Poetry News

Highlights from the One-Year Anniversary Issue of The Volta: Jen Hofer & John Pluecker's Antena Project

By Harriet Staff


The Volta, a multimedia project of poetry, criticism, poetics, video, conversation and interview celebrates its one-year anniversary with a new January issue. We're especially excited by Jen Hofer and John Pluecker's multimedia poetic dialog on the Antena Project in The Conversant. In their words, the Antena Project is "a language justice and language experimentation collaborative" which "activates links between social justice work and artistic practice by exploring how critical views on language can help us to reimagine and rearticulate the worlds we inhabit."

To help you make sense of what that means in practice and why it matters, it's worth reading the history of their collaboration on the Antena website. Hofer and Pluecker, both writers, literary translators and activist interpreters, began working together on 2011 on various projects to instigate multilingual literary events and to support organizations seeking to build multilingual capacity. But the project really took off in 2012:

2012: With Jen living in Los Angeles and JP living in Houston, we begin conceiving of the Southwestern region of the United States and the Northern region of Mexico as a single/multiple zone of possibility for multilingual artistic and activist work; we continue thinking about and experimenting with methods of long-distance collaboration and semi-autonomous projects under the umbrella of Antena. The vision for Antena grows wider as we include our aesthetic practice within our language justice work. We make many to-do lists. From March to June, JP installs a temporary bookstore, reading room and language experimentation lab at Houston’s Project Row Houses. Jen visits Antena during its last two weeks at Project Row Houses to spend time in the Antena space, participate in the Read/Write club and other literary events, and to work together with JP to explore potential for further expansion of Antena’s projects.

Their contribution to the The Conversant is a collaborative multimedia chapbook about the installation at Project Row Houses. Part dialog, part documentary, part reading list and part poem, it makes the reader want to revisit the relationship between her own aesthetic and social practices. You can view and read/see/hear the entire chapbook online.