Saturday, April 21, 2018

Sissy Doutsiou of the Institute's annual Athens Videopoetry Festival

Sissy Doutsiou answering questions about the Institute and the annual Athens Videopoetry Festival 

1. Please tell us about the origins of the Athens Video Poetry Festival. How did it begin? How has it changed over time?

The first International Video Poetry Festival organised by +the Institute[for Experimental Arts] and the support of Void Network was at 2013 in the Polytechnic University of Athens.  Poets, directors and video artists from Europe, Asia, Africa  and America responded to the open call of the festival. 
In the beginning, video poems with the real voices of Sylvia Plath, Anna Sexton, Emily Dickinson, Charles Bukowski, Jack Kerouak, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and video poems which presented the poetry  work of William Blake, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire were projected and created a whole path, a poetic historical route from 1830 to 2013 based on the poets of the counterculture. 

Now, we don't include videos from any poetry archive. The video poems which are presented and projected are only made by new international contemporary poets and video artists. 

2. Each festival has a slightly different "taste". What did the judges look for in video poems that they chose?

The atmosphere of each year festival changes but the feeling always remains the same. There is an enthusiasm from the side of the organizers and there is an enthusiasm from the side of the audience.More artists every year have participated n the festival and more artists want to be present at the festival. This is amazing and we love it. Many artists from all over the world want to come in Greece and be present at the festival so as to speak about their video poems or even to perform at the live stage of the festival.

When we are gathering hundreds of video poems, the most important thing is to choose first the real video poems. In the case of many people, they send experimental films or video arts, videos and films which do not include any poems at all in any form. So, we exclude these videos. And of course, we save them, we keep them so as to contact with the artists if we want to organise any other festivals.
Secondly, we cannot accept any racist, nationalistic, homophobic video poems.
Third, we look at the time duration of the video poem so as to be able to project many video poems to the festival. 
Also, the video and the sound quality is important so as to choose a video poem. Finally, we try not to exclude many video poems but we try to focus on an interesting deep performance,and the poem, voice of poet. 

3. As well, The Institute seems to be very busy organizing a lot of programs and events. And the videopoetry festival itself is about artists working in other mediums, such as  performance and multimedia live poetry. What other events do you have upcoming (after this festival) that you'd like to draw attention to?

Τhe Institute for Experimental Arts is a platform of creative expression and research in the fields of theater, performance art, digital media, installation, poetry and art theory. The Institute is committed to exist as an open meeting point for poets-writers, directors, actors, theater engineers/ technicians, performance artists, photographers, video artists and the writers who develop new analytical tools on contemporary art, media & communication. The goals of the Institute is the construction of situations that offer analytical and educative work that cultivate radical theories hand-in-hand with artistic activity. Therefore the Institute's message places itself inside and among the wide social body beyond the dominant commercialized cultural structures and their limitations.