Caterina Davinio
Since the beginning
Works in United States of America

Caterina Davinio.
Born 1957. Multimedia artist, writer, poet. Pioneer of Italian digital art and computer poetry in 1990. Her work has been exhibited in many countries in more than 300 exhibitions, seven times in the Venice Biennale and Collateral Projects (1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011), where she created participative events collaborating also as curator. Other exhibitions: Biennale of Sidney (Online Venue 2008), Athens Biennial (2007), Liverpool Biennial (Independents 2006 and 2008), Biennales de Lyon (1999, and Intern. Kiosk 2007), Biennale de Paris (2004), New media Art Biennial of Merida, Hong Kong Artists' Biennial, International Poetry Festival in Medellin. For extensive list see:
Caterina Davinio was a poet and painter in the 80s; in Rome she participated in poetry and performance meetings, getting in touch with the international circuits of the avant-garde. She creates video and digital art (still and animated), digital visual poetry, photography, performance, on line events. In 1998 she was the creator of Italian Net-poetry, a development of net-art related to multi-located experimental poetry events, based on line and in real spaces. Among her publications: Color color (novel, 1998), Techno-Poetry and Virtual Reality (It - Engl., essay, 2002, with preface by Eugenio Miccini), Serial Phenomenologies (poems, 210), Il libro dell'oppio (The Book of Opium, poems, 2012), Virtual Mercury House. Planetary & Interplanetary Events (texts and documents about electronic poetry, 2012).

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GATES Call 2

In basso in italiano / Scroll down for Italian version.

GATES / July 4 - September 30 2003

GATES - Starting from Greece
Gates is a total new collaborative art experiment, it is a non-conventional
exhibition; one can participate not by sending video or digital work on the
topic, but creating a network, circulation of action-communication, between
real and cyberspace, between visual and word, related to the symbolic icon
of the Gate, with its metaphoric, symbolic, of computer science, and
telematic, implications, gates as ways of transit, as dimension of open, of
confrontation, of passages in every direction, at every level.

We are creating a new form of art that uses as matter e-communication,
relationship among persons, art debate, our real/virtual body, voice,
gesture ( is all this); experimentals! artists, poets, critics,
theoreticians! e-post-Fluxus casseurs, e-post-post-duchamp-ists (?),
welcome!, is an open gate for what you think, and for what you

How to Join, and first contributions by Alli Poli (web site under

Beyond Net.Art
by Caterina Davinio &

Gates is dedicated to Pierre Restany

GATES / 4 Luglio - 30 Settembre 2003

GATES - Partiamo dalla Grecia
Gates e un esperimento d'arte collaborativa completamente nuovo, una mostra
non convenzionale; non si partecipa inviando propri lavori in video o
immagini a tema, ma creando un network, circolazione d'azione-comunicazione
tra reale e ciberspazio, tra visualita e parole, collegati all'icona
simbolica della porta, con le sue implicazioni metaforiche, simboliche,
informatiche e telematiche, porte come vie di transito, come dimensione di
apertura, di confronto, di passaggio in ogni direzione, a ogni livello.

Stiamo creando una nuova forma d'arte che usa come materia la comunicazione
elettronica, il rapporto tra le persone, il dibattito sull'arte, il nostro
corpo/voce/gesto reali/virtuali ( e tutto questo).
Sperimentali! artisti, poeti, critici, teorici! casseurs e-post-Fluxus,
e-post-post-duchamp-isti (?), benvenuti!, e una porta aperta per
cio che pensate e per cio che fate.

Come partecipare e primi contributi da Alli Poli (sito web in costruzione):

Oltre la Net.Art
di Caterina Davinio e

Gates e dedicato a Pierre Restany

-- Experimental
Caterina Davinio


Re: Untitled Document

Too many words to conclude that this year there was no Venice Biennial, but
a macroscopical Art Fair. Market-oriented, non-cultural, in the sign of the
mere accumulation out of any sense, but with the essential hypocrisy and
claim to be alternative (alternative to what? a Biennial is anyway
institutional), focalizing on clandestines, cultures, and other "ethnic"
mode-flags, and common places, clandestines well filtered through the main
NY, Detroit, Chicago galleries...
Chaos, but in a sense affected, careful. This made nervous an intelligent
Fluxus? No real open project, like were Oreste Project or Poetry Bunker in
the Szeemann's Biennials, Utopia Station? dated, armored, not open.
Extra50 exhibitions? under the level of what a Biennial should be, were
"selected" to pay 6000 euro to the Biennial Institution to participate,
these projects, not properly in the Biennial, were introduced to finance
part of the Biennial, I think.
Honestly I found the curator's presentation generical;
problem is that the words, differently from the images, has not only an
impact, but should have a sense, a meaning... what is an "exhibition of the
exhibitions", an abdication of the curator's role? or more probably a
tribute to other curators of the network?
This Biennial is agreable for the spectators eye because it is not new, It
has nothing more than the past three Biennials, but has something less, In
front of the humanistic "plateau of mankind" by Harald Szeemann, the
"dictatorship of the viewer " is a slogan, anyway a dictatorship is not
modern, or post-modern, or post-post-modern, is a negative concept in any
case; beside: there is no dictatorship of the viewer in this Biennial, it is
only a word in the title, no real discourse on media, on television, no new
media culture, is present (video is an old medium, like it is painting), but
all carefully focalized to make strong the "market dictatorship". It is not
a case the return to painting.
Anyway a Biennial is an institutional place, conservative, was never a good
place for art revolutions, and cooptates some revolutionary only rarely.

But, who invests in art is really sure that this art that now is running
under the dictatorship of the world network will walk enough in a
short-medium future? Don't they have an Internet connection? This Biennial
exhibition was made for the market, but even the investment is not sure,
because the cultural level of the market and of the collectors has grown, so
maybe who calculated too much, could not have the expected vantages...
Art is very bad, sometimes.

----- Original Message -----
From: "teoman madra" <>
To: "list" <>
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 12:39 AM
Subject: RHIZOME_RAW: Untitled Document

> submission from beral madra on 50.venice biennale


> Untitled Document
> As a hyper exhibition of artworks under the grandiose title of
Dreams and Conflicts: The Viewers Dictatorship, the 50th Venice Biennale is
fiercely decisive for the 70's and 80's protagonists and wide open to the
expectations of young generation artists, designers and architects. By
placing reknown/unknown, rich/poor, optimist/pessimist,
compasionate/cold-blooded artists from three generations and different
socio-political and economical backgrounds, side by side, the curators of
the Arsenale shows have broken the rules of hierarchy within the
international art-world and arranged a confusing track for the viewer.
However, the remains of the old rules were still to be observed in the group
exhibition in the Italian Pavilion, where there is that conservative, subtle
and balanced transitions from one artist to the other.
> The everlasting modernist order of pavilions in the Giardini seek to
restore the damaged sense of equilibrium of the viewer. The conflict between
the new pursuit for modernist aesthetics and the post-modern, contaminating
everyday simulations furnished the biennale with a chaotic structure, which
could be exciting, if it was consciously made. Evidently, it is an almost
impossible task to orchestrate more than 60 curators (pavilions, arsenale,
extra 50) to a more or less harmonious tune. The viewer on the other side,
coming to Venice for the opening days, was not able to consume the event (8
exhibitions in the Arsenale, 30 pavilions in the Giardini, 20 pavilions in
the city and the 50 Extra) in its entity...
> In Venice Biennale, due to its national representations, artists
from countries with obscure political and economic infrastructures have to
breathe side by side with artists from well-fare democratic countries with
omnipotent culture industries. A fact, which is a challenge, when
articulated in an intelligent manner, but also requires a certain resistance
from these artists. The flagrant manifestations of artists from the Asian
territories profoundly reflected this urge for a better recognition, by
elaborating the content and form of their works more than substantive. Very
annoying were the performances and images of some of these artists, playing
the role of the colonised or saluting self-orientalisation by articulating
the traditional, folkloric and tourism elements, such as attractive
traditional garments, zen meditation and accentuation of Asian or African
identity. The lack of critical thinking and anachronism of some of the
artists from the post-periphery is also evident in the artworks that are
only dealing with the material to create mystical reflections on nature and
life or exploiting it with decorative connotations. The number of the
video-works were reduced in favour of paintings, evidently as a growing
consensus between the curators and the art market. No doubt selected with
care, but once more, the videos were the disputable in their form and
content all over the biennale. The border between the journalistic documenta
ry, narration, caricaturist commentary and conceptual work was blurred in
many video-works and installations. On the other hand, this possibility of
being on the same platform - even if it is an illusion- makes the Venice
Biennale the most sought art place to be in. This year even Iran, which is
one of the most introvert countries in the world, acquired a pavilion and
realised its first participation in the 21st century.
> Every year Venice is becoming more and more vulnerable; the heath,
the humidity, the excessive biennale crowds induced the working conditions
and the the infrastructure of the city. Customs was blocked, transportations
was slow, electricity broke and after all the Venetians were in agony. Yet,
they had to yield to the difficulties, because of the enormous income the
biennale provides for the city every two year. The adventure of the
participant country, which has no pavilion in the Giardini, starts with
searching a space in the city, preferably on the main arteries of the
labyrinth to catch the attention of the international art experts and the
press. Available are palaces and churches with rents between 15000 to
60000euro for six months. The next step is to provide accommodation for the
artists and the exhibition crew, a choice between fairly expensive hotel
rooms and apartments. For example for our group of five we had to pay around
6000 euro for 10 days of accommodation. The transport of the works, the
production and distribution of printed material, the production of works,
the installation costs in the exhibition space, the maintenance of the
exhibition etc. are exhausting the modest budgets of the countries with
obvious economic deficiencies. Yet, for many Venetian individuals and
groups, this burden has become a flourishing business.
> 12th of June, when the biennale was opened to the press and media,
the exhibitions in the Arsenale were 40% unfinished. The crowd, some among
them barefoot and nearly all with fans in the hands, was streaming from
exhibition to exhibition in the Corderie, where the magnificent space was
divided to claustrophobic sections with white walls. It is hard to
understand, after all it has been discussed about the transmission between
the space and the art work, that curators and artists can sacrifice the
grandeur of a historical space to the precarious existence of the artwork on
white walls. Being intrusive, I witnessed how hastily the experts and the
journalists were looking at the artworks; practically three or four days are
not enough to look at the 400 artists exhibiting in different venues in
Venice. So, the experts and the journalists have no possibility to discover
something by themselves but to follow the rules and look at the artist
already known and supported by well-established galleries, dealers, art
critics and curators. The ecstatic - not to say hysteric - environment of
the opening days is obviously an outcome of the art system, born in the late
modernism and became a self-consuming grotesque in post-modernism. The
actors of modernism were the artists creating ideologies; today the actors,
favouring the system linked to the global kapitalism, are manipulating the
position of the artists according to the requirements of the network. Within
this network, the viewer is submissive, silent and confused.
> Looking to the 8 exhibitions in the Arsenale, one can see the scheme
of the network. The artists of the exhibitions who can never come side by
side in the real life ( most of them probably have never met each other)
seek here equal recognition. Have they ever discussed with each other the
concept, installation and relation of the works and the exhibition?
Prominent and protagonist artists of the recent past such as Art&Language,
Gilbert&George, John Baldessari, Anselm Kiefer, Michelangelo Pistoletto,
Roman Opalka and reknown architects such as Rem Koolhas, Araki Isozata,
Hasan Fathy have accepted to exhibit with completely unknown names and
newcomers in an environment where there is no inner dialogue and coherence.
Their "noble" modernist works are put in collation with works that are
articulating everday life realities and trivilaties, that have got off the
rails. Seems to be an interesting turn in the history of contemporary art!
> Utopia Station, at the furthest end of the Arsenale, is a
mega-neo-fluxus show and the tail of the Biennale, as the rigidity of the
national pavilions dissolve here into free debate and gain some political
vision. It also immediately reminded me Progetto Oreste Uno, a creative
initiative of a large group of artists of Italy coordinated by Cesare
Pietrouisti, Pino Boreste and many others during the 48th Venice Biennale in
the center of the Italian Pavilion. The fact that, interdiciplinary debate,
process demonstration, employment of mass media technologies and strategies
can reach larger and broader public, created a new generation of artists
with one foot on the high art, the other on the mass media. Here, I will not
write in depth about the pavilions of USA (an overloaded and repeated
imagery of black identity), G.Britain (I have'nt seen such a decorative
pavilion before), France (steril and distanced), Germany (would Kippenberger
install this underground vent into the pavilion, when he had seen the last
global war?) Japan and Corea (always in favour material and technology), as
these will be reviewed extensively in newspapers and artjournals
> The most striking event in the biennale was the two "closed"
pavilions. The pavilion of Spain was sealed to acsesss by Santiago Sierra,
with a crudely made wall behind the main entrance and by two policeman (!)
in attendance at the back door, allowing only the viewers with the Spanish
passport to enter. As Spain is a member of EU, even the acsess of EU
citizens was restricted! This is an art work with effective political
protest on what is happening in EU and Spain concerning the emigration
politics. The closed Venezuela Pavilion is not an art work, but an act of
censor by the Misnitry of Culture of Venezuela. One of the censored artists
Pedro Morales insisted on coming to Venice to protest (please refer to
(;; In remarkable
juxtaposition as artwork and reality, these metaphorically and factually
sealed pavilions, do not only cast a doubt on the power of art, artwork and
the artist within the state apparatus of the democracies and within the free
forum of the biennale, but also on the role of the viewer, who is inactively
watching the ambiguity. It is difficult to take a distance and annotate the
works, I have seen in three days.
> Bonami's intention to reflect a wide range and variety of
contemporary art production became an accomplishment, so that one can
neither track the statements of the curators of the international
exhibitions nor find a consensus between the pavilions . Within the
complexity of the biennale I could discriminate and categorize some facts: -
There is a significant contradiction between the artworks of the well-fare
Europe and USA artists and the artists of the rest of the world: The former
are tranquil and latent and transformed art into a stratagem (for example
Bruno Gironcoli in the Austrian Pavilion, Sylvie Eyberg and Valerie
Mannaerts in the Belgian Pavilion, Jean-Marc Bustamante in French Pavilion,
Candida Hofer in German Pavilion, Ruri in Iceland Pavilion, Little Warsaw in
Hungarian Pavilion); the are in emergency and crisis and use art as a force
(for example Sora Kim& Gimhongsok in The Zone of Urgencey, Ratomi
Fani-Kayode in The Faul Lines). The memory of contemporary art plays its
game too frequently... Since Jean Clairs Biennale genetic deformations or
the post-human representation has been totally consumed and almost lost its
excitement. Patricia Piccini's silicone creatures in the Australian
Pavilion, Maurizio Cattelan's robot Charlie, Charles Ray's Female Figure and
Berlinde de Bruyckere's "the black horse" in "Delays and Revolution"
(Bonami& Birnbaum) are being chased by the phantoms of the works of the
Chapman Brothers, Ron Mueck, Katherina Sieverding (Rat King) and Kiki Smith.
Or, David Hammons' bronz Budhas may pray for safety (with safety pin on a
string in between them), but this has been done before many times by Nam
June Paik (since 1974).Haven't we seen enough cars/trucks before, for
example Wim Delvoye's Cement Truck, Soo-Ja Kim "Cities on the Move in the
48th Biennale ? Alfredo Juan's stainless steel jeep and Damien Ortega's
decomposed VW, even with convincing concepts, look like surfeit examples.
> There were two significant panel discussions during the biennale.
The second version of Venice Agendas, organised by Audio Arts, London, Nuova
Icona, Venice, Wimbledon School of Art, London, Cardiff School of Art
&Design (UWIC), in association with the comissioners of Wales and Scotland,
and supported by the British Council took place in Metropole Hotel. To three
breakfast sessions, dealing with the issues and questions such as "Biennale
in a new century", "The new and recent presences at the Biennale", and "Is
the Biennale 'a charming anachronism' in danger of sinking?" prominent
representatives of various institutions and free lance curators were invited
to contribute. In fact, aside from the main pavilion, with the three of the
new presences, Scotland with the exhibition "Zenomap" in Palazzo Giustinian
Lolin, Wales exhibition in the ex-Birrerie in Giudecca and The Henry Moore
Foundation exhibition "Stopover" in the newly restored Convento dei Santi
Cosma and Damiano on the Giudecca, Great Britain was the most ambitious
participant of the Biennale. This extensive presence reflects the apparent
decentralisation and independence of regional art production and management
as well as a fruitful competition between the institutions.
> The two Giudecca venues were the most charming and suitable places
among the places that can be acquired in Venice. These exhibitions were
strategically highlighted with rich receptions and parties. This is another
sign that the sanctity of the pavilion politics are being critically
exploited by the new generation curators and artists. As to the question,
whether the Biennale is a sinking ship, one could say that it is rather
drifting than sinking. Drifting in the stormy global politics and economy
waters. Looking back to the Biennale of 80's and early 90's, when the milieu
was still naive, idealistic and romantic, the last biennale tend to be
shrewd, sarcastic, an market-oriented with the sophisticated opening days
visitor profile. However, the Arsenale shows, among them particularly the
Utopia Station, with works of political content and statements may stir an
argument among the protagonist intellectuals of the world, the biennale in
its entirety seems to be powerless to resist the severe political agenda of
the world. After all, at a time when on the political and economical level,
new borders are being drawn between the regions, religions and cultures the
Biennale (and all other multicultural exhibitions) aim to break the borders,
at least in their concepts and contents! This task requires an effective
theoretical and practical reciprocation and exchange from its components.
Two grand scale exhibitions are being held in Praque and Klosterneuburg to
accentuate this reality. Organized by Giancarlo Politi and Helena Kontova,
editors of Flash Art magazine, together with Milan Knizak and Tomas Vlcek,
directors of the National Gallery in Prague, the inaugural edition of the
Prague Biennale aims to create a pluralistic vision of contemporary art. In
this new biennale the concepts we are very familiar with "peripheries become
the center," and "dissolution of the dichotomy between periphery and center
" are going to be articulated by a large group of curators.
> The other more accentuated event is Blood & Honey- Future's in the
Balkans is curated by Harald Szeemann in Klosterneuburg. Sponsored by The
Essl Collection 73 artists from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria,
Kosovo, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey and
Serbia-Montenegro will exhibit their work on an area of 3,500 m2. The
significant aim of this exhibition has been declared as "to awaken western
sensitivity to the existence of this cultural landscape". What I can deduct
from these actions is that the international contemporary art front is
slowly approaching Middlest and Near Asia! To the other forum, CEI (Central
European Initiative) organised by Trieste Contemporanea
Committee under the auspices of Italian Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, in collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice and
supported by CEI, Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia and Beba
Foundation, directors, experts and curators from Yugoslavia, Poland,
Lithuania, Moldova, Hungary, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Croatia, Latvia,
Slovenia, Romania, Russia, Macedonia, Turkey and Italy were invited. The
ongoing fragility in the infrastructure and networking of the contemporary
art institutions because of the economic and political deficiencies and
instabilities was the main topic of this forum. After plenary sessions and
workshops a declaration was signed by the participants, calling support from
governments and international organisations in the form of continuous
structural and financial contributions, stressing the autonomy and freedom
of creativity from any type of political pressure and instrumentalisation
and accentuating the necessity of exchange programs and partnership
projects. It should not be overlooked that the presence of CEI countries in
the Biennale after the wall, has immensely contributed to the totality as
well as to the regeneration of the picture of contemporary art production in
Europe. What should also not be overlooked in this years Biennale were the
projects and products of various work-shop for the improvement of the urban
and civil infrastructures of the city; a refreshing attempt to activate the
engagement of the local and international viewer. The regeneration of the
Archivio Storico delle Arti Contemporanee, The Cord, the spatial connection
of the exhibitions with a 200m long steel cylinder created by a group of
architects ( Archea Associati) and The Artificial Reserve, a project
coordinated by Cesare Pietroiusti with the students of the Academy of Fine
Arts of Venice were some of these new presentations.
> I would like to go back to my catalogue text and examine the
viewer's position in this mega-show. The ideologies of art maintain their
function as being a part of social life and the critical conscious of the
society, and artists face the situation in which patterns for orientation
and action of the past no longer work more than the society. They are the
ones who find new options and actions to provide answers for everyday life
conflicts and major emergencies. With Paul Vanguiem 's words "Everyday life
always produces the demand for a brighter light, if only because of the need
which everyone feels to walk in step with the march of history. But there
are more truths in twenty-four hours of a man's life than in all the
philosophies." Despite all the generalization, standardization and totalizm
in the world, this twenty-four hours still makes all the difference within
the supremacy of the corporate economy and global politics. The bloodstained
pages of the last decade, 11th September and its savage outcome is the
production of everyday activity of the human being, which paradoxically has
imprisoned and poisoned his/her everyday life. It is a perfect vicious
circle! The artists, evidently aware of the eminence of it, approaches these
twenty-four hours in detail, itemise and particularise the facts with
his/her inevitable sophistication and self-contempt; the magnitude of this
task can be seen in the images of desperation, emergency, clamour and
transgression. The viewer generously but cunningly gives the artist the
right to intervene into the minute details of the common life, and the
authority to cry out his message to the world from a headland, to make him
an accomplice...



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video-poetry exhibition

Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Andres Denegri, Caterina Davinio,
Clemente Padin, Javier Sobrino, Alonso Barros Pena, Duo Qfwfq, Ladislao
Gyori, Luis Cano, Fabio Doctorovich, Salvador Biedma, Raul Szkraba,
Philadelpo Menezes, Bartolome Ferrando, Richard Kostelanetz, Alejandro
Schmidt, Ana Lisa Marjak, Arnaldo Antunes, Salvador Biedma, Arturo Marinho,
Javier Robledo.

Cultural Center Recoleta
Buenos Aires - Argentina
June 17, and 24 7:00 PM

VideoBardo Exhibition
International Videopoetry Archives
Created and organized by the poetry review Bardo



Video on line / 50th Venice Biennial / Good Bye to Pierre Restany / Markers IV Video Special (low-res Real Player)

The 50th Venice Biennial by Francesco Bonami in Video On line!
Video wandering during the opening days:

- The last good bye to Pierre Restany from artists, critics, operators
friends, at the French Pavillion on July 12.
- Giardini - Pavilions
- Arsenale
- Museo Correr

See also:
- Wandering Library - Markers IV in Venice. An itinerant project dedicated
to artists' books, promoted by Venice Municipality, UNESCO National Italian
Commission - World Book Day, International Artists Museum, Holon
Municipality. The Opening at the Jewish Museum on June 15 (until August 28).

All the pages of the artist books created by the Italian artists
Caterina Davinio, Eugenio Miccini, exhibited in the Wandering
Library Project in Venice:

Video event on June 14-15th at markers IV Opening:
"A Story"
Video: Caterina Davinio
Sound poem, voice, performance: Julien Blaine
Music: Etienne Brunet.
The book as object, the book as writing, the book as story, the writing as
visual and sound...

Stay with us in Venice!

-- Experimental

Art Electronics and Other Writings
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