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Institute of Contemporary Art Miami


John Giorno

Thu, Apr 28, 2016

ICA Miami and O, Miami present a reading by legendary poet and artist John Giorno. A reading by poet Ryan Van Winkle and presentation by Obsolete Media Miami (O.M.M.), a Miami-based film archive organized by artists Kevin Arrow and Barron Sherer, will precede Giorno’s presentation.

About John Giorno

John Giorno (b. 1936, New York) is a poet and interdisciplinary artist whose work has impacted generations of poets, performers, and artists. Pop art, particularly its fascination with mass culture, was an important early influence on Giorno, and infused decades of his work across mediums. During the 1960s, Giorno worked with Andy Warhol (he famously starred in Warhol’s 1963 film Sleep), Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, William S. Burroughs, and Brion Gysin. He also explored recording technologies during this time and began to generate what he called “electronic sensory poetry environments,” psychedelic poetry happenings developed with synthesizer creator Robert Moog and others.

In 1965, Giorno founded the nonprofit organization Giorno Poetry Systems in order to connect new audiences to poetry using innovative technologies. In 1967, he organized the first Dial-A-Poem event at the Architectural League of New York, making short poems by various contemporary poets available via telephone. The performance was repeated at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1970, at the beginning of a decade when Giorno was studying Tibetan Buddhism in India and touring rock venues with Burroughs. The confrontational performances he developed during this time became a lasting influence in the slam poetry scene and on early performance art and industrial music. This was also a time in which his poems continued to celebrate queer sexuality. In 1984, Giorno founded the AIDS Treatment Project.

Most recently, in 2015, a retrospective of Giorno’s work was presented at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Giorno attended Columbia University. He lives and works in New York.

About Ryan Van Winkle

Ryan Van Winkle is an American poet currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland. After becoming the Scottish Poetry Library’s first Reader in Residence, he now works as Poet in Residence for Edinburgh City Libraries. Van Winkle’s first collection of poems, Tomorrow We Will Live Here (2010), won the Crashaw Prize. His poems have appeared in a number of literary journals, and he currently hosts podcasts for the Scottish Poetry Library and the Scottish Book Trust. In 2012, Van Winkle was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship, and in 2014 he edited the poetry anthology This Room is Waiting, featuring poets from the United Kingdom and Iraq.

About Obsolete Media Miami

Obsolete Media Miami (O.M.M.) is an experimental art project—a picture and moving image archive and resource for artists, designers, and filmmakers. Through audiovisual presentations, lectures, performances, and collaborations, its reach extends to media professionals, archivists, cultural innovators, as well as an engaged public audience.

About O, Miami

As part of ICA Miami’s commitment to developing programming in collaboration with local institutions as a way to enrich South Florida’s cultural environment, we are excited to join forces with O, Miami in presenting John Giorno and Ryan Van Winkle as part of O, Miami’s 2016 Poetry Festival.

O, Miami is an organization that expands and advances literary culture in greater Miami. It encompasses a visiting writer series, a month-long poetry festival, a publishing imprint, and additional programs, with the goal of bringing the best literature to the greatest number of people.