02 / Translation

autumn 2011

02 / Translation

With: Paul Ardenne / Thierry Bernard / Isabelle Bertolotti / Julien Blaine / Nicolas Boillot / Étienne Bossut / Laurent Buffet / Michel Collet / Brigitte Cornand / Christophe Cuzin / Gilbert Descossy / Xavier Douroux / Bartolomé Ferrando / John Giorno / Muriel Hasse-Collin / Bernard Heidsieck / Samuel Herzog / Kevin Immanuel / Françoise Janicot / L. Brandon Krall / Isabelle et Jean-Conrad Lemaître / Patrice Lerochereuil / Olivier Leroi / Hector Mavridis / Matthieu Messagier / Olivier Mosset / Boris Nieslony / Phoebe Neville / Adrian Notz / Corine Pencenat / Jeffrey Perkins / George Quasha / Alexandre Rolla / João Simões / Eveline Suter / Moira Tierney / Valentin Torrens / Louis Ucciani / Christophe Vaubourg / Valentine Verhaeghe / Jean-Louis Vila / Michel Vogel / Peter Vogel / Franz Erhard Walther / Christian Xatrec / Sylvie Zavatta


Order Mobile 02 / Translation


TRANSLATION: Permanent action towards the “diverse”, both individual and collective. Invention and practice of equivalences, of meanings, and of excesses.

PRACTICE: they refuse to adhere to taste, to current fashion theorised by its followers. It is a question of flux, of translations, and insularities – “at the very moment you wish to be entirely at the heart of something you find yourself pushed to the edge; it is the core experience of all our experiences”, writes Musil. See Mobile (between art and its outward appearances for a theory of outward appearances) and Charles Fourier, one of their people – drifters, activists – tracing the spreading of Harmony.

SYSTEM: Fourier’s projective, dissipated tables – in The Theory of Universal Unity, among others – appear to be the fruit of a general taxonomy as much as of an infinite reverie, and form a corpus of chaotic translations, of “possibles” located between analogies and mathematical forecasts, linking bodies, inspired economics, upbringing, agriculture, love. A Harmony that lives and never wears out.

For Mobile Album International,
Michel Collet



ÉTIENNE BOSSUT - Not tonight - 2007 - page 18

“A translation of the word translation might be transposition, positioned by carrying across from one side to another, where a given language is one side of the speakable. Communication is translation.”


PATRICE LEROCHEREUIL - Targets - page 50


FRANZ ERHARD WALTHER - Elfmeterbahn (Nr. 5,1. Werksatz) - 1964 - page 118

John Giorno - I'm a poet - page 30

VALENTINE VERHAEGHE: In this interview I would like to ask you about the writing process and the origins and development of your work as a poet.

JOHN GIORNO: I’m a poet, and what that means, what a poet does is write poems. My concept of where it all comes from or how it all happens is words. Poems are words, words come from sound, sound comes from wisdom and wisdom comes from emptiness. So out of emptiness or nothingness, before something has happened: a poem arises as sound. Sound first comes from wisdom, and wisdom takes the form of sound. The beginning of wisdom is without concept; it arrives purely, beyond subject and object, and then takes the form of sound which is words. Since we are talking about poésie sonore, it doesn’t have to arise just as words but you can always recognize the wisdom in the sound. So then a poet writes these words down and then makes a poem. And then traditionally with poets, it stops there. The words are on the page and that’s the end. And then you somehow send it to a publisher and it becomes a book or a magazine but that’s not the part of the poet. In my case, it’s different. Starting in the early 60’s, I thought that it’s not enough. There is more to a process than just writing the words down on paper. The process involves connecting to an audience and the audience can be many things. The audience can be one person or the audience can be a book or a magazine. With performing, I took it a step further. There are countless ways to connect to an audience.

V.V.: Could you tell us about your career path, the progression of your work as a poet and performer?

J.G.: I’ve been doing this for 50 years, the audience is always changing, and in the 60’s, I was even inventing audiences. So, for example, in 1968, I was talking on phone and I heard a voice telling me some boring gossip and I thought, instead of these stupid words, it is sound and these words could be a poem. That triggered this whole thing and that’s how I invented Dial-A-Poem, and it took on a life of its own. So I had this idea and my friend suggested I contact the American Federation of the Arts and Architecture league because they were sponsoring art events in those years. It became this process of having twelve telephone lines and we had 25 poets. There was Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. Then something curious happened after two weeks. The New York Times wrote a big article with a photo of me and the telephone number. Then what happened is we had millions of calls and it was very successful. By chance, I created a new outlet. I connected a telephone number with the public of New York; some companies copy the idea for making money, for example Dial-a-Sport, Dial-a-Horoscope, Dial-a-Joke… When the technology became digit it was too complicated and I stopped.

V.V.: Could you tell me some of your collaboration with other poets or artists for this project?

J.G.: When we started in 68, as I said, it was only 25 poets and I had to record them myself. With John Cage for exemple, he would come to my house and I would record him reading his books. Then, I think it was 1970, I was in a very famous exhibition called Information¹ at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. At the end of it all, we had about 200 poets, representing everyone. There was Allen Ginsberg, Diane Di Prima, William Bourroughs for the Beat poets and for the New York school of poetry there was Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery. Also, there were the political poets, like Bernardine Dohrn associate to the Weatherman Group, an anti-Vietnam War radical organization, and Bobby Seale from the Afro-American Association. We also had more conservative poets like Sylvia Plath. I wasn’t discriminating, if I liked something, even if it was conservative and not experimental, I used it. So I had young unknown poets and old famous poets and the ones in between.
And so this goes on for the rest of my life, as a poet, even after 50 years, I still do it. For me, right now, I am very interested in painting and drawing. I have many exhibitions coming up.

Interview realized by Valentine Verhaeghe,
New York, in October 2009.
Excerpt from a forthcoming publication.

1. Information, an international report on activity of young artists, was on view at The Museum of Modern Art from July 2 through September 20. Selected by Kynaston Mc Shine, Associate Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, the exhibition and catalog contained work by more than 150 men and women from 15 countries. Poems, selected by Giorno, have been recorded and could be heard on phones in the galleries or by calling (212) 956-7032 from anywhere.



Editorial director: Valentine Verhaeghe
International editorial board: USA – Patrice Lerochereuil, USA – Pr. Pierre Joris, NYU, USA – Christian Xatrec, Italie – Anselm Jappe, Espagne – Pr. Bartolomé Ferrando, UPV Valencia
Coordination and development: Valentine Verhaeghe & Michel Collet
Design : Jean-Luc Gehres / www.welcomedesign.fr
Ditribution: Les presses du réel, Dijon, France
Copyright: Mobile Album & the authors
Cover: Jeffrey Perkins & Joao Simones, Exhibition, 2009

Mobile Album International Translation is publishing by Montagne Froide / Cold Mountain in partnership with le Centre d’Art Mobile (France).
Montagne Froide / Cold Mountain is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Region Franche-Comté, Haute-Saone (France) & Astoria (USA).

Udo Breger
Pauline Cumbers
Eve Downey
Freddy Galand
Rafael Guerrero
Philippe Laplace
Cara Leopold
John Olsen
Laura Snape
Patrice Lerochereuil

02 / translation
autumn 2011
192 pages
issn 2101-9614
12 euros
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us $ 17
cnd $ 17
£ 11
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