Videopoetry: A Manifesto

I can’t remember what brought it on. Writing all the chapters of an introduction to videopoetry was going to be way too much, even from April 30 until tomorrow — for the first time I had all 4 months off. SO I wrote a MANIFESTO. (It’s very popular these days, have you noticed?)

Born in Budapest, based in Montreal until 1983, Tom Konyves is one of the original seven poets dubbed The Vehicule Poets; his work is distinguished by Dadaist/Surrealist/experimental writings, performance works and “videopoems”.

In 1978, he coined the term videopoetry to describe his multimedia work, and is considered to be one of the original pioneers of the form. He is the author of "Videopoetry: A Manifesto", published on Sept. 6, 2011.

As one of the leading theorists of the genre of videopoetry - his Manifesto was reposted in numerous blogs, including W.J.T. Mitchell's Critical Inquiry, and to date has been accessed by readers in 51 countries - he has been invited to address festivals, conferences and symposia in Buenos Aires, Berlin, New York, London and Amsterdam, among others.

Since 2006, he has been teaching screenwriting, video production, journalism and creative visual writing courses at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

One Comment

  1. Thanks, Tom. I think this really brings clarity to what works in videopoetry and why. A lot of what you say about juxtaposition, the role of text and sound, and other elements really jibes with my own discoveries both as a curator of poetry videos and as an amateur videopoemographer, even if not everything I like necessarily fits under the videopoem umbrella as you’re describing it here. While “manifesto” implies a certain radicalism or zealotry, I think your approach is more broadly inclusive than that. I personally feel that one-to-one matches of film imagery to textual imagery are a recipe for boredom and bad filmmaking regardless of how we characterize the results, so I guess I see what you characterize as “poetry video” as a bit of a straw man. Yes, there are some videos that fit that definition, but I’m not sure how seriously we should take them.

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