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Digital Visions
Caterina Davinio
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CommunicAction and Perspectives on Modern Web Literary Avant-Garde

Caterina Davinio is an Italian artist, writer and curator. She received her degree in Italian Literature from La Sapienza University in Rome and subsequently undertook experimental projects that fused video, computer and internet technologies with traditional literature. Since the early nineties she has curated numerous exhibits and organized and participated in many itinerant festivals, all aimed at bringing to the fore such avant-garde literary projects. Noteworthy among the many festivals are Electronic Poe(try)visions (Perugia, Rimini, Rome, Genova, Palermo, Cagliari 96-97, Bergamo 98, Chieti 2000, Cheti and Rimini 2001), After the Electronic Arts: the New Experimentation (Pecci Museum, Prato 95), and Techno-Poetry (Rome 2001). Her works as a new media artist have been shown in more than 70 exhibitions worldwide including: International VideoArtFestival (Buenos Aires 95), the 48th and 49th Venice Biennials, and Polyphonix 2002 (Paris). Davinio has also published an extended essay, Techno-Poetry and Virtual Realites (Sometti, Mantova, Italy, 2002).

Very Fluxus and absolutely avant-garde, Caterina Davinio’s Karenina.it site pushes the boundaries of poetry and literary discourse deep into the digital realm. The traditional sheet of paper is replaced by binary code that can now be read by more people simultaneously by virtue of the worldwide network in which it resides. The website makes use of the freedom of communication the internet offers in order to present the experiences of literary artists that experiment with the grey areas of literary theory where traditional writing, visual arts, and digital technologies fuse. In Karenina.it, historical artistic movements merge with literary discourses and critiques to subtly mould into a dense artistic/literary schema. Since 1998 the website has been an expanding collection of discourse and critique on new media art, experimental art, avant-garde literary theory and net-writing essays. It was the first art-poetry/communication project presented on the web in an Italian context. The suffix ‘.it’ that follows the Karenina title of the website is indeed a geographic locator for the origin of the website (‘.it’ being the suffix that indicates an Italian website). The value of the site is however not defined by any discourse of geographic location; it rather resides within the conceptual framework of the Fluxus art movement.

Emerging in the sixties in New York and quickly spreading to Europe and Asia, the Fluxus movement brought together elements of Dada, Zen and Bauhaus ideals. An unstructured network of Fluxus artists from around the world was firmly established throughout the sixties and into the seventies. A spontaneous playfulness defines Fuxus art and performance works. The unplanned and seemingly chaotic blend of mediums and art forms has a tendency to come together as a rather structured whole in the hands of a Fluxus artist. The fusion of mediums and materials as diverse as ready made scavenged posters, newspaper cuttings, mail art, and everyday objects created a happy feeling of disorientation to the Fluxus artist.

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Site: http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Lights/7323/kareninarivista.html