In Retrospect: a Manifesto and its Underpinnings

Last summer, I was invited to present a keynote address to the Poetry/Translation/Film conference organized by the University of Montpellier. Like a tour guide, I selected 19 videopoems, introducing each one. The venue was the Utopia, an aging, funky little cinema.

A few months ago, the organizers contacted me that they intend to publish a book of the proceedings and they were going to include my Manifesto, translated into French. Could I add a text “in which you look back on what you wrote then, say if there is anything you would revise if you were to rewrite your manifesto now, tell the reader of any developments between now and then, and what you foresee for the future?”

The questions were apt, as it occurred to me that it was around this time, 5 years ago, that I began writing what turned into the Manifesto. So here it is.

For those who may have trouble accessing, here’s the same PDF, uploaded with Tom’s permission to Moving Poems. —Ed.

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. Good stuff. As a non-systematic thinker myself, I appreciate the clarity you bring to these issues, and I find myself more in agreement with you as time goes on. This time around I found myself nodding most vigorously to the bit about incompleteness and accommodating spaces.

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