First, I survey ideas of translation, intersemiosis, and intermediality drawing on the work of European scholars. These include Roman Jakobson and his 1959 definition of intersemiosis as “an interpretation of verbal signs by means of non-verbal sign systems” (Jakobson 2000 : 261). I also draw on “Towards a Model of Inter-semiotic Translation”, by Daniella Aguiar and Joao Queiroz, who suggest the concept of “creative sign transmutation” (2009). Second, I discuss the collaborations of the US calligraphic artist and book illuminator Thomas Ingmire. Inviting US and UK poets to collaborate with him by writing poems in response to sheets of calligraphic marks, Ingmire then produces highly artistic, calligraphic versions of the poems. In the example I discuss, the poem was then produced as an artist’s book by a Japanese artist using ancient paper-folding and bookmaking techniques. Finally, a Japanese composer produced a musical composition in response to the poem and the artist’s book. It could be argued that poetry written in response to calligraphic marks is at the very limits of both mimesis and ekphrasis. However, I argue that it is precisely at such limits that intermediality begins to happen. The article concludes with David Annwn’s proposal of new categories of ekphrasis.
Research Article| June 01 2018
David Kennedy; Ink & After: Ekphrasis, Intermediality, Intersemiosis, and the Collaborative Chains of Thomas Ingmire. Poetics Today 1 June 2018; 39 (2): 319–335. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-4324481
Download citation file: