“Útero portanto Cosmos” (Uterus therefore Cosmos) by Agnus Valente and Nardo Germano

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Screen capture from "Útero portanto Cosmos" (Uterus therefore Cosmos) by Agnus Valente and Nardo Germano. Black background with three grey dots in the middle and two lines of grey text, one at the bottom, the other at the top. Text:"Utero" "Cosmos"
Open “Útero portanto Cosmos” (Uterus therefore Cosmos) by Agnus Valente and Nardo Germano

According to its author, Agnus Valente, “Uterus therefore Cosmos” is a kind of work in progress developed during the years 2003 to 2007. In this project, several e-poems created by Valente and his twin brother, Nardo Germano, explores the expressive and conceptual potential of the World Wide Web. “Uterus therefore Cosmos” brings together in one digital environment, works by visual artists, poets and musicians from different eras. Valente proposes a dialogue between his poems authored with his brother and the work of brazilian poets and visual artists.

 “Uterus therefore Cosmos” is metaphorically a project of astronomical dimensions. Conceived as a trilogy, the project presents in one website its three stages of creation: “Online Pregnancy” (2003), “Constellations” (2005) and “Expansions” (2007). A keyword to analyze this work is “hybridization”. In this context, the term refers to the ability of mixing signs, senses, media and languages ​​and where all this mixing occurs is undoubtedly the digital medium. Based on the theoretical concepts of “intertextuality” and “Intersemiotic translation” Agnus Valente sets the DNA of his poetics.

 When downloading the website “Uterus therefore Cosmos”, programmed with Flash, the interactor finds a screen that starts showing a list of the credits and ends displaying a triangle formed by three points followed by a brief sound beep. After completion of the countdown, a hidden menu appears and a grid with 41 poems that can be seen when the interactor explores the interface. To access the poems the interactor must click on the visible image and must wait for its execution on the screen. The title and informations about the poem arise diagrammed vertically on the left side of the screen. Still on the left side and at the bottom of the screen there is a triangle shape icon that will allow the interactor access again to the home screen where he can choose a new poem.

Black background with an orange snowflake in the middle.

 Among the poems “Uterus therefore Cosmos” highlight “Matrix/Tramix”, a responsive kinetic poem programmed in Flash. To access it, the interactor needs to locate the hidden menu icon in the shape of an orange fractal icon. The poem opens with a graphic structure at the bottom of the screen and a voiceover saying repeatedly verses: – Matrix, Tramix. After this introduction, the graphical structure presents multiple interaction points along its extension and the interactor starts conducting a series of changes in the poem. The result of this interaction is an intense mix of colors , words and sounds.

Black and grey grid foreground with two lines of text in the background. Text: "Matrix" "Tramix"

 “Matrix / Tramix” is a good example of the concept of remixability proposed by Lev Manovich. In this poem, words are interconnected with each others creating neologisms that reinforce the concept of hybridity defended by Agnus Valente. In this poem, the audio is very important. As more the interactor reacts to the points of interaction, more intense becomes the sonorous energy of the poem.

In its entirety, “Uterus therefore Cosmos” could be considered a poetry anthology project, because it presents the influence of the works concrete poets like Haroldo and Augusto de Campos, Decio Pignatari, Ronaldo Azeredo and post-concrete poets such as Julio Plaza. However , it is not just a poetic anthology , but recognition of a cultural legacy that has been feeding for years the minds of Agnus Valente and his brother Nardo Germano, both poets of multiple hybrid signs.

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