PICPOETRY

Picpoetry: unedited mobile photography and rapidly, almost automatic unedited poetic prose writing, ideally on the spot in order to capture the atmospherics of the specific time and space. I upload all my picpoetry on Instagram under the name picpoet – one of the oldest poets of Instagram combining visual and poetic prose. Picpoetry is a method I invented in 2009 in order to explore an ontology of presence without falling into the standard trappings of visual and textual phenomenology. There have been two waves of picpoetry. The first one, with about 600 picpoems, ended in July 2013 were all except for the very last picpoem were ceremoniously deleted for picpoet’s suicide. The second one, since 2014 and still ongoing, counts more than 1000 picpoems and can be found below and on Instagram.

That river of tenderness towards the rainy day, and the day that’s about to end, I’ve always felt it whenever they opened the door, neighbours or angels, picking up the new day from their doorstep as if it were a gift.
In the beginning there was no colour. Then the first rain fell, and sheets of colour opened up to the light. Now, forms can finally depart.
All the depth we’ve known just floated up the mirror. Wrinkles and fathoms measure the time to the beginning. But my surface is always other. There is a land where skins are smoothened up like undelivered caresses.
I stole a glimpse of you just before you fell #eijaliisaahtila #haywardgallery
She heard her mother calling her, or maybe her father, it didn’t matter, she became small and her mouth was covered by a layer of winter skin. There was the axis. As she turned her face, she saw the cities regressing to the mud of a savage calling.
He’s always ready, his body tightly packed in boxes of all sizes, his friendships wrapped in wool, his fears bundled along the plastic flowers. He keeps them in the ready in case they ring the bell.
Can someone fix his hat please.
Your hand a cupola of water / underneath these fingers I have learned to grow / seaweed and anemones sprouting from the air in my lungs / breaking the surface and reaching for your face.
He could hear those slurping sounds underneath his feet. He saw the bottom busy with life, mermaids and future, broken gondolas and mended spirits, all swimming in a soup without past. He took the straw gingerly and started sucking too, sweet juice of slow seaweeds lining his mouth.
A bellybutton to lick, a grape to suck, a mother to hug, a face to caress, a glass to hold, a planet to listen to, a balloon to release, a moon face to sleep with. Never has been the round more luminous.
*Sound On* coz Venice ain’t dead or sumthin....
Sinking Islands VII: Black Atlantis II, egg tempera, acrylic and gold leaf on oak gondola pieces with discarded Murano glass, 2020 (detail).
When the pattern finds you after you’ve created. The Murano pieces match this sinking island perfectly, to the colour hue and the pattern. Yet I made this island months ago, and I only just found the glass piece.
Invitations to cross, slidings into different becomings. Heavenly nuptials, promises of otherness. Doesn’t always work. Mostly doesn’t. There is no other side. There are only passages.
Your green is blue. Your piss is blue. Your sleep is blue. Your blood is blue. Your tear is blue. Your spit is blue. Your colour is mine.
You could have lost it here, on that corner, at that turn of the evening towards another sigh of the world. Instead you let it go without thinking, stupidly, like a drip of saliva out of a mute singer’s mouth.
A light that became water, just like all light and all darkness, water they become, the water where you deposit your traumas, those that last night screamed like vast seeping wounds hanging from the face of the planet, are the ones that tomorrow lap like little pools of ingested shadows. But it’s still yesterday.
All Venices disappear. Some in the water, some in the air. All Venices are evanescent.
He sat by the beach and waited for the band. Night fell, a breeze lifted the jackets off the seats, angular couples started dancing but the band never showed up. It was the last day of a summer that never showed up.
On your knees. Tell me your secrets. I am here to protect you. Your secrets aren’t safe with me. Dig deep. I collect souls, skins and stellar storms. I give generously punishment and perishable futures. Look how good I look.
Shut that window please. Our light will escape. We can’t afford that. #plessi #paxtibi
And a little tempera landed on his foot. It will stay there all afternoon, a reminder of how waves crash on coasts of flesh.
Kiss me you fool
A set of six, all aflame with the world around them, all aboil with the potion inside them. They will never belong to this cupboard. Made to fly like saucers in the dusk.
Communion of water.
The summer of the end of verticality. The end of the summer. The verticality of the end. The summer of combinations.
and they ended up embracing the distance between them.
Why don’t you take a seat? It’ll be soft and earthy, it’ll be deep and moist, it’ll be bird-sung and peacock-shaded, it’ll have rivers of essence and islands of frivolity around it, it’ll be you at your best and you as other. You’ll be comfortable, I’m sure. And then you can carry on.
So tell me. What is your sadness?
Our time has always been flooded. Even when the water was running underneath the ground we all stepped in false security. Our streets have always been bridges. Our buildings have always been ships. And our cities have always been sinking.
That door is not a boundary. That curtain does not disconnect. That view isn’t outside. Those letters aren’t on the limit. That hand isn’t inside. That fear isn’t outside. That desire isn’t here. Or there.
He filled my box with waves, wind and water. Just before shutting me in, lid ajar, he threw in some endings, good, bad and repeating. He then let the lid fall with a thud and I started living. He must have shaken the box well because I no longer know where the end begins and the start ends.
One of my bodies is just born. One of my bodies is digital. One of my bodies is a sex-worker. One of my bodies is green. One of my bodies needs no breath. One of my bodies has never sat. One of my bodies is not one of my bodies. One of my bodies is in the future. One of my bodies is your finger.
She piled up bodies on the canvas, one on top of the other, layer cake of parallel existences, paintings never made, colours never achieved, lives never lived. And she started climbing on it, hesitant steps on shaky layers. Her horizon was finally empty.
We all tried but it couldn’t be hidden. Years later, we even started pushing it all in the open. A fierce pride took the place of our shame. The only difficult moment was breakfast time.
No one was looking. Even the gods were asleep. A trace was left on the wall, just where his breath yellowed the white. Someone will eventually clean this. But not today.
We were inviting the water in every morning. Some days it would rush in and make a mess of the breakfast table. Others, it would seep in softly and puppy play with our toes. And there were some days when it would become air and enter our bodies like infinity. Anyway, the water was always in our house those days. We didn’t even need to open the door.
Όχι κάθε μέρα. Αλλά κάποιες μέρες, το βγάζει από την ντουλάπα κ το φοράει σαν άρωμα μέσα στο σπίτι. Πηγαινοέρχεται στα δωμάτια με την φράση να στάζει πίσω του μικρά ουράνια τόξα σαν ίχνη από σαλιγκαρι που το σπίτι του είναι ο εαυτός του.
She pushed the sofa against the door and shut herself in. Something about the outside felt too draughty. After a few days, she forgot where she was. So she started dressing up and pretending she was in various cities of her past, walking down streets of promise, tasting local coffees and writing picpoems. Today she was in Thessaloniki.
We saw the last map burning on the top of a mountain. It was easy to find our way down from there. But flatness is less forgiving. Now, between the sinews and veins of our hands, we’ll find the blue dot. No direction, just a thesis.
Voices, toes of a god whose head has been cut aeons ago, are falling from above, you thought it was lightning, it scared you at night and made you glow in the day, but no my little one, these aren’t lightnings. These are the collapsing buildings you built hour after hour during those years of trusting ground and sky.
Of the three parallel lanes, I chose the one vanishing into the open. I hoped, you see, that I would some day meet the other lanes too.
Ah yes, I know these days, he said. When the sun is so bright that the city becomes blinding white and the sky leaves behind its blues, and the buildings rise up, whiteness lost in whiteness, a heat that melts any distance, any difference.
In the morning, the green returns to blue and the fingers of the seaweeds momentarily let go of the buildings.
My new show, collab with Jan Hogan, is now online at @daniellearnaudgallery 
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Tracing Submergence', a collaboration between Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos and Jan Hogan launches online today - link in bio. 

Video, photography and poetry intertwine to create one work, the story of which is told in stages. Don’t forget to switch your sound on. 
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with accompanying text by @tesscharnley
Artist at work. Blisters and smelly egg tempera everywhere. Happy.
This Wednesday, 12th of August, is the opening of my virtual art show at @daniellearnaudgallery . Jan Hogan and I were entrusted with a virtual room which you can navigate physically, and which we filled with instances of water, writing, layers and strata, gold leaf and words, all wrapped in a whirling soundscape of bells and breaths. I’ll post the link here.
That dried plant you brought me, the one you found pressed in the pages of a city guide, remember? it came to, threw roots and skies, grew turrets and terraces, asked for a name, and is now a ladder, long and straight as a ruptured summer breeze.
Νίψον ἀνομήματα, μὴ μόναν ὄψιν
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Sinking Islands IV: Funafuti, Egg tempera and gold leaf on gondola oak pieces, 2020
ATM HERE 
and HERE
and HERE
and ATM ALSO HERE
but somehow still nowhere
He knew that when the water would reach the second floor of most buildings, it would be the time to leave. He opened his window and threw himself into the rising aquatic horizon.
She made her bed on the water every night. She gathered seaweed to make her pillow softer, wavelets to make her dreams lighter, fathoms to make her sleep deeper. She just had to remember to switch off the city before plunging.
Hold the end of my body and make a new beginning with it.
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Polyptych, Sinking Islands IV: Funafuti, egg tempera and gold leaf on oak gondola pieces (detail) (in progress) (getting there..)
Her days started normally but then they always doubled up. Already at the start of the evening, her house had two kitchens, two bathtubs, four bedside tables. Sometimes, when the evening was especially hot and the smell of jasmine on her windows became too intense even for her, she would invite herself to the second living room for a night cap and a spot of gossip.
He showed them his underbelly, that soft spot between the city and its water. This is my home, he said.
Last night, I felt the water of Venice in me. 
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Polyptych, Sinking Islands III: Kiribati, egg tempera and gold leaf on gondola oak pieces
Every afternoon, the staircases trembled like freshly watered basil plants, and the windows opened and closed like plant stomata. She was used to it. She just had to remember never to look outside.
Islands rising, only to be submerged. 

Sinking Islands III: Kiribati
(work in progress)
All cities sink. All basilicas collapse. All skies are reflected. All bodies are moved.
Sinking Islands III: Kiribati, polyptych, tempera and gold leaf on gondola oak wood (in progress), 2020  A series of maps of sinking islands due to climate change, made on discarded oak pieces left after the making of a gondola.
She raised her arms just enough. Her body started lifting, lapping wavelet suspended mid air. Was the air different up here? She looked down at her water trail. Where did her body end? She was one with the water of this planet.•
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#picpoetry #picpoet #picpoem #writersofinstagram #poetsofinstagram #venice #canal
He took out of his mouth a straight line and stretched it out in front of him. It was so long that it could only be coming from deep in his bowels. How did you straighten it up so well, we asked him. Discipline, he said.
Tuesday 10:47pm GMT. The moment the world gave its last caress. Some felt it in their sleep, a dream of air. Others in their awakening breath, a promise that was broken as soon as it was given. And others did not feel a thing. •
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#picpoem #picpoet #picpoetry #poetsofinstagram #writersofinstagram
Sinking City V, acrylic and gold on canvas, 60 x 30, 2020 (detail)
There is sailing to be done. Arcs of forgotten futures are gathering outside. A fleet of flotsam. No one can board but everyone can watch the void departing. •
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#picpoet #picpoem #picpoetry #poetry #writing #blockedway #shipsinthecity
They started by playing, sound brushes words, but the circles closed in and the tags on their legs started ringing. •
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#circlescycles @luzmirazerpa @oms_rocha
•sound ON to listen to my excited sighs :) • #TracingSubmergence VI’, the sixth in a series of one-minute videos comprising multiple superimposed Zoom split-screen recordings. The work is a collaboration across the time zones of Hobart, Tasmania and London, UK, in the era of COVID-19, between Jan Hogan and Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos writing on Japanese paper with ink and water ⚡️🌊 ‘Tracing Submergence’ brings together the materialities of the geological and the human, working through tracing and erasure, layering ways of listening to the digital other, a writing dialogue where neither is leading but both follow the movements of water. •
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#picpoetry #picpoet #performanceart #waterwrites #tracingsubmergence #geology #anthropocene
The light has no source. It just floods from within. 

Sinking City III, acrylic and gold paint on canvas, 60x30 (detail).
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#artistsoninstagram #artist #paintings #picpoet #picpoetry
The circles were becoming larger and broader, the paper was not enough, nor the table or the house or the city, these circles were bigger than anything she had even drawn because the empty in the circles, that rounded emptiness, that kenotic womb of the world, was vaster than anything a circle could ever circumscribe. Loss, she sighed, is an infinite O.
Bodies of water, sandwiched between air and earth, gurgling our stories, swimming in our future: that’s how we wake up. And then we might jump.
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#picpoetry #picpoem #picpoet #poemsofinstagram #poetsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #artistsoninstagram
#tracingsubmergence the original film #JanHogan and I made during my artist residency in Tasmania. This is just a preview but you can catch the whole thing online at daniellearnaud.com gallery’s 25 years exhibition.
Doting VIII, Series Doting, architectural clay, glaze, metal, 20 x 17, 2020
Spring turned into a lake and he carried on swimming. Whenever he stopped, he started overthinking, how does this soul float on the surface, what must I do, what do I normally do, and his soul would sink. But just before drowning, every time, something dragged him up and made him swim again. A bathometer made of light fathomed his questions and gave him a breath of answer. •
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#picpoetry #picpoet #picpoem #poetsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #poetry #poemsofinstagram
We knew when to cross our hands over our chests. We’ve learned it early on, when the august city was sweltering and our mother taught us how to plunge like angels, hands across our chest, in the deep cool cushions of our afternoons. 
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#picpoetry #picpoem #picpoet #poetsofinstagram #writersofinstagram
Whatever you drop, heavy eyelid or gnarly entrails, you will find when you return to the bay. Sinking City IV, acrylic on canvas, 2020 (detail).
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#picpoetry #poetsofinstagram #painting #waves #paintingwater #water #cranes #writing #poetics #picpoem #picpoet
Our participation at Danielle Arnaud 25 Years Summer Exhibition • @daniellearnaudgallery '25 Years', our summer exhibition, launches online today - link in bio to view! The exhibition was due to open mid-June to celebrate 25 years of the gallery. Over 40 artists were invited to reflect on the notion of time (scientific, philosophical, real or imagined) with site specific artworks to be installed in the Georgian space which has housed the gallery for the last 25 years.

Then time stopped… the gallery closed; the artists were confined; some studios had to close; teaching had to be ‘performed’ online; some felt loneliness setting in; others had to multi-task. Many of the artists were left with no time or space to produce new work. A sabbatical for some, harshness for others, a challenging time for all.

The exhibition has been reconfigured to appear online, including work by over 36 artists.
Roundness that sounds like a yes, curvature that sounds like a perhaps, depth that sounds like I know, a grammar of parallel sighs, your crystal that needs to be cracked again and again, till the flesh softness from a different planet, rolls out finally always: breath.
• Sound On • @daniellearnaudgallery ‘Tracing Submergence V’, the fifth in a series of one-minute videos comprising multiple superimposed Zoom split-screen recordings. The work is a collaboration across the time zones of Hobart, Tasmania and London, UK, in the era of COVID-19, between Jan Hogan and Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos writing on Japanese paper with ink and water ⚡️🌊 ‘Tracing Submergence’ brings together the materialities of the geological and the human, working through tracing and erasure, layering ways of listening to the digital other, a writing dialogue where neither is leading but both follow the movements of water. 
 #tracingsubmergence #andreasphilippopoulosmihalopoulos #janhogan #zoom
Now our circles are growing broader, the water flatter, the air greyer. But the first small rounded breath we drew, a winking half circle, water sliding through its openness, now becomes a horizon to retain within.
The body needs things that only gravity can give. Don’t forget the oceans of oxygen lying on the floor beneath.
I will return where I first floated, amongst the lilies of our forgiveness.
I’ve always liked to feel the empty above me. Somewhere to fly to when the wings finally grow. Somewhere to hide when the wings finally fall off. Pic by @loshedinspace
Repost @daniellearnaudgallery ‘Tracing Submergence IV’, the fourth in a series of one-minute videos comprising multiple superimposed Zoom split-screen recordings. The work is a collaboration across the time zones of Hobart, Tasmania and London, UK, in the era of COVID-19, between Jan Hogan and Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos writing on Japanese paper with ink and water ⚡️🌊 ‘Tracing Submergence’ brings together the materialities of the geological and the human, working through tracing and erasure, layering ways of listening to the digital other, a writing dialogue where neither is leading but both follow the movements of water.  #tracingsubmergence #andreasphilippopoulosmihalopoulos #janhogan #zoom
This is the first piece I’ve ever shown publicly in an exhibition. It’s a hole in the belly of the universe and keeps on calling me back. I don’t always find the angel waiting.
We tried to but failed to forget them. They were constantly there when we would take our morning tea overlooking the water. The other us. The ones who lived under the water’s surface, drinking our excreta as if it were their oxygen.
Fight me or love me please, or do both when you see me, and especially when you don’t see me, when you have not seen me for a while, because I need both your breaths to touch my face today and again today.
Sinking City II (detail), Acrylic and gold leaf on canvas, 2020. “Seascape epistemology is movement’s sound, its taste and color, the fluctuation of a process that joins the world together.” Karin Amimoto Ingersoll, Waves of Knowing, 2016
SOUND ON • @daniellearnaudgallery ‘Tracing Submergence III’, the third in a series of one-minute videos comprising multiple superimposed Zoom split-screen recordings. The work is a collaboration across the time zones of Hobart, Tasmania and London, UK, in the era of COVID-19, between Jan Hogan and Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos writing on Japanese paper with ink and water ⚡️🌊 ‘Tracing Submergence’ brings together the materialities of the geological and the human, working through tracing and erasure, layering ways of listening to the digital other, a writing dialogue where neither is leading but both follow the movements of water. 
@picpoet #tracingsubmergence #andreasphilippopoulosmihalopoulos #janhogan #zoom
There is always that point, just before the middle of the day, when every thing turns turbulent. He had to learn how to swim again.
"She would fall asleep with a taste of home on her lips."
My video+text contribution to the Journal of Visual Culture @jvcjournal and Harun-Farocki Institut collaboration, invited by the ever inspiring @mancabajec Link https://www.harun-farocki-institut.org/en/2020/06/10/she-would-fall-asleep-with-a-taste-of-home-on-her-lips-journal-of-visual-culture-hafi-29/
Someone left him a note just where he was about to step. He picked it up, read something on it, and turned back out again. These holes in the texture of our living, these invitations to the abyss.
Choose your violence wisely.