* not available
Argo Spier's Complete Works
are in htm and doc formats and contain between 100
1. Old Hat New Steel - 352 pages
2. RAAm in 5 languages - 110 pages
releases and links
3. Blue Sweet - 330 pages
Argo Spier's oeuvre
* secret body - '... honest, sincere and touching, but naughty and daring too, tender relations and libidinous desires ... a story stangely told, with a multitude of recuring themes neatly developed in both poetry and prose ... irony verging on pathos. In essence, the human condition in all its hilarity and typicality, a constant source-searching art-historical drive ... naked and fresh'
The secret body of poetry Wallpaper poetry and the kind Argo Spier communicates with - is poetry that comes into being with the use of recombined words and through the endless generation of words, images and themes. It comes from everyday words, sentences, verses, from existing literature and from sophistic rhetoric, philosophy and poems themselves. Necro Poetica is the 'horrific act' of doing it! A poet's meddling with existing literature... Dramatic and clever punchlines and carefully placed hints push the story along as it slowly reveals its true driving force : the creation of poetry with recombined words and an endless generation of words, images, themes and stories. Words are taken from everyday sentences and existing literature, and novel pieces of poems and complete poems are compiled" - LWCFSD Poetic Society
* word combinations - Argo Spier's work combine 'word' and 'picture', 'ear' and 'eye' in the dialectical relationship between 'hearing' and 'seeing', 'voice' and 'sight'. It combines the 'utterances of the poetic mind' with the 'visual expression of the artistic soul' and is a frail attempt to be 'a thing on its own' seeking the secret body of poetry tout court. He 'commits' wallpaper poetry and Necro poetica and he 'resurrects' words.
* dramatic dialogue - The mixing philosophical utterances with poetry, poetry with story telling and dramatic dialogue with ordinary expression, and is 'fast-scrolling' and 'easy-read' endless generation of words, images and themes.
* scroling wallpaper poetic storytelling - Argo Spier uses the fast scroling wallpaper poetic storytelling technique for his deconstructive soul searching stories which almost always burns down to art-historical debates concerning the essence of writing itself. In the process 'Necro Poetica', the horrific act of a poet's meddling with existing literature and trying to resurrect words words 'old and cold', 'used and spoken' and 'abused' emerges and the whole turns into wallpaper poetry which irrevokably now becomes the art of 'not respecting' any of acknowledged genres of literature. He mixes philosophical utterances interminged with poetry, poetry with storytelling and dramatic dialogue with ordinary expression. Argo Spier's work combine 'word' and 'picture', 'ear' and 'eye' in the dialectical relationship between 'hearing' and 'seeing', 'voice' and 'sight'. It combines the 'utterances of the poetic mind' with the 'visual expression of the artistic soul' and is a frail attempt to be 'a thing on its own' seeking the secret body of poetry tout court. He 'commits' wallpaper poetry and Necro poetica and he 'resurrects' words.
* storytelling sequences - Argo Spier's Wallpaper storytelling sequences are complete stories and consist more than often of 800 or more pages of poems linked to one another by theme, word suggestion or rhythm. What poems are and are not, and where and when they start and/or when and where they end, is a question Argo Spier is fully aware of when he writes and exploits the reader's curiosity. What should be the norm? Where does one 'cut' a poem in half to continue on a second page and still have poetry? Should the norm be to select sequences that fit on a page or should it be to enlarge the page to encompass the whole sequence? This last suggestion is nonsense, since nobody is going to scroll down on-line the length of 8000 successive A4 pages! So it is a problem! And the question of what is more important, the message or the meaning? Isn't that a problem too? Which parts of Argo Spier's sequences should be presented and highlighted and which neglected? One just does not know what the right approach should be!
* wallpaper poetry and necro poetica - Argo Spier uses the fast scroling wallpaper poetic storytelling technique for his deconstructive soul searching stories which almost always burns down to art-historical debates concerning the essence of writing itself. In the process 'Necro Poetica', the horrific act of a poet's meddling with existing literature and trying to resurrect words words 'old and cold', 'used and spoken' and 'abused' emerges and the whole turns into wallpaper poetry which irrevokably now becomes the art of 'not respecting' any of acknowledged genres of literature.
* resurrection - When 'resurrecting' words Argo Spier uses carefully collected verses and phrases from existing literature and combine it with everyday utterances and philosophical references. The character is not important! The work is!What poems are and are not, and where and when they start and/or when and where they end, is a question Argo Spier is fully aware of when he writes and exploits the reader's curiosity.
* necro poetica - Argo Spier works with 'words old and cold and used and spoken and abused. Necro poetica - the creation of poetry with recombined words and an endless generation of words, images, themes and stories - the 'horrific' acts of a poet's meddling with existing literature.
* sampel four revised - Wallpaper poetry and Necro Poetic seances. Moving into the absurd with the printing out of Wini.ini files, exvoto texts and surreal platonic debate with the 'Masked Man of Sainte Margaritha'.
* deconstruction - Hundreds of such deconstructive constructions clutter every single collection he has worked on. Mostly Argo Spier collects and selects the words he wants to use, or those that impresses him, by reading almost anything he can lay his hands on and listening to every kind of conversation within earshot. He then recombines these 'collected words' and 'phrases' and 'glues' them together, building surprisingly well-composed 'new stories'. There is also the constant luring into 'metaphysical discussion' and a hard-driven questioning of existing art-historical perspectives.
* interchangeable and decantable - 'Poetry! You wanted to know what poetry is! The essence of it is! How can I explain: A poet is not conserned with this. His intrest lies somewhere else. Poems are signs, insider material, or at least, deconstructive insider palpations of words. They are constructed out of things that are resilient, interchangeable and descantable and dynamic in temperament. There is movement, transition, division and inclination in poetry. The thingness of words, the things poetry are contrived and structured from, is thewhere/what-it-is-all-about in poetry.'
* wallpaper poety - Argo Spier's oeuvre contains storytelling poetic sequences. There are multiple levels in his work and three, four, five stories interwoven into his poetic storytelling sequences. Some collections contain up to 800 A4 pages and all poems, columns and proza are interlinked. Terms such as Wallpaper poetry and Necro Poetica are suitable to discribe his work. When 'resurrecting' words Argo Spier uses carefully collected verses and phrases from existing literature and combine it with everyday utterances and philosophical references.
Argo Spiers's Press Releases & interviews
green muse trying
All Major Belgian, British, South African and Australian Newspapers
is a tribute to the little Belgian girls who were sexually abused or went
missing in the years 1995-1996.
Introduction to carrillion
Who, when visiting Canterbury and flying on imagination's wings back to 1170, to the murder of Thomas Becket in this heavenly place, would not feel a surge of emotion. Faced with the stones of history, the mark of its continuity, one could not but associate the painting, Halbed's The Little Girl at the Door, in the Royal Art Gallery, with the world as it is today. As a visitor from Belgium, amidst the anticipatory rush of winter festivities, one had toreflect on those present-day girls, at yet another door, locked within doors, Julie, Melissa, Ann and Efie and their sisters in suffering and death. History and beauty, the solitary figure in Halbed's painting, isolated from the bustling world by her misery; the cold, watching stones, a continuity in the human condition - two parallel lines that sometimes meet, in a ghastly deed or a moment's reflection.
'I dedicate the poem 'Free Carillion' to the little women to-be who were abducted, raped, murdered and buried in the backwardness of hidden houses on the soil of the fair Kingdom of Belgium in the terrible years of 1995-1996. My appreciation is for the Royal Art Gallery, Canterbury, where the painting The Little Girl at the Door by Harriet Halbed (1850-1933) found its proper immortal place'.
strain' - publisher's note
Reference notes accompany the poetic additions inside the text
of Slender Strain to their respective authors.
'...Like Byron, the traveller believes that 'there are words that are things', but unlike Byron, who 'has not found any yet', he forces words into things'.
'...As with most of the Argo Spier projects it stressed the dialectical relationship between hearing and seeing, voice and sight, utterance and visual expression and exploits both media'
of art - living-in-a-story
From the Argo Spier Prague Interview 1997
'Poetry! You wanted to know what poetry is! The essence of it is! How can I explain: A poet is not conserned with this. His intrest lies somewhere else. Poems are signs, insider material, or at least, deconstructive insider palpations of words. They are constructed out of things that are resilient, interchangeable and descantable and dynamic in temperament. There is movement, transition, division and inclination in poetry. The thingness of words, the things poetry are contrived and structured from, is thewhere/what-it-is-all-about in poetry.'
'If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm meknow that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.' - Emily Dickinson
'Poems are signs, insider material, or at least, deconstructive insider palpations of words. They are constructed out of things that are resilient, interchangeable and descantable and dynamic in temperament. There is movement, transition, division and inclination in poetry. The thingness of words, the things poetry are contrived and structured from, is the where/what-it-is-all-about in poetry. It may sound presumptuous, but, poetry IS this very something which is asked about when the query touches on essentiality. Essence. Formulations and admixtures such as: 'What, Is, The, Essence, Of and Poetry' prove the point: the thingness. Six things (words) are structured in a convincing fabrication. Syntactic rhythm and semantic weight bestow definition, significance and message. A poem, any poem, always enlarges the question of what poetry is. It adds to the historical questioning memoire. 'Poetry, Is, Always, An, Art-historical, Quest, Into, Some, Dark and Region'. The search for essence is convoluted, perplexing and intricate. It is a quest into illogical ambiguity.
L.A. #andwerve interview
A: Speaking of ideas of "self" and identity, what's with your name? Is it Belgian, or what
S: My ‘philosophy’ or even my ‘name’ is totally irrelevant. In fact my name is not my name at all. And the picture you see of me, well that’s me a year ago but it’s a blurred jpg and also made up out of zeros and ones and isn’t me. It is a time-framed historical moment captured in the ‘working’ life of a normal poet. It was taken in a restaurant somewhere in Catalonia about a year ago. People seem to recognise me from it. I like the vagueness in it though, that just out-of-focus ness. It blurs. And the name Argo Spier? It’s a concept. It is formed from 2 separate words, namely the original Greek word that has the connotation of ‘vessel’ and which in the Argonautica Myth has the deeper meaning of a ‘speaking vessel’. And then there’s the word ‘muscle’. ‘Spier’ is Dutch for a muscle. So Argo Spier basically means ‘Speaking vessel with a muscle’ and that’s what I had wanted to be. It's perfect for developing the idea of a biological apparatus that makes sounds, which is mydefinition of the Modern Poet.
A: [Laughs] It is impossible to be bored of you, I think, even if I don't quite understand everything you are saying. Now, this "biological apparatus" that seems central to your understanding of the poet's place in society. How does this biological apparatus differ from whatwould conventionally be conceived of as a "poet"?
S: To expand a little on the concept of the biological poet apparatus - ‘Biological’ doesn’t merely include the physical attributes of the individual; it also refers to the feeling part that has developed in the Hominid, the Homo sapiens since the Pleistocene. That part that people have mistaken as the last and final evolutionary step. But natural selection doesn’t work like that. It goes on and on. We are now incorporating computers into the development. And I am now not referring to the work of Darwin, The Origin of Species, or the work of George Elliot (Mary-Ann), but to the concepts of Teillard de Chardin. And apparatus? The ‘apparatus’ refers to something like a plug-and-play component docketed to a computer. The Modern Poet has surpassed paper and anthologies. He now scrolls his texts on screens. Oh, the poor publishers! Some are still locked into medieval levels of thought, thinking poetry can be sold and monies can be made from it. But this is another ambiguity in the long haul of Literature. The modern poet is merged with, and dependent on, the noughts and digital vertical strokes representing the numbers for 'off' and 'on.' As a biological-poet-apparatus he is a plug-and-player and he enters the collective thought of the Internet the moment he starts his computer. Now he becomes an organic live-thought entity and machine-like. And this process of ‘entering’ opens the hunt for a bigger body or another similar organic unit to merge with. He is a Cyprinid man-apparatus. A hand looking for a body to hang and work from. The poet, priest of old, the scribe; has hanged into tool and has become part of the collective unconscious of Cyber Virtuality. And there’s that tendency to enlarge and form a corporate in order to self-replicate digitally. And as he speaks in the vastness of the Cyber Intelligence the poet is a vessel for himself and for others that speak through him. In the Greek Myth, the search for the Golden Fleece was through the workings of the Argonauts, the speaking muscled vessels. In Cyber it's merely the imitation that counts. The tool.
A: My God, I think my head is spinning. So, I take it that the "new poet," this "biological apparatus," has his dwelling in Cyberspace (if we can, in fact, talk about this location in the physical terms used to described architecture). Tell me a little about the Cyberlair of the biological apparatus.
The real thing, and/or scene, is now the organic biological apparatus.
The hype of the Cyborg is dead but the reality of the new communicative
biological apparatus is here. And it’s a collective thing. And to
refer to the Argoboat, it is Cyber culture sec that the new poet-scribe
has become. We cannot do without it anymore but note that the concept
‘collective’ has several connotations that works on various
levels. Firstly there is the flat reference of collective that has to
do with being in a group. But then not a group as defined by an association
of groupie insiders, something like the collectives of the 60ties or with
their pseudo Neo Marxism. The second level of meaning derives from archetypical
development of symbols. Here there is no goal and nothing is on the agenda
re achievement. Except maybe communication through the exposure of the
self as an ersatz. But I’m not going into this. This is too heavy
and requires the live-literature processes of real-time to access.
S: The Argoboat-with-its-biological-apparatuses is pure and merely a fresh interpretation of the global egoistic trait of self-interest. The self-interest of the individual in exposing himself. And it is designed in such a way that the group of poets selected, the collective, benefits by every hit the site registers. It's the poet’s self-interest to have his work exposed that generates the collective unconscious. Again, here we touch on the second level of the value of collectivism. On the boat we don’t even know each other’s locality. We just share central space. The poet-apparatus Argo Spier provides the space and does all the work. And the poetry onboard hasn’t got a ‘line,’ and doesn’t want to steer towards any statement at all. It's just there. And this works extremely well. It works so well that even you have searched me out to get an interview from me! I haven’t ‘seen’ you before but you are an apparatus too and are looking at a possible merge with me. The boat, the myth, is merely that what one takes out of it, as in myths the working procedure always is. You see in it what you see in it. The more the poets belonging to it use it for their own individual interest, the more the biological apparatus profits from it and becomes entity. Now the hand grows into an arm. Collective bodily apparatus' are the key units that form the cyber body of the collective unconscious and save the archetypical sources of civilization. Now that’s a steep statement, isn’t it? The point is that nobody can today a) stop this development and b) nobody can destroyit once it has formed its limbs and metamorphosed into a greater biological apparatus. The hand and arm want a shoulder and a torso. When will it grow its full body? How will the head look? Interesting questions though, no?
RAAm, the explosion of modern human sound and the quest for meaning, communication and expression, was part of the Colour Pages project realised by ARGO SPIER and AVK in Ghent, Belgium. Colour Pages was commenced and presented to the public for the first time in 1996 and uses multi-media expression in the search for 'human feelings'. It was repeated in 1997 in Mechelen, Belgium at the International and European South Africa Fair and served as the basis for several throughout Europe.
It is a frail attempt, taking a small step in the direction of combining 'word' and 'picture', 'ear' and 'eye' and stresses the dialectical relationship between 'hearing' and 'seeing', 'voice' and 'sight', 'utterance' and 'visual expression'. download full copy Raam. ARGO SPIER describes in RAAm, with the use of ersatz haiku models, the physical journey of a lonely astronaut into Deep Space. He is a rather pathetic and self-willed extra-terrestrial being imitating an earthman travelling from his 'base' in 'no location' to the 'strange worlds of the stars'. On his way the lonely astronaut discovers the Earth and, like an Adam, he does his duty by naming the things he sees giving naďve meaning to existence and the fact of own being among the the 'things' he encounters. Like Byron, the traveller believes that 'there are words that are things', but unlike Byron, who 'has not found any yet', he forces words into things.
A limited number of copies of ARGO SPIER's new book, 'Green Muse Trying' are published and will be distributed FREE of any charge in a number of European countries and South Africa and England. An interview with ARGO SPIER, born in Williston in the Great Karoo in South Africa, can also be arranged, in person or via video conferencing. As a pupil of N.P. van Wyk-Louw, ARGO SPIER's 'Wallpaper storytelling' style of writing is a continuation of the style of the 1920s writer Herman Charles Bosman, author of among others, 'Mafeking Road'.
go Spier and AVK in dialogue