video, music, etc. All this will make clear the difficulty of understanding the poetic message.


James Wilkes‘ work involved all the other artists in the production of “cyanotypes”, which are prints obtained through exposure of chemically treated paper to sunlight. These “cyanotypes” (projected on the screen) were regarded as actual scores for voice and used in the performance at Crossing Voices final event.


Andrea Leonessa present an experiment on transcoding and negative fluidity. While busy surfing above the ocean with a flight simulator for a Google Earth ad-hoc modified version – an explicit reference to Tarkovsky’s film “Solaris” -, Andrea Leonessa improvises aloud some poetic lines. A voice recognition program will write these lines on the screen – often misinterpreted. The English poets, Emma Bennett, James Wilkes and Steven J. Fowler will read and translate these lines “by ear” in their own language. At the end of the process, some of all this will be recoded on a sheet by Ariadne’s calligraphic exercise.


Emma Bennett presents a collective work that primarily involves listening and imitation based on the production of sound through human vocal apparatus. Helped by the other artists, she works directly with and on the voice putting language under pressure and highlighting errors of execution as well as the slipping movement from language to non-language and vice versa.


Ariadne Radi Cor‘s explores collection and reuse of fragments of text, images, video and sound. In this case, the starting point has been a poem titled “Remember, comma, this brightness” which is about fluidity of separation and departures. This poem is itself a collage of excerpts from the last six months of Ariadne’s diaries. The sights and sounds, which are also fragments of memory, were collected during the workshop. James Wilkes has also collaborated in modifying Ariadne’s text during the workshop at Crossing Voices.