New Old Media: Tape, Type, and the Undiscovered Collages of Henri Chopin

New Old Media: Tape, Type, and the Undiscovered Collages of Henri Chopin

Tuesday

February 18, 2020

5:30 PM-6:30 PM

Auditorium

225 South St
Williamstown, MA 01267

Manton Post-doctoral Fellow Caitlin R. Woolsey presents “New Old Media: Tape, Type, and the Undiscovered Collages of Henri Chopin.”

Henri Chopin (1922–2008) is known for mining expression beyond language in layered “audiopoems,” created by manipulating his voice and body noises with a portable tape recorder, and graphic concrete poems made using typewriter symbols. After his death, a trove of collages was uncovered that further challenge conventional distinctions between the acts of listening and looking. This talk considers how the medium of collage, favored by avant-garde circles in the early twentieth-century, offered a way to reimagine the relations among image, text, and sound in the postwar period. More specifically, how might the finitude of Chopin’s chosen materials—magnetic tape, paper and typewriter ink, found objects, and ephemeral detritus—reflect the obsolescence of media at the same time as the artist was confronting his own mortality?

Caitlin R. Woolsey is Manton Post-doctoral Fellow at the Clark Art Institute’s Research and Academic Program. Her research revolves around the historical confluence of visual art, performance, and media in the twentieth century. Before joining the Clark, she helped curate an exhibition of experimental poetry at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, on view fall 2019. She is preparing a book manuscript that examines how the integration of sound transformed intermedia artistic practices in France in the decades following the Second World War.