concrete poetry

Epidemolog includes a selection of quick drawings and writings which are based on An Paenhuysen’s coffee cup exercise. An came to Malta to lead a workshop by Unfinished Art Space and We Live Here in 2019. We invited her to engage with us online, and lead an additional session with our participants, and the public. 

The coffee cup exercise is perfect to do in the morning. This way you have done your three to five minutes of daily writing and can happily start the rest of your day. Draw your coffee cup and write some (un)inspiring words next to it, like a snippet of a conversation, a weather forecast, the items on your breakfast plate. Paenhuysen, A. (2019). Writings from Creative Writing in Art Criticism. Unfinished Art Space and We Live Here with the support of the Arts Council Malta, Valletta Vintage, and Art Paper. 

This exercise can be used to kickstart the backend of the brain and engage participants to draw, write, or sketch freely. We adopted its task by task approach for an online version, whereby participants are invited to an Etherpad, and to remix their own text as well as the text of others. 

The attitude in facilitating this workshop is essential. Each step is alloted a few minutes and the next step can be used to build and interpret the content of the first. Together with the participants, we stretched this process up to an afternoon, and adopted the same exercise for objects found around the house, our own  neighbourhood, and online media libraries. Think of it as tapping into the stream of consciousness of an other participants by taking their idea for  a walk. These objects were shared, described to each other, and also redrawn by each other participant. To engage with each other, you can also opt to start working in silence.

* Open an etherpad. Greet each user,
and invite them to choose a colour for their name. 

* Erase the initial greeting, and type out
an instruction to start off with. Opt for simple
direct phrases, such that, liveliness is evident. 

* Sit back, and watch participants type, highlight,
and enjoy each other’s company in silence and text. 

For instance, ask your participants to think about the sounds they hear. Invite them to describe, write a few words, or even a list. In addition, leave your microphone unmuted. This can be manipulated by sharing clips from sound archives, or by moving your phone around different parts of your residence.

Buch, J. & Celeste, A. (2020). How to Beset the Stage. A webinar for Innovair Artists in Residence. The Artists with the support of Valletta Cultural Agency.


Blue, Isaaac Azzopardi











I was having not the best monday morning and now I'm dancing

it's hard not to edit

too many words,

not enough sentence

The opposite of
alone is online

canned heat in a yellow ball

I'm loneline

you are muted

a thousand and one nights to write a line five hundred times

Loose contributors to first.poems / epidemiolog:

Johannes Buch 

Aidan Celeste

Isaac Azzopardi

Samuel Ciantar

Letta Shtohryn

Stefan Nestoroski

Manuela Zammit

Samuel Ciantar

Stefan Nestoroski [water]

A note from Julio Cortazar from 1963, Blow up and other Stories.: I So, I have to write. One of us all has to write, if this is going to get told. Better that it be me who am dead, for i'm less compromised than the rest; I who see only the clouds and can think without being distracted, write without being distracted (there goes another, with a grey edge) and remember without being distracted, I who am dead (and I'm alive, I'm not trying to fool anybody, you'll see when we get to the moment, because I have to begin in some way and I've begun with this period, the last one back, the one at the beginning, which in the end is the best of the periods when you want to tell something).

Stefan Nestoroski [Water]

Samuel Ciantar [natural Poem]


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