Please see the message below, from Regina Celia Pinto, about the 2-DVD edition of David Daniel’s Humans which she has just completed.
For any who are unfamiliar with the names, David Daniels was an American shape-poet who died in May 2008, and Regina Celia Pinto is a poet and artist from Brazil who befriended him via the Internet. Since his death she has been working on a DVD edition of Humans, his last major work, which consists of shape-poetry portraits of 200 individuals, some alive and some dead, including such famous figures as Shakespeare and Jesus, members of David’s own family and circle of acquaintance, and numerous new media luminaries such as Alan Sondheim, Jim Andrews, Joel Weishaus, Millie Niss, Michael Szpakowski, etc. etc.
I’ve just been looking at the http://arteonline.arq.br/humans/ web-page, Regina’s home for the Humans project, and it’s a breath-taking work of art in its own right. It takes a minute or two to load properly, but once it does you’ve got David’s animated page-sequences dancing around on the left, and Regina’s DVD version going from one human to another on the right: funny, jiggling animations on one side; cascades and explosions of colour on the other. Fantastic. It makes you realise all over again what a visual feast his work was.
Regina’s obviously put an enormous amount of effort into this. I do hope lots of individuals and institutions are going to show an interest.
- Edward Picot
DAVID DANIELS’ 200+HUMAN BEINGÈD HYMN TO HUMANITY
The American poet David Daniels (1933-2008) has always amazed me, not only because of his kindness and wisdom but also the ingenuity with which he crafted his shape poems with a computer program like “Word for Windows.” It is impressive to note the quality/innovation of the shapes he obtained with his texts/poems/animations using software that was not designed for that purpose. Not only that, but the ease with which he worked and played with the language is enviable. Reading and observing his poems is always a process of rediscovery, because they contain a dual semiotic system, one for writings and the other for imagery.
I followed the creation of his 200 + Humans with a sense of enchantment, thanks to the vast net that enables artists to exchange experiences in an international context. This series is fascinating, not only because of its undeniable artistic value but because of its anthropological aspect. Daniels constructed his poems by asking many different kinds of people from different countries some very simple questions. As a result, these poems reveal similarities and differences, while demonstrating what humans are like at the beginning of the 21st century. I can’t help imagining what it would be like if someone read these poems in the next century, and have fun imagining that person’s (?) response.
It is also interesting to underscore that, mixed in with the human beings mentioned in the previous paragraph, there are some familiar famous figures, such as Shakespeare, Edith Piaf, Mozart, Marx, Charles Dickens, Fernando Pessoa, Kafka, Freud and even Jesus, all of whom are eternally human and recreated through Daniels’s imagination.
As a result, it is very moving to present the “Humans” series by David Daniels, which I have produced in DVD format. This will be one more way of attempting to preserve his Poems.
To know more browser at: http://arteonline.arq.br/humans/
DVD 1 – to be inserted in a computer’s DVD drive.
> The Humans series in PDF format, exactly as Daniels produced it.
> The essay Lift up Your Heads, O Ye Gates, An Appreciation of David Daniels, by British author and critic Edward Picot ( http://hypererx.co.uk/ ).
> The interview with David Daniels ( http://www.thegatesofparadise.com ) that Jorge Luiz Antonio ( http://www.vispo.com/misc/BrazilianDigitalPoetry.htm ) and I conducted in 2004.
DVD 2 – to be viewed on any DVD player
> A page for all the humans in the series, with sound and movement, a festival of colors and unusual shapes.
For now the DVD boxes will be sent to new media art archives and to Daniel’s family. However, If you are interested or if you are a curator of a library or university archive, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will contact you soon.
All the best,
Regina Célia Pinto
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