Carrying Across: Crossing Disciplines as a Form of Translation
Preface to Vol. 36, Issue 3 by Autumn Widdoes
August 31, 2019
The English word translate comes from the Latin translatus, which means “borne” or “carried across”. While the verb to translate is usually applied to the process of bringing the meaning of one language over to another, we wanted to take a more unusual approach by looking at work where poetry had been translated, or literally carried across, to another artform. Often, writers begin and end their writing at the limits of the page. The sui generis work gathered in this issue of Interim pushes against the limits of genre to find the ever-newer spaces where poetry can and does exist.
To that end, we invited artists and writers working to push boundaries and go beyond the limitations of their disciplines. Some poems in issue 36.3 present as dance and performance art. Choreographer Kota Yamazaki and his dance company Fluid hug-hug “aim to create a choreographic landscape where different bodies, cultures and perspectives come and go, or co-exist freely and equally” and they do so in their translation of the works of Deleuze and Guattari into dance. Other pieces, such as CAConrad’s (Soma)tic poetry ritual originate in a bodily ecopoetic practice. In their poem “Impaled by Sharp Points of Wonderment,” Conrad startles the reader with the ethics of communication, with lines like “telling someone who they are/instead of asking is where/ extinction gets its start.” C Pirloul’s poem “A conversation held over 5 days through 2 hands with a Riga Pine 60 km north of Riga…“proves it is possible to communicate with nature in a foreign language. There is a moment in Pirloul’s poem when the listener, in conversation with the pine, captures the disconnection from the natural world that humans struggle with in the lines “I push-up in to lay my neck upon you as prayer and see/ I’ve listened only through a single latitude.”
To move beyond a discipline into the unknown pushes our artistic practice towards new ways of looking at our world. Such a practice can break through the monotony, fatigue and overload that constant access to information has produced. It can counter this by offering possibilities and potential solutions where the discipline offers none. There is something truly world-building when a writer, artist, or dancer can imagine the infinite possibilities with their words, thoughts, feelings, and movements. We are proud of all of the poems, dances, video art, and performance in this issue. The future exists now in each of these works.