Poetry Experiment 1965: The Unheard Avant-garde of Copenhagen

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POEX 65 was a transdisciplinary experiment and event which took place in Copenhagen December 10-20, 1965. Short for ’POetry EXperiment’, POEX 65 was an exhibition event curated and created by Danish artist Knud Hvidberg (1948-91). It aimed at breaking the boundaries of artgenres, the false devision of professional and amateur, as well as the autonomy of the ‘work of art’ through the active use of technological and mediated platforms such as Flexowriters, Punch Paper Poetry, and Electronic Visual Music. As such, it was a very important event in Scandinavian media art history with more than 80 participants from 5 countries – from as different field as Conceptual Art, Electronic Music, Modern Jazz Poetry, Fluxus, Performance Art, Modern Dance, Concrete Poetry, Poesie Sonore etc... Nevertheless, POEX 65 somehow was forgotten – and almost erased from the academic memory and public archives.
In 1990s POEX 65 was only hesitantly recognized as one of the most ambitious and original events of the 1960s in Denmark – but in short passages and footnotes. POEX 65 remained an enigma. The event itself has reached an almost total black-out 45 years later. The works themselves are not there anymore – or are but fragments. So why bother?
This paper is about why it is extremely important to bother and care about the performative & collaborative media art practices like POEX 65. It is about the methodological and theoretical considerations put into the ongoing task conducted in the research project ‘The Unheard Avantgardes’ which is part of the LARM Infrastructure (focusing on sound in archives in Denmark and Northern Europa). But first and foremost, my paper will be about POEX 65 – the artists and their ideas, the art works, the contexts and the events; And the Paradigms of Post-Performative Media Art Practices at play in POEX 65.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - 2024

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