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PoetryFilm at Millfield School, 28 April 2016

Thanks to Millfield School for inviting me to deliver a presentation about PoetryFilm, with film clips, to Art&Design, Literature, and Media Studies sixth form students on Thursday. Thanks to all the staff and students for a wonderful evening, including some great questions. It was a flying visit before catching the last train back to London!



Sinestesia: screening in Barcelona, 7 May 2016

My films Full Stop and Palindrome will be screened at Sinestesia on 7 May 2016 in Barcelona. Full details below.

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Luka Lesson (Australia): poeta y slammer, campeón nacional el 2011

Zata Banks (Inglaterra): poeta, artista y fundadora de

Eduardo Yagüe (España): actor, poeta y videopoeta

Tálata Rodríguez (Colombia): poeta, performer y gestora cultural

Paul Broderick (EEUU): poeta y videorealizador

Ester Xargay (Catalunya): videoartista y escritora

Irakli Kakabadze (Georgia): escritor y activista por los Derechos Humanos.

Bobie (Yves Bommenel): artista, videopoeta y performer.

También nos acompañará fuera de la pantalla la artista indisciplinar Marta Darder y su poesía visual.

Seguiremos desvelando más detalles…pero habrá pica-pica, sí.

Videopoesía cada día!

Daata Editions Season Two Commissions

The press release for the Data Editions Season Two commissions, including a Poetry section, is below.

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Tracey Emin, Jake Chapman, Jacolby Satterwhite, Casey Jane Ellison, and Rashaad Newsome have been announced amongst the leading international artists commissioned for Season Two of Daata Editions, an innovative online platform for the sale of easily downloadable commissioned artist video, sound, web and poetry art editions. The first set of editions will be released to coincide with the opening of NADA and Frieze New York on 5 May 2016, with works available online from $100. Season Two commissions will also be exhibited at Daata Edition’s interactive NADA booth.

Daata Editions was developed to enable audiences to view contemporary artists who are working in digital mediums, showing artworks made for, and therefore best viewable on laptops, iPads, iPhones, screens and even cinemas. This new and innovative way to download and collect art is designed specifically to be a native platform to a new generation of artists who work with moving image and sound, and to empower artists, audiences and the marketplace in an area of artistic practice that remains underrepresented within traditional art market models.

On 5 May 2016 the first set of Season Two artist commissions will be released online. Tracey Emin, Jacolby Satterwhite, Michael Manning and Rashaad Newsome will each present a series of six works. Leading British artist Tracey Emin is known for her varied practice that draws inspiration from events in her life and explores self-representation and the feminist discourse. For her Daata Editions commission Emin has produced a new series of highly personal poetry works for the new Poetry section of the website, which explore how sound can express essential emotions.

In his new series of work for the Video section, multidisciplinary American artist Jacolby Satterwhite explores blockbuster movie tropes, disaster films and queer eroticism in a futuristic suite of films En Plein Air Abstraction (2016), featuring floating mechanics gliding over sci-fi inspired global disaster zones. Using the internet as his medium, LA-based Michael Manning has produced a series of video works called Activity Playlist that take their conceptual basis and form from playlists created by streaming services such as Spotify, seeking to give visual form to the themes and moods presented in their musical playlist counterparts. Rashaad Newsome’s work examines the visual language of power and status, sampling heavily from hip-hop and pop culture.

For his Daata Editions Sound commission Newsome has produced three works, including a score created in collaboration with a secondary school marching band and a film score featuring vocals from renowned vogue commentator Kevin JZ Prodigy, rapper Cakes Da Kill, singer Ian Isiah and Newsome himself.

For Season Two, Daata Editions has also invited guest curators to select specially curated sections in the Sound, Web and Poetry sections. Guest curators include Gutter Records, bitforms gallery, New Contemporaries and Zata Banks/PoetryFilm. Also new for Season Two is the Poetry section, which features commissioned work by Tracey Emin, Laura Focarazzo, Kate Jessop, C.O. Moed, Tameka Norris, Ariana Reines, Scott Reeder, Julian Scordato, Susanne Wiegner and Antoinette Zwirchmayr.

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OURS Magazine publishes PoetryFilm feature article and interview

Thanks to OURS Magazine for writing this feature article and for interviewing me about the PoetryFilm project. The interview is pasted below and here is the link.



We pick at the adept mind of PoetryFilm’s founder, Zata Banks, to explore the representation of meaning in art and communication, the intricate pieces that come together during production, and the future of the poetry film medium more generally.

What spurred the creation of PoetryFilm back in 2002 and how has the organisation evolved since then?

PoetryFilm was founded through my personal practice: I was writing and making poetry films and, at that time, there wasn’t a regular screening platform for this artform, so I began producing events to showcase poetry films. I opened up submissions, encouraging others to send in their work. The aim of the project was to celebrate creativity and to help create a cultural movement. Today the genre has gained a lot more recognition, but 15 years ago the cultural landscape was very different – there was considerable hostility to the notion of poetry film in some quarters and, from my point of view, at least, it took a full 15 years’ hard work to achieve the situation today.

What has been one of your most memorable moments working with PoetryFilm?

In terms of institutional kudos, presenting three programmes at Tate Britain and two at CCCB Barcelona are highlights, as they are both hugely prestigious venues, and I’ve really enjoyed working with Film London and the BFI. Being invited to travel overseas has been a real pleasure – the Edgewater Poetry & Athletics Club in Miami was quite an experience! There was also the legendary intervention by venue security at Curzon Soho in 2009 to escort two over-enthusiastic Russian performance artists through the Fire Exit.

PoetryFilm has produced over 80 events, inspired creatives and provoked thought over the past years, what else would you like to achieve? What is the future of PoetryFilm?

PoetryFilm will soon produce its 100th event! To mark this occasion, the PoetryFilm 100 festival will showcase exactly 100 works. The Archive continues to grow with exceptional material continually being added – it now contains over 1,000 artworks and is a valuable cultural resource. As for the future of PoetryFilm, there are some very exciting new projects in the pipeline, though for the time being, unfortunately I need to keep them under wraps!

What do you think is the future of poetry and film in a more general sense?

Different modes of communication are constantly converging and evolving. New generations use new technologies, but we are essentially still drawing on the cave wall, trying to leave residues and find meanings. The future comes from unexpected combinations.

In an interview you explained how the PoetryFilm project explores semiotics and meaning-making approaches of the art form. What are your thoughts on the concept of art not needing meaning to be great?

It’s not possible for something to not have a meaning. Meanings are being made all the time – whether they are intentional or not. The meanings may be latent, or they may be unsophisticated, but they are still meanings. 

What advice would you give to someone interested in creating a poetry film work?

Think about every element, about how combinations of elements affect each other, and about the artwork as a whole… and enjoy the process! Sometimes spontaneity or simplicity can produce interesting work.

Can you tell us a bit about your current residency in Iceland?

I’m living on the north coast of Iceland, near the Arctic Circle, for three months. The temperature has dipped to –15 C, the Northern Lights appear most nights, and the snowstorms produce beautiful snowdrifts in the mornings. As I’m in Iceland for a while, I’ll be presenting a PoetryFilm programme at MENGI Creative + Music + Art venue in Reykjavik on 10 March 2016, so do drop if if you happen to be passing.

Who are some of your favourite poets/filmmakers and how have they influenced you personally or in your work?

A poet I admire is Wislawa Szymborska and a filmmaker I admire is Krzysztof Kieslowski. Both explore the human condition in their work – its grace, mystery and timelessness. My own work explores language and its abilities/failures to communicate. As humans, we have an innate need to connect with each other. We use language as a tool to connect, though sometimes communication is simpler than language; older than words. I also explore what is referred to as Oulipo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle) techniques, which involve mathematics, or inventing and then observing certain constraints in the work. The idea that constraints are liberating is attractive.

In London? or Iceland? See Zata’s travel tips.

Seeing Sound symposium: documentation

Click below to see the event booklet featuring all the abstracts and the full programme. The Seeing Sound symposium took place at Bath Spa University on 9-10 April 2016.


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PoetryFilm News: April 2016

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Two films by Zata Banks screened at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) + Femmes Video Art Festival, 6-30 April 2016


Delighted to hear that my poetry films Full Stop and PoetryFilm Blackboard have been selected to be screened at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) and at the Femmes Video Art Festival 2016 at The Situation Room gallery (LA). Screenings between 6-30 April 2016. Thanks to curator Micol Hebron.

Full Stop features a poem communicated in Morse Code, and PoetryFilm Blackboard was a participatory co-creation poetry project commissioned by Southbank Centre in 2014.

The full programmes are below.

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