Slippage as Form
Visual Poems by Edwin Torres
No.3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works
469 Main St., Beacon, NY
July 7 – September 10, 2020
Top: Slippage 4a [tell me how to] Slippage 5c [we’re doing the best that we can]
Bottom: Slippage 7a [in isolation i found creation] Slippage 3b [we move to re]
Despite the phased reopening of businesses in New York, No.3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works will remain closed for the time being. But as it’s summer, with many folks out-and-about, Beacon’s Main Street is coming back to life at last, so I felt it was time to reactivate the reading room by installing the visual poetry of Edwin Torres in the storefront’s windows as 17×22″ archival pigment prints.
I’ve admired and followed Edwin’s work for many years and had scheduled an exhibit of his work for earlier in spring, but like many things, this had to be postponed. However, the storefront windows are a perfect place to present these dynamic poems that Edwin calls “Slippages” which are the visual corollaries to his spoken word poetry that employs sound and vocalizing as much as meaning and language. Edwin’s performative work as a poet from the Nuyorican diaspora, accompanied by his visual graphic work within the tradition of Concrete Poetry and Asemic Writing, situates Edwin in a rare and remarkable place. He excels in both forms, flowing from one to the other, cross-referencing the literal, the aural and the visual. These are not separate bodies of work, but a hybridity of forms in an ongoing dialogue that results in new possibilities for insight. Of his visual poetry, Edwin writes:
These pieces are about the dynamics of human connection, using the alphabet as a form for making new realms. I’m interested in our seventh sense; consciousness, connected to the etheric body, that subtle body hovering over the physical body—the slippage between realms as a form for language—the spaces between the immediate and the known, a negative/positive dynamic that sets root in language.
What happens to how we talk with each other, as we enter the world we inhabit—our perceived form? Can we look at the world we’ve made for ourselves and notice the slippage between the senses—our seeing-hearing-talking voice? Where, in there, can we discover our basic survival skills; how to be, how to learn, how we’re doing?
By stripping away imagery to its core reception, dynamic landscapes of space and volume are offered as totems of incomplete mobility, etheric possibility—no answers here, no stopping. In using the graphic shapes of the marks we grew up with, of gestures we’ve embodied, can the alphabet we know evoke new talking, in ways beyond the poem, beyond the visual? Or maybe we need to understand each other first, before something new can start?
Slippage 3g [i want you to read me]
Slippage 4d [shout shot]
All images are available for purchase as archival pigment prints.
Please contact photobookworks@gmail for further information.
About the Artist:
Edwin Torres is the author of 9 books of poetry including, XoeteoX: the infinite word object (Wave Books), Ameriscopia (University of Arizona Press), The PoPedology of an Ambient Language (Atelos Books), and is editor of the inter-genre anthology, The Body In Language: An Anthology (Counterpath Press). Anthologies where his work appears include, Fractured Ecologies, Who Will Speak For America, American Poets In The 21st Century: Poetics Of Social Engagement, In/Filtration: A Hudson Valley Salt Line, Postmodern American Poetry Vol. 2, Kindergarde: Avant Garde Poems For Children, and Aloud: Voices From The Nuyorican Poets Café.
Edwin is a lingualisualist; rooted in sight and sound, and has performed his multi-disciplinary bodylingopoetics worldwide. Fellowships include, NYFA, PEN America, The Foundation for Contemporary Art, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and The DIA Arts Foundation. He has exhibited his visual text at Chicago’s Center For Book Arts, in an exhibition entitled “Poesis: A Visual Language,” and was part of The Drawing Center’s “Open Studios” residency in NYC, where he first developed his slippage forms.
He has created/destructed/emerged with a wide range of collaborators, including locally as Sowndhauz, an electro-lingo duo with Matt Harle on sownd. Edwin has always explored the boundaries of form and presentation, of his work, Eleni Sikelianos says, “There are experimental poets, Torres may be the experiment.”
This summer, Edwin is giving a virtual workshop through The Liminal Lab entitled, “Feel Recordings: Hearing The Voice Of The Body.”
To order books by Edwin Torres, visit Small Press Distribution:
Edwin Torres is a resident of Beacon, NY and his bio can be viewed here: