POÈME SBJKT: Poetry Meets Art in a Digital Age

POÈME SBJKT: Poetry Meets Art in a Digital Age.

PARIS, June 17, 2023 – The marriage of words and art has a profound history, though seldom have we seen it reach an equilibrium. Typically, elements of poetic language serve as impactful quotes or mood enhancers in museums, but the poems themselves seldom stand in the spotlight. However, things are changing as of May 25, 2023, with the opening of POÈME SBJKT at Librairie Métamorphoses in Paris. This revolutionary event delves into the realm where the authorship intertwines with diverse artistic practices, declaring words themselves as artworks. theVERSEverse, a worldwide poetry collective committed to promoting authorial innovation, collaborates with Librairie Métamorphoses and L’Avant Galerie Vossen to curate this unique exhibit. Displaying the works of writers, artists, designers, and innovative coders, the exhibition showcases how text evolves beyond the traditional paper medium. It leverages advanced technology like generative text and blockchain, inviting audiences to broaden their perspective on poetry.

POÈME SBJKT is the second act of a literary duo that commenced in the Fall of 2022 with the intimate exhibition POÈME OBJKT at L’Avant Galerie Vossen. The initial showcase highlighted works that embodied modern interpretations of André Breton’s “poem-object,” as presented by the founding members of and contributors to theVERSEverse.

POÈME SBJKT stretches across both levels of Métamorphoses, the historic Parisian hub for rare and valuable books. Curators have assembled a diverse group of 38 poets and artists whose creations augment, reinvent, and reimagine the relationship between text and image in the era of digital dualism. The showcase displays renowned works of poetic innovation along with emergent examples of next-generation language art and pioneers of code poetry. The exhibit challenges the concept of poetry’s endless reproducibility by spotlighting unique artifacts and digitally scarce NFT editions, encouraging visitors to reassess how we appreciate verse.

POÈME SBJKT runs May 25 through July 15, 2023, at Librairie Métamorphoses, 17 Rue
Jacob, 75006 Paris. A comprehensive exhibition catalogue covering both POÈME OBJKT &
POÈME SBJKT, with essays by esteemed writers and curators, is now available to purchase.
Hardcover edition: https://avantgalerie.myshopify.com/products/poeme-objkt-sbjkt-catalogue
NFT edition: https://objkt.com/asset/KT196hbdj1Cw2JHakK4KCAGmzg3PA2ngW3c5/37

POÈME SBJKT participating poets and artists:
Kevin Abosch, Mark Amerika, Kate Armstrong, Robbie Barrat, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram,
Christian Bök, Ana Maria Caballero, CEGZ.project, Tina Chang x Emily Edelman, Victoria
Chang x Alexandra Crouwers, Victoria Chang x Dianna Frid, Franny Choi x Alida Sun, Joe
Devlin, Adam Disbrow, Emily Edelman, Herbert W. Franke x VOICEGEMS, Ross Goodwin,
Kalen Iwamoto x Julien Silvano, Laura Kerr, Alison Knowles, Diana Lobo, Drew Mailen, Mieke
Marple, Vera Molnar, Nick Montfort, Astra Papachristodoulou, Ronnie Angel Pope x Connie
Bakshi, Ronnie Angel Pope x Mieke Marple, Sasha Stiles, Agnès Thurnauer, Bernar Venet,
aurèce vettier, Roy Voragen

POÈME SBJKT launch events – PAST
May 25, opening reception 6 pm; private tour by curators and attending artists 5 pm
May 26, poetry reading and performance 4-6 pm


POÈME OBJKT/POÈME SBJKT is a two-part exploration of what happens when authorship
and diverse artistic practices collide in poetic synthesis, affirming words themselves as works of
art. This group survey of writers, visual artists, typographical alchemists and creative
technologists traces the trajectory of text as it evolves off the page, expanding the conventional bounds of how poetry is experienced, inviting it into physical and virtual spaces alike via a
multiplicity of mediums and technologies, including blockchain as a means of publishing, distribution and record-keeping.
– Curatorial statement by theVERSEverse

POÈME OBJKT/POÈME SBJKT widens the pool of posthuman interactions initiated by
theVERSEverse, whose community has revived poetry as a potent form of cultural capital. Taking
its cue from Breton’s poem objects…this exhibition challenges poetry’s canonical limitations by
reversing word’s subservience to image. It therefore follows conceptualism in dematerializing art
to an idea while at the same time commodifying language through tokenization. It also
challenges legacy artistic and literary establishments that continue to depend on centralized controls and old disciplinary divisions.

– Alex Estorick, from the Foreword to the exhibition catalogue

Poems, like so much of our virtual existence these days, are simultaneously immaterial and
corporeal. They occupy the quintessential junction of physical and ethereal that makes us human,
and has for millennia, since the moment we became conscious of consciousness. The visceral
works we have brought together in this two-part exhibition, POÈME OBJKT/POÈME SBJKT,
exemplify the mind-body problem of poetry as a metaphor for digital duality – a common theme,
treated in diverse ways. Spanning from 1967 to the present, they trace the poetic intuition
surrounding technological advances; trouble the common premises on which so much
contemporary poetry is based; and seek to shift with purpose and beauty from software to hardware, and back again.

– Sasha Stiles, from “Object Lessons from the Poetic Subjective,”

published in the exhibition catalogue

The works seen here…raise exciting questions regarding poetry’s trans-actability – not only in
terms of acquisitions, but also in meaningful exchanges of the form. Poetic transactions on the
blockchain – outside of a traditional publishing system and adjacent to an art market exploding
with an interest for innovation – offer poems and other text-based art forms the potential to
self-determine their own value, a potentially transformational change for current notions of poetry’s cultural and commercial agency.

– Nathaniel Stern + Ana María Caballero, from “Ekphrasis and Its Reverse,”

published in the exhibition catalogue

The crypto milieu blurs the line between artwork and writing, offering a new way to play with the
material of language. Not only can the poet work with computerized technologies (like GANs and
NFTs) to create a diverse variety of artworks, thereby expanding the practice of poetry itself —
but the poet can also interrogate the sociological implications of this crypto milieu (with all its
social manias), doing so in order to showcase some of the many risks that might await us in such

an exciting frontier.

– Christian Bök + Kalen Iwamoto, from “The Concept of Writing: The Unthought,”

published in the exhibition catalogue

About theVERSEverse:
Founded in late 2021 by Ana Maria Caballero, Kalen Iwamoto and Sasha Stiles, theVERSEverse
is a literary collective and hybrid gallery where poems are works of art, text is technology, and
language is limitless. As drivers of a movement to build the future of literature on the blockchain
and beyond, we seek to empower writers by unlocking new creative tools and opportunities, and
championing the cultural currency of verse.

Learn more: theVERSEverse.com / @theVERSEverse

About L’Avant Galerie Vossen:
Founded by Caroline Vossen with advisor Albertine Meunier, L’Avant Galerie is a gallery where
dialogues and collaborations between artists can take place, especially through group exhibitions
around a chosen theme.
58 rue Chapon, 75003 Paris
Learn more: https://avant-galerie.com, @avant.galerie

About Librairie Métamorphoses:
Livres rares et précieux, manuscrits, autographes, photographie, oeuvres graphiques.
17 Rue Jacob, 75006 Paris
Learn more: https://librairiemetamorphoses.com, @librairiemetamorphoses

Media contacts:
For theVERSEverse: Sasha Stiles, sasha@sashastiles.com, +1 917.667.4339
For L’Avant Galerie Vossen: contact@avant-galerie.com

Disclaimer: I have a copy of POÈME OBJKT/POÈME SBJKT minted on Tezos. Additionally, I appreciate and respect the efforts Sasha Stiles, Ana María Caballero, and Adam Disbrow are making in the Web3 frontier.