The Intermedium series concludes with my conversation with Antena, the collaborative created by Jen Hofer and John Pluecker. As individuals Hofer and Pluecker have carried out extensive projects in translation and poetics. United as Antena, they create manifestos and how-to guides regarding translation, among many other thought-provoking interventions. As the conversation demonstrates, Hofer and Pluecker have reflected extensively on values and practices associated with literary translation while pursuing experiment. In the context of a poetics magazine, the Antena project merits special attention for another whole zone of exploration: it advances conversations and events to highlight specific complexities of interpretation (spoken and signed), with special attention to language justice.
The notion that poetry has nothing to do with the “real world” of history and politics is a notion mostly held by a) some poets, and b) some people otherwise invested in poetry (critics/professors). The idea doesn’t come from the “real world” (however that might be artificially constructed), where I have never myself witnessed poetry being dismissed out of hand as an unwanted or alien intrusion.
Today, creators of the Transborder Immigrant Tool announced the release of their book containing the code and poems that power this inventive and potentially life-sustaining tool. Developed by the Electronic Disturbance Theater while in residence at B.A.N.G. lab at University of California, San Diego, the Transborder Immigrant Tool is a mobile app developed for use on inexpensive phones that offer immigrants crossing the U.S./Mexico border on foot navigation to water stations in the desert using visual and sound cues. Once a traveler activates the app, the phone locates the nearest water cache using GPS and begins guiding the user towards the water using a compass and poems.