Dimensional Text

An event series with Chain Arts that investigates the ways that language can be presented off the page


Fields of Knowledge
  • Aesthetics / Media
  • Performance

Organizing Institutions

Chain Arts, Slought


Jena Osman, Aaron Levy

Opens to public



4017 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104


25% Formal - 75% Informal

Slought is pleased to present "Dimensional Text," an event series collaboration between Chain Arts and Slought Foundation. The series explores the ways that language can be presented off the page by showcasing work that steps away from the book, the podium, or the conventional reading.

The first event, Screen Words: Poems and Poets on Video & Film, will take place at Slought on January 24, 2003. It will feature a public reading and film screening featuring artists Cecilia Vicuña, Steve McCaffery, Henry Hills, Konrad Steiner, Leslie Scalapino and Fiona Templeton. The evening will feature the following works: Cecilia Vicuna: "What is Poetry to You" (23 minutes); Konrad Steiner and Leslie Scalapino: "Way" (23 minutes); Fiona Templeton: "You the City" (10 minutes) and "The Woman in the Green Coat" (9 minutes); Henry Hills: Money and "An Lee Ann-thology of Concrete Poetry" (20 minutes); and Steve McCaffery: "Paradise Improved" (10 minutes).

This event will be followed by a public conversation with artist Janet Zweig and Jena Osman on Thursday, April 24, 2003. Zweig will discuss her current work and use of computers to permute text in sculptural creations.

The concluding event, Seven Veils: Poetry in Moving Media, is a multimedia dance-theater piece based on an adaptation of "Salome" by Thalia Field (Point and Line, New Directions 2000). It will take place on May 15, 2003. Innovative choral music composed by Philadelphia-based Alexander deVaron will provide a complex and often humorous sonic atmosphere for Jamie Jewett's quirky amalgam of release, butoh and contemporary Indonesian dance styles. Credits for Seven Veils include: Thalia Field, Text. Jamie Jewett, Choreography/Video. Alex deVaron, Composition. Sara Vasiliou, Dancer. Laurissa Backlin, Soprano. Gabrielle Rosse, Alto. Carlos Tovar, Tenor. Cailin Manson, Bass. Stage chorus: Deborah Richards, Kamili Feelings. Stage manager: Patrick Scanlon. Lighting designer: Mark O'Maley. Costume desinger: Pilar Limosner. Additional video help: Yi-Jiin Lin, Nicholas Freilich, Seema Goel. Special thanks: Abby Stranahan, Dave Ward, Barbara Reo.

read more

Alexander deVaron's works have been performed In Canada, Europe and throughout the United States. He is the 2003 winner of the Network For New Music Poetry Project competition, and his music has been featured by such ensembles as the Tufts New Music Ensemble, the Seattle New Music Ensemble and the New England Conservatory Cammerata. Over the last twenty years, Mr. deVaron has combined his study of music with the study of Buddhism and meditation.

Thalia Field's collection, Point and Line, was published in 2000 by New Directions. Other works include Incarnate: Story Material and Ululu. Thalia has taught at Bard College, Naropa University and currently teaches in Brown's Creative Writing program. In 1998 she co-founded the Summer Writing and Performance Project at Perseverance Theater in Juneau, AK.

Henry Hills has made over 22 short experimental films since 1975. His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Public Library, the Archives du Film Experimental d'Avignon, the Arsenal in Berlin, the San Francisco Art Institute, the Rocky Mountain Film Center, SUNY Buffalo, Bard College, Wayne State University, and the Miami-Dade Public Library.

Jamie Jewett's dance background includes intensive study of Butoh. He has performed at the Joyce Theatre as a company member of Popo and The Go Go Boys, as well as works by Bebe Miller, David Rousseve and others. Jewett's intermedia dance, Snowblind, was commissioned by University of Michigan's IMMEDIA festival in 2002 and his dance-film, Auslander, was selected as part of Lincoln Center's Dance on Camera festival.

Steve McCaffery is the author of numerous books, including The Cheat of Words, The Black Debt, North of Intention , and Panopticon. His video and performance work were the subject of a retrospective live event at Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York in December 2002.

Jena Osman is a poet and a professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University. Her book, The Character, won the Barnard New Women Poets prize in 1998 and was published by Beacon Press. She is co-editor of the award-winning interdisciplinary arts journal, Chain, with Juliana Spahr. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Fund for Poetry, and has been a writing fellow at the MacDowell Colony, The Blue Mountain Center, and the Djerassi Foundation.

Leslie Scalapino's WAY was published by North Point Press in 1988. Recent publications are: The Tango, Orchid Jetsam, It's Go In/Quiet Illumined Grass/Land, Zither & Autobiography.

Konrad Steiner was born in Philadelphia in 1961 and now works in San Francisco, where he has been making films for over 20 years. His films have been exhibited in the New York Film Festival Views from the Avant Garde, the London Film Festival, Tokyo's Image Forum Festival, and the Whitney.

Fiona Templeton is a poet and experimental theatre artist. She was born in Scotland and co-founded the seminal Theatre of Mistakes in London in the 1970s. Her works YOU-The City (an intimate citywide play for an audience of one) and Cells Of Release (an installation in an abandoned prison in collaboration with Amnesty International) are both published by Roof Books. Poetry books include London, Hi Cowboy, oops the join.

Cecilia Vicuña's books include Instan, Cloud-Net, QUIPOem, Unravelling Words & the Weaving of Water, and Precario/Precarious. Her sculptures have been exhibited internationally, including at the Whitney Biennial 1997, Inside the Visible at ICA Boston, and Whitechapel Art Gallery.

Janet Zweig is an artist who makes sculpture, books, and public art. In her sculpture, she uses computers to permute text, connecting the results to mechanical and kinetic elements. Zweig's work has been exhibited widely in places such as the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Exit Art, PS1 Museum, and Cooper Union. She has installed public artworks at the University of Minnesota, at Santa Fe Community College for New Mexico Arts, and at Walton High School in the Bronx. She has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design since 1982 and at Yale University from 1991 to 2000.