Audio Selections from the Sackner Archive

Curated by Matthew Abess

  1. ? Concrete Poetry (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1970)

    Henri Chopin, François Dufrêne, Bernard Heidsieck, Paul de Vree, Bengt Emil Johnson, Sten Hanson, Bob Cobbing, Ladislav Novák, Ernst Jandl

  2. 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... ZERO

    Dieter Henkel, Klatzker-Corsano Duo, 13 Gauge

  3. Anton Bruhin "Rotomotor"

  4. Anton Bruhin + Stephan Wittwer "Neun Improvisierte Stücke" (1974)

  5. Marco Bertoni + Enrico Serotti "New Machine Voice" (from the 3ViTrePAIR Series)

  6. Birdyak "Aberration" (1986-87)

    Bob Cobbing, Hugh Metcalfe

  7. Birdyak "Green Computer" (1988)

    Bob Cobbing, Hugh Metcalfe

  8. The Capilano Review, no. 31, Sound Poetry, 1984<

    Owen Sound, Mara Zibens, Four Horsemen, bill bissett, David UU

  9. Bob Cobbing & Peter Finch "The Italian Job" (1988)

  10. California-Italia (from the 3ViTrePAIR Series)

    Larry Wendt, Harry Polkinhorn, Marina La Palma, Carlo M. Conti, Peter Frank, Jerome Rothenberg, Enzo Minarelli, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Antonello Ricci, Paul Vangelisti

  11. Experiments in Disintegrating Language / Konkrete Canticle (1971)

    Charles Verey, Neil Mills, Thomas A. Clark, Paula Claire, Bob Cobbing,

  12. FLAT - The Art of Truncation (1991)

    Vertigo, John Solt, Ken Ando Convenient Ensemble, Wisconsin Conservatory of Noise, Byron Coley, Sun City Girls, Bastro, Gregg Spence, Yusuke Keida, Daniel Johnston, Craig Hill, Cruel Frederick, PGR

  13. Flatus Vocal Trio

    Bartolome Ferrando, Fatima Miranda, Llorenç Barber

  14. Lily Greenham "International Language Experiments of the 50/60ies"

  15. Lily Greenham "Tendentious Neo-Semantics [in English]" (1970)

  16. Bernard Heidsieck "Canal Street" (1986)

  17. Bernard Heidsieck "Encoconnage" (1974)

  18. Bernard Heidsieck "P Puissance B"

  19. Bernard Heidsieck "Trois Biopsies + Un Passe Partout" (1970)

  20. Joël Hubaut "The Beauty in Breathing" (1992)

  21. Italy-Canada (from the 3ViTrePAIR Series)

    Pierre-André Arcand, Jean-Claude Gagnon, Alain-Martin Richard, Richard Martel, Gilles Arteau, Corrado Cicciarelli,

  22. Lautpoesie Anthology

    Jeremy Adler, Carlfriedrich Claus, Elke Erb, Bernard Heidsieck, Arrigo Lora-Totino, Franz Mon, Oskar Pastior, Josef Anton Riedl, Gerhard Rühm, Valeri Scherstjanoi, Larry Wendt

  23. Aldino Leoni "Poesia In-Canto" (from the 3ViTrePAIR Series)

  24. Arrigo Lora-Totino "Fonemi" (2001)

  25. Franz Mon "Das Gras Wies Wächst" (1972)

  26. Music for TAPE/BAND - Musik from Sweden (Sveriges / Fylkingen, 1973)

    Sten Hanson, Leo Nilson, Arne Mellnäs, Bengt Emil Johnson, Lars-Gunnar Bodin, Jan W. Morthenson

  27. Oral Complex at the L.M.C. (1983)

    Bob, Cobbing, Oral Complex, Clive Fencott, John Whiting, Clyde Dunkob Hydrophonics

  28. Phonetische Poesie

    Velemir Chlebnikov, Aleksej Krucenych, Kazimir Malevic, Raoul Hausmann, Kurt Schwitters, Maurice Lemaître, François Dufrêne, Henri Chopin, Bob Cobbing, Peter Greenham, Paul de Vree, Arrigo Lora-Totino, Ladislav Novák, Gerhard Rühm, Franz Mon

  29. Text-Sound Compositions (1968)

    Ake Hodell, François Dufrêne, Bob Cobbing, Jarl and Sonja Hammarberg-Åkesson, Ilmar Laaban, Bengt af Klintberg, Sten Hanson, Bernard Heidsieck, Bengt Emil Johnson

  30. Various Throats: Volume One (1988)

    Steven Smith, Bob Cobbing, Keith Musgrove

  31. Various Tracks from the 3ViTrePAIR Series

    Chales Amirkhanian, Luca Gentilini, Pierre Garnier, Vitaldo Conte, Pietro Porta, Bliem Kern, Giovanni Fontana, Beth Anderson, Enzo Minarelli, Henri Chopin, L.S.D Band, Ubaldo Giacomucci, Federica Manfredini, Ilse Garnier, Seiichi Niikuni, Santo S.A., Maurizio Maldini, Arrigo Lora Totino, Ernest Robson

  32. Trax Compilations

    Mimì Colucci, Massimo Giacon, Alberto Mineo, Naif Orchestra, Deficit des Annees Anterieures, D4, Van Kaye & Ignit, Renaldo and the Loaf, No Night Sweats, Merzbow, Olho Seco, Spirocheta Pergoli, 001011011100, Prhemm

  33. Vision #4 - Word of Mouth (1980)

    Tom Marioni, Robert Kushner, Marina Abramovic/Ulay, John Cage, Daniel Buren, Joan Jonas, Bryan Hunt, Chris Burden, William T. Wiley, Brice Marden, Pat Steir, Laurie Anderson

  34. Sarenco + Franco Verdi

  35. Voooxing Poooêtre (from the 3ViTrePAIR Series)

    Bernard Heidsieck, Rod Summers, Klaus Groh, Enzo Minarelli, Giovanni Fontana, Agostino Contò, Richard Kostelanetz, Adriano Spatola, Vladan Radovanovic, Grupo Texto Poetico, Peter R. Meyer, Tibor Papp, Santo S.A. (A. Orsatti, P. Manservigi, R. Salani), Giovanni A. Bignone, Jean Jacques Lebel

  36. Ungheria-Italia (from the 3ViTrePAIR Series)

    Szkárosi + Konnektor + Berná, György Galántai, BP. Service (leader: György BP. Szabó), András Petöcz, Béla Kelényi, Gábor Tóth, Maurizio Nannucci,

  37. Spagna-Messico-Italia (from the 3ViTrePAIR Series)

    Flatus Vocis Trio, Guillermo Villegas, Giacomo Bergamini, Daniel Rios Aranda, Giovanni Fontana, Laura Elenes, Luca Miti, Enzo Minarelli, Enzo Minarelli, Giuliano Zosi, Lello Voce


The rift is embedded in the nomenclature: Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry. Visual Poetry seems plain enough: language that is evident to the eye in unexpected senses. Concrete is not so transparent: "verbivocovisual." The schism is inscribed in the sign.

Critical examination and explication of Concrete Poetry has often been an exercise in segmentation. Ill-equipped to quantify language discreetly as an aggregate of "sound, visual form, [and] semantical charge," a good many writers have responded to the dynamic materiality of language by severing the aural from the visual, attempting to subsume the verbal under one or the other. The division is pragmatic: autonomous classification dissolves the critical resistance of interdependent matter. The effect is divisive: disjoinment begets polemics. The consequence is devastating: language fenced-off from itself. Critic A.S. Bessa's sharp juxtaposition of Sweden's Öyvind Fahlström and Sao Paolo's Noigandres group is illustrative of this taxonomical commitment: sound poetry :: visual poetry as organic excess :: functional efficiency. The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry enables language to recuperate from this categorization: "We [Ruth and Marvin Sackner] established the Archive when we recognized that a global, international, historic perspective appeared to be lacking in museums, libraries and private collections. We decided to fulfill this niche that we had identified, by gathering all works relating to concrete and visual poetry that we could afford to buy, irrespective of personal esthetic considerations, along with their historic antecedents. We wanted to build a comprehensive permanent collection that would not be altered by our personal biases, recognizing the major difficulty in finding distribution sources for visual/verbal works of art and poetry." The totality of linguistic materials available to the everyday speaker in the lived-in world constitutes the Archive, and the Archive the totality of these linguistic materials. Partitions dissolve, laying language bare. Co-animation is immanent.

The work presented here comprises a portion of the Sackner's tremendous compendium of sonic works. The range of geographic origins runs the circumference of the globe. The time span is nearly a century. It witnesses histories: of poetry, literature, music, visual art, technology, politics, religion, theoretical contentions and practical abstention. It indicates and permits divergent lines of flight. It is an ensemble of dramatic personalities and the social narratives that they informed. It chronicles and enacts the persistent deformation and reformation of the flow of language, intending the same towards the order of things in the world.

It is the story of a charming pair - Ruth and Marvin Sackner - whose permissive attitude invites us to navigate the wordy, worldy present; to co-operatively investigate that eminently human technology, language. The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry is a tactile space of verbal, vocal and visual collision. As each deflection inflects, so collisions coalesce: the Archive makes spaces where the interface of body and language might take place on planes patterned by our movement across them. The works here evidence the enormous range of possible iterations. Ruth and Marvin Sackner invite us to join in the play.

Matthew Abess