RE: [webartery] [Fwd: Menezes]


Thu, 27 Jul 2000 01:02:00 -0700


"Jim Andrews" <>







I am sorry to hear of the death of Philadelpho Menezes. I have

been reading

some of his work online the last couple of hours, and include

two quotations

from him and some links to his work. I see he was also a friend

of Eric

Voss. And probably several others on the list. My condolences.



My view is that hypermedia, developed from hypertext, whether

in CD-ROMs or

in websites, does not come to be used only as an exercise in


interaction with the user, but also to suggest rich ways of

mixing different

kind of signs, obliging the user to adopt an intellective

approach to the

exercise of reading. This activity brings the user out of the


system of languages, separated into their specific fields, into

to an

intersemiotic system of communication. If this interface

between signs of

different languages does not work in a hypermedia construct,

NTC is merely

reducing the activity of the user to a functional and

programmed use of

technology and communication.





"Linguistic and semiotic theories agree with the idea that our

thought is

conditioned by the form and the organization of the signs in a


And these theories argue that language is fascist, as Roland

Barthes said,

because it imposes a procedure of thinking and guides us to a


concept of reality which reinforces the system of language. We

can escape

from this vicious circle only if we are able to perceive the

fragility of

the links between signs and thought, language and reality.

Poetry is the

chief guide for this practice because it exposes the sign as a


event that makes signs as real as the material world, in spite

of the fact

that signs are a creation of thought. An expressive language

based on new

ways of combining different kinds of signs gives rise to

another form of

rationality and another conception of reality, but this is

possible only if

this language constitutes itself at a complex semantic level of

interpretation varied degrees of signification. Experimental

poetry of the

last four decades (especially concrete, visual, and sound

poetry) faced the

fact that transgression and strangeness have become meaningless

in a society

saturated by daily technical changes. It confronted also the

end of a

utopian perspective which nourished the sense of revolution of


historical avant-gardes and put in its place the realm of


features as a way to bring poetry perpetually up to date (as if

it also

brought the poet physically renewed)."

"Experimental poetry today, what I conceive as Intersign

Poetry, must

confront the realm of visual and sound effects and must try to

find ways to

organize signs, in order to fill the technological products of

poetry with

the richness of ambiguity and complexity that signs contain

when they are

worked as ambivalent phenomena aimed at interpretation."

"If the first technological phase was marked by the idea of


interpretation, experimental poetry today, which includes a


technological phase, must work on behalf of reading visual and


effects. It would keep the spirit of experimentation, then

nourished by an

opened utopia, a pluritopia which expresses a permanent sense

of reinvention

and variation (or transformation) of the world."



Some other work by Philadelpho Menezes:

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