Snowflakes and Shadows: Giordano Bruno after Dick Higgins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Artist Dick Higgins (1938-1998), who coined the term ‘intermedia’, had a long and creative interest in the work of the late Renaissance philosopher Giordano Bruno (1548-1600). The major outcome of his engagement with Bruno was the first translation of his Latin book De imaginum, signorum & idearum compositione (On the Composition of Images, Signs and Ideas, 1591). This book offered a semiotic model for intermedia theory before and beyond structuralism, but it also represented a trailblazing intermedial fusion of philosophy, visual art, and poetry. This chapter argues that Higgins performed a ‘creative misunderstanding’ of Bruno’s work. One of the most creative aspects of his misunderstanding was the form of concrete poetry that he called ‘snowflake’. Analysis focuses on the concrete poem entitled 'the snowflakes of giordano bruno' (1977), and it aims to show how this poetic invention also sheds light on the theory of intermedia and translation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntermedial Encounters Between Image, Music, and Text
Subtitle of host publicationWith and Beyond Roland Barthes
EditorsFabien Arribert-Narce, Alex Watson
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherPeter Lang
ISBN (Electronic)9781803740355, 9781803740348
ISBN (Print)9781803740331
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2023

Publication series

NameEuropean Connections
PublisherPeter Lang


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