Imageless Figures: Translating Noise

A panel at ALTA’s Rochester conference.

Session Title: Imageless Figures: Translating Noise

Moderator: Allison Grimaldi Donahue

Panelists: Nerina Cocchi, Jacqui Cornetta, Todd Portnowitz, Laura Marris, Alexis Almeida

Session Description:

Composer Morton Feldman writes, “Noise is a word of which the aural image is all too evasive. On the one hand sound is comprehensible in that evokes a sentiment...But it is noise which we secretly want, because the greatest truth usually lies behind the greatest resistance...” But what can be made of noise within a text: senseless sounds, stream of consciousness ramblings, utterances? What happens to communication? How can truths buried in linguistic chaos emerge? Poet Norma Cole discusses the sphota, defined by Sanskrit grammarians as bursts, the existence of words without forms. Can we translate imageless figures? We will explore different methods of unearthing poetic noise and play with versions, rewriting, making new iterations and engage with the acoustic pre-history of writing.

Sunday, Nov. 10th, 10:30 am. Rochester, NY.