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Caterina Davinio

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Caterina Davinio

You know I have no myths.
I love the rally cars
and a few other things
that I cannot say.
—Caterina Davinio, from Serial Phenomenologies
Language is an interface between us and the world. Beyond language, there is nothing but pure mystical contemplation of the universe.
—Caterina Davinio, from Virtual Mercury House. Planeatary & Interplanetary Events
Caterina Davinio
Caterina Davinio in 1990
Born (1957-11-25)25 November 1957
Foggia, Apulia, Italy
Occupation poet, writer, new media artist
Literary movement Postmodernism, Concrete poetry, Visual poetry, Digital art, Digital poetry,
Notable works, Global Poetry, The First Poetry Shuttle Landing on Seconf Life

Caterina Davinio (born November 25, 1957, Foggia) is an Italian poet, novelist and new media artist. Author of digital art,, video art. She was the creator of Italian Net-poetry in 1998.


Born in Foggia, she grew up in Rome since 1961. She studied literature and art history (student of Giulio Carlo Argan) at Rome University La Sapienza, where, in 1981, she received a bachelor's degree in Italian Literature. Caterina began to write poetry when she was fourteen years old.[1] In Rome she came in contact with the international circuit of experimental poetry and art,[2] resulting in an intense curatorial activity in collaboration with renowned artists, critics and poets of the avant-garde.[3][4] Since 1997 she has been living in Monza and Lecco, working at international level.

From the early 1990s Davinio was a pioneer of Italian electronic poetry, in the experimental field among writing, visual art, and new media, using computer, video, digital photography, Internet. She was the first woman artist who utilized the computer and Internet in literature and poetry in Italy.[5] Author of novels, poetry, essays, visual and sound poetry,[6] she created also works with traditional techniques, such as painting[7] and photography. She collaborated to netOper@ in 1997, the first Italian interactive work for the web by the composer Sergio Maltagliati.[8] She also initiated Net-poetry in Italy, in 1998, with the website and network[9][10] The participants included Julien Blaine, Clemente Padin, Philadelpho Menezes, Mirella Bentivoglio, Lamberto Pignotti, Eugenio Miccini, and many other new media artists, critics, and experimental poets.[11]

Her art has been featured in more than three hundred international exhibitions and festivals in many countries, among them the Biennale de Lyon, the Biennale of Sydney, the Athens Biennial, E-Poetry (University SUNY Buffalo, NY, and Barcelona), Polyphonix Festival (Barcelona and Paris), seven times in the Venice Biennale and collateral events, where she collaborated also as a curator.[12][13][14][15] She exhibited animated digital poetry works - called "Terminal Videopoems" - in the 1997 Biennale, in VeneziaPoesia, a project directed by the poet and writer Nanni Balestrini.[16]

Davinio's net-poetry participated in the Biennale di Venezia in 2001 - Harald Szeemann curator - in the context of Bunker Poetico,[17][18] which was a collaborative installation - involving 1000 international poets and artists - created by the architect Marco Nereo Rotelli in cooperation with Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici of Venice, Massimo Donà, I Quaderni del Battello Ebbro publisher, Caterina Davinio, Milanocosa cultural association, and others.[19] Davinio engaged in this project renown avant-garde poets and organized a virtual happening on-line called "Parallel Action-Bunker", simultaneous with real readings and performances at Orsogrill delle Artiglierie, a venue of the Venice Biennial.[20][21] She created the virtual installation The First Poetry Space Shuttle Landing on Second Life and other on-line happenings in the 2009 Venice Biennale Collateral Events, engaging more than 200 poets from around the world, to celebrate the centenary of Italian Futurism.[22] In the context of the 2009 Venice Biennale Davinio participated also in the exhibition Détournement Venise 2009.[23]

Davinio has been married two times and her first husband was Muslim. [24] She has two sons.[25] In the late Seventies and in the Eighties she lived a turbulent young life marked by drug addiction; this experience emerges in some of her books, such as the novel Color Color (1998), in the poetry collection Serial Phenomenologies (2010), and particularly in Il libro dell'oppio 1975 - 1990 (The Book of Opium 1975 - 1990), a book of poems published in 2012.[26][27][28][29] Lover of travels, she dedicated to India, Africa, and many other places, poetry and photography works.[30][31]

Caterina Davinio in Bologna in 1981.

Net-poetry project Karenina it (1998) was the first art-poetry-communication project presented on the web in an Italian context; the website was not a simple cultural on-line journal, but a "space of aggregation", which hosted an ongoing discourse, involving emerging and established experimental artists, critics, and visual poets. The communication aspect was treated as an artistic medium that goes beyond the contents or the quality of the words: borders among art, critic, and communication, in Davinio's own concept, were cancelled. The flow of words and information became art in itself, transcending the necessity to view art in traditional terms of form.[32] The suffix ".it" present in title is a geographic locator for the origin of the website. The value of the site resides within the conceptual framework of the Fluxus art movement."[33] was selected MAD03 Award (section Net-Zin) in 2003, Madrid.[34]

Other Works

Other Davinio’s net-poetry and performances and events are based on the evolution of the multi-located structure experimented with Parallel Action-Bunker, mentioned before: beyond the simple presence of the performer on stage, performance is considered a collaborative, decentralized, multi-located action; poetry is conceived as "social structure, e-communication, real/virtual interaction", and "e-communication" is assumed as a new material for the artist.[35] Among them:

  • Global Poetry, for UNESCO, March 22 – 27, 2002 (Rhizome Art Database, NYC, USA); 122 involved artists. Simultaneous performances in Brazil, Germany, Greek, Italy, Russia, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela, and other countries.
  • Copia dal vero (Paint from Nature), February (Giubbe Rosse, Florence, I) and June (Eglise Anglicaine, Ajaccio, F) 2002, about the Twin Towers attac (archived in Database, NYC, USA). Published in "Doc(k)s" "What's your war?" série 3 25/26/27/28, Ajaccio, France, ISSN DOC(K)S 0396/3004 commission paritaire 52 841.
  • GATES (July 4 - December 31, 2003), dedicated to Pierre Restany, published in "BlogWork - The ArtWork is The NetWork", on line project of the 50th Biennale di Venezia and ASAC. 150 international artists were involved in performances, readings and screenings in: Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Greek, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela, and other countries.
  • In 2005 Davinio realized Virtual Island, a web site which was the virtual part of Isola della Poesia, an installation by Marco Nereo Rotelli on San Secondo Island in Venice (Achille Bonito Oliva curator). Isola della Poesia and Virtual Island were created in collaboration with the national newspaper La Repubblica in the context of the 51st Venice Biennale. Virtual Island involved 500 international poets, among them: Adunis, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Alda Merini, Fernanda Pivano and many other established and emerging writers.
  • The First Poetry Shuttle Landing on Second Life, virtual installation (June 4 – November 22, 2009); it was created to celebrate the centenary of Italian Futurism. On the fortieth anniversary of the first lunar landing (July 20 –21, 2009) there was a landing of poets on Second Life (in form of colorful prisms which donated a poem file). The space shuttle was presented in the framework of the 53rd Biennale di Venezia, in the collateral event MHO_Save the Poetry.[36] In the same context Davinio created Network Poetico_Net-Poetry Reading in Web Cam, a collaborative performance with poets from around the world, connected by web cam and Skype. San Servolo Island (Venice), press conference room, October 9, 2009.[37]
  • Big Splash, 25 digital images on the topic of water from elaborated digital photography, printed on aluminum, and poetry network with poems of 200 international poets on the same topic, Royal Palace, Naples, October 8 - November 3, 2014, in the context of OLE.01 Festival [38]
Caterina Davinio, Self-Portrait, Munich 1979.

Net-Poetry Links

  • Parallel Action-Bunker 2001 Venice Biennial
  • Global Poetry UNESCO 2002
  • GATES 2003 Venice Biennial / ASAC
  • Virtual Island 2005 Venice Biennial
  • Review - en
  • Virtual Mercury Shuttle 2009 Venice Biennial

Digital Art and Video

  • Nude that Falls Down the Stairs - Tribute to Marcel Duchamp, digital animation from the series UFOp (Unidentified Flying Poetry Objects), in "Doc(k)s", paper and CD, 1999, Ajaccio, F, ISSN Doc(k)s 0396/3004, commission paritaire 52 841
  • Caterina Davinio for Alan Bowman's Fried/Frozen Events 2003, digital video - performance. For a project by the Fluxus artist Alan Bowman. Published in "Doc(ks)" "Action", paper + DVD-Rom, 2004, Ajaccio, F, ISSN Doc(k)s 0396/3004, commission paritaire 52 841
  • Poem in Red (Dedicated to Ferrari Modena Car), digital video, 2004/05, published in "Doc(k)s" "Le son d'amour", review with DVD and CDRom, 4# série numéros 5/6/7/8, Ajaccio (F) 2008 ISSN DOC(K)S 0396/3004 commission paritaire 52 841
  • Centomilamodi di... Perdere la testa, digital animation, Art Gallery Award, MC MIcrocomputer review, 1992
  • Dialogie al metroquadro, digital animations, 1994–95
  • Eventi metropolitani, digital animations, 1995
  • Videopoesie terminali, video and computer poetry series, 1996–97
    • La casa-teatro di Sade (De Sade Theatre-Home), 1996
    • Zinskij, l'ultima lettera (Zinskij, the Last Letter), 1996
    • Natura contro natura (Nature Against Nature), 1996
    • Il nemico (The Enemy), 1997
  • U.F.O.P., Unidentified Flying Poetry Objects, digital animations, 1999
    • Tribute to Munch, 1999
    • Tribute to Magritte, 1999
    • Tribute to Duchamp, 1999
    • Tribute to Julien Blaine, 1999
    • Tribute to Bartolomé Ferrando, 1999
    • Self-Portrait of the Artist as Time, 1999
  • Fluxus Trilogy, 3 video works, for Charles Dreyfus' project, 2002
    • Movember 16th, 2002
    • Movember 20th, 2002
    • Other Fluxes and Small Decadence, 2002
  • Caterina Davinio for Alan Bowman Fried/Frozen Events 2003, video-performance, 2003
  • Poem in Red (Dedicated to Ferrari Modena Car), digital video, 2004/05
  • Milady Smiles. Dedicated to Jaguar E, digital video, 2007
  • Nature Obscure, digital photography and video series, 2007
    • Knives, 2007
    • Nature_Obscure, 2007
  • Ma-mma, digital video, 2008
  • Big Splash, digital video and installation, 2009
  • Cracks in Memory, digital video, 2009
  • Goa Radio Station from North Pole - Self-Portrait, digital video and photography, 2010; with music by Mirko Lalit Egger
  • The First Poetry Space Shuttle Landing on Second Life, digital video captured on Second Life, 2010; with music by Mirko Lalit Egger
  • Finally I Remember, 2010; with music by the rock band The NUV


Caterina Davinio participated in more than three hundred international art exhibions in the world, among them: Biennale de Lyon (two editions), The Venice Biennale and collateral events (seven editions since 1997), Athens Biennial, Poliphonyx (in Barcelona and in Paris), Biennale of Sydney (Online Venue), Liverpool Biennial (Independents, Online Venue), ParmaPoesia, VeneziaPoesia (Nanni Balestrini curator), RomaPoesia, Biennale di arti elettroniche, cinema e televisione of Rome (Marco Maria Gazzano curator), Le tribù dell'Arte, Tribù del video e della performance (Rome, Galleria Comunale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Achille Bonito Oliva curator), Artmedia VII (University of Salerno, Mario Costa curator), E-Poetry FestivalE-Poetry Festival(University of Barcelona, University SUNY Buffalo, NY), Interactiva, New Media Art Biennial, Merida, Mexico, Hong Kong Artists' Biennial, and many others.



  • Còlor còlor, Campanotto Editore, Pasian di Prato - UD, 1998, ISBN 88-456-0072-6
  • Il sofà sui binari, Novi Ligure, Puntoacapo Editrice, 2013. ISBN 978-88-6679-137-9

Poetry books:

  • Fenomenologie seriali / Serial Phenomenologies, poems with parallel English text; afterword by Francesco Muzzioli; critical note by David W. Seaman; Campanotto Editore, Pasian di Prato - UD, 2010, ISBN 978-88-456-1188-9 Ranked third for the Carver Prize 2012, and Special Mention in the Nabokov Literary Prize 2011.
  • Il libro dell'oppio (1975 - 1990); afterword by Mauro Ferrari; Puntoacapo Editrice, Novi Ligure 2012, ISBN 978-88-6679-110-2 Finalist in XXV Camaiore Award 2013, and among the books selected by the Gradiva Prize - New York 2013.
  • Aspettando la fine del mondo / Waiting for the End of the World, poems with parallel English text; afterword by Erminia Passannanti and David W. Seaman, Fermenti, Rome, 2012, ISBN 978-88-97171-30-0 Astrolabio Prize for the Originality of the Text 2013.


  • Tecno-Poesia e realtà virtuali (Techno-Poetry and Virtual Realities), essay (with English translation). Preface by Eugenio Miccini. Collection: Archivio della Poesia del 900, Mantova, Sometti Publisher (I) 2002, ISBN 88-88091-85-8
  • Virtual Mercury House. Planetary & Interplanetary Events, book with DVD, parallel English translation, Roma, Polìmata, 2012, ISBN 978-88-96760-26-0

Other publications:

  • Caterina Davinio, Davinio, catalogue, painting, Rome, Parametro, 1990.
  • Caterina Davinio, "Alieni in safari (Luce dall'inferno)", poems, in Dentro il mutamento, anthology, Maria Lenti curator, Rome, Fermenti 2011, ISBN 978-88-97171-09-6
  • Caterina Davinio, "Serial Phenomenologies", poems in "Generatorpress12", 2002, Cleveland (OH) USA, John Byrum Editor. "Generatorpress12" is an on line review evolving from November 2002 through April 2004. In June, 2004 a CD version of Generator 12 was funded through a grant from the Ohio Arts Council.
  • Caterina Davinio, Paint from Nature, net-art performance dedicated to the Twin Tower attac. In "Doc(k)s", paper and CD, 2001, Ajaccio, F, ISSN Doc(k)s 0396/3004, commission paritaire 52 841
  • Caterina Davinio, “Fenomenologie seriali”, poems and digital images, in: "Tellus" 24-25, Scritture Celesti (S. Cassiano Valchiavenna - SO, I), Ed. Labos, 2003, ISSN 1124-1276
  • Caterina Davinio, digital photo and poems from "Serial Phenomenologies", in: "BoXoN - TAPIN on line" (F), Julien D'Abrigeon Editor, 2002.
  • Caterina Davinio, "Performance in evoluzione. Dalla centralità del corpo alla realtà virtuale", in "Paese Sera" newspaper (I), 14 Luglio 1992.
  • Caterina Davinio, In: "Tellus 26" Vite con ribellioni rinomate e sconosciute, Labos, (I) NOVEMBRE 2004, ISSN 1124-1276.
  • Caterina Davinio, "Scritture/Realtà virtuali", in Atti del convegno Scritture Realtà, book of the meeting, Milano, Milanocosa, 2002.
  • Caterina Davinio, "La poesia video-visiva tra arte elettronica e avanguardia letteraria", essay, in "Doc(K)s", Ajaccio (F), 1999, ISSN Doc(k)s 0396/3004, commission paritaire 52 841.
  • Caterina Davinio, "Net-Performance: Processes and Visible Form", in "Doc(k)s", Ajaccio (F) 2004, ISSN Doc(k)s 0396/3004, commission paritaire 52 841.


  1. ^ [1] Interview, 2011
  2. ^ (2007.) "Interview: Caterina Davinio." Accessed December 2011.
  3. ^ Caterina Davinio, Tecno-Poesia e realtà virtuali (Techno-Poetry and Virtual Realities), essay (It. / En.). Preface by Eugenio Miccini. Collection: Archivio della Poesia del 900, Mantova, Sometti Publ., 2002, pp. 239-270. ISBN 88-88091-85-8
  4. ^ [2] Electronìe d'arte e altre scritture, meeting, Museo Pecci, Prato, 1995.
  5. ^ "D'Ars", review directed by Pierre Restany, anno 43, n. 175-176, Dic. 2003, Milano, ISSN 0011-6726. p. 98. See pp 89-98.
  6. ^ [3] Athens Biennial, 2007.
  7. ^ AAVV, Davinio, Roma, Parametro, 1990.
  8. ^ Sergio Maltagliati. "netOper@, Contributors". Retrieved 1997. 
  9. ^ Digital Visions, UBC
  10. ^ RCCS, review by Jorge Luiz Antonio
  11. ^ Caterina Davinio, Tecno-Poesia e realtà virtuali (Techno-Poetry and Virtual Realities), essay (Italian / English). Preface by Eugenio Miccini. Collection: Archivio della Poesia del 900, Mantova, Sometti, 2002, ISBN 88-88091-85-8, pp 86-88.
  12. ^ Tecno-Poesia e realtà virtuali, cited essay, pp. 244-247, 251-254.
  13. ^ Oreste At The 48th Venice Biennale, Ed Charta, Milano 1999. Catalogue of Oreste Project at the Venice Biennale 1999, Italian Pavilion. ISBN 88-8158-279-1
  14. ^ 49ma Esposizione internazionale d'arte Platea dell'umanità La Biennale di Venezia, Electa 2001. Project: "Bunker Poetico", by Marco Nereo Rotelli.
  15. ^ La Biennale di Venezia, 51ma esposizione internazionale d'arte, Partecipazioni nazionali - Eventi nell'ambito, catalogo Marsilio, ISBN 88-317-8800-0. Project: Isola della Poesia, by Marco Nereo Rotelli, Achille Bonito Oliva curator.
  16. ^ AAVV, VeneziaPoesia 97, catalogue of the exhibition, Edimedia, Venezia 1997.
  17. ^ Marco Nereo Rotelli, Bunker Poetico. La poesia come opera. Porretta Terme - BO, I Quaderni del Battello Ebbro, 2001 ISBN 88-86861-49-4, p. 81 and 245-246.
  18. ^ [4] Parallel Action-Bunker, Davinio's event and web site for Bunker Poetico, 2001.
  19. ^ 49ma Esposizione internazionale d'arte Platea dell'umanità La Biennale di Venezia, Electa 2001, p. 395.
  20. ^ [5] Parallel Action-Bunker, June 7th, 2001, on-line event realized during the Opening of the Bunker Poetico of the 49th Venice Biennale.
  21. ^ Tecno-poesia e realtà virtuali, cited essay, pp. 42-43, 253-254, 290-291.
  22. ^ [6]
  23. ^ [7]
  24. ^ https:/
  25. ^ [8] Interview, 2011
  26. ^ [9] Interview, 2012
  27. ^ [10] Review
  28. ^ [11] Review
  29. ^ [12] Poems from The Book of Opium
  30. ^ Alieni in Safari, in Dentro il mutamento, anthology, Fermenti, Rome 2011 ISBN 978-88-97171-09-6;
  31. ^ [13] Interview, 2011
  32. ^ "CommunicAction and Perspectives on Modern Web Literary Avant-Garde", by Enrico Gianfranchi, in Digital Visions Festival, Sylvia Borda director, University of British Columbia [14].
  33. ^ Enrico Gianfranchi, in Digital Visions Festival, Sylvia Borda director, University British Columbia [15] and other net-poetry projects.
  34. ^ AAVV, MAD 03, Secondo encuentro de arte experimental de Madrid, October 24 to November 16, 2003, catalogue published by AVAM, Artistas Visuales Asociados de Madrid, with the support of Ministerio de Cultura, Concejalia de las artes del ajuntamiento de Madrid, p. 97 and 102.
  35. ^ [16] definition from the artist's page. The artist expressed these concepts also in some interviews [17] and in the essay Tecno-Poesia e realtà virtuali, Mantova, Sometti, 2002.
  36. ^ [18]
  37. ^ [19]
  38. ^


  • AAVV, Action poétique. Septième Biennale Internationale del Poetes en Val-de-Marne, 2002, p. 72.
  • AAVV, La coscienza luccicante, Gangemi Editore, Roma 1998. ISBN 88-7448-862-9
  • AAVV, Un notre web, "Doc(K)s", serie 3 - Ajaccio F 1999
  • AAVV, What's your War?, "Doc(k)s", serie 3 - Ajaccio F 2001
  • AAVV, Action, "Docks", Ajaccio F 2004
  • AAVV, Nature, "Docks", Ajaccio F 2005
  • AAVV, Atti del Convegno Scritture/Realtà, Milano, Milanocosa, 2002.
  • AAVV, La tentation du Silence, Ouvrage collectif. Coordinateurs: Khaldoun ZREIK, Rania SAMARA. ©Europia, Paris 2007. ISBN 978-2-909285-39-9
  • AAVV, "Risvolti" Marjnalia continjentia (I), anthology, Edizioni Riccardi, Napoli 2002
  • AAVV, "Risvolti" Quaderno n.19, February 2011
  • AAVV, "Fermenti" Anno XL N. 237 ISSN 0046-3671
  • Jorge Luiz Antonio, Poesia digital, livro e DVD, Navegar Editora, ISBN 978-85-7926-015-5 Luna Bisonte Prods ISBN 1-892280-82-5
  • Jorge Luiz Antonio, Poesia eletronica, livro e DVD, Veredas & Cenarios, ISBN 978-85-61508-02-9
  • "D'Ars", review directed by Pierre Restany, anno 43, n. 175-176, Dic. 2003, Milano. Premio Oscar Signorini, illustrated interview. ISSN 0011-6726
  • Chris T. Funkhouser, Prehistoric Digital Poetry, An Archaeology of Forms, 1959-1995, University of Alabama Press, 2007, ISBN 0-8173-1562-4
  • Christopher Thompson Funkhouser, New Directions in Digital Poetry, A&C Black, 19/gen/2012 ISBN 9781441115911
  • Imaginarios de ruptura/Poéticas visuais, Instituto Piaget, Bairro Anchieta, Porto Alegre, RS-Brasil, 2002. ISBN 972-771-556-7
  • Mario Gerosa, Parla come navighi: antologia della webletteratura italiana, Ass. Culturale Il Foglio, 2010 ISBN 9788876062643
  • "Infos Brésil", 15 nov. - 15 déc. 2003 ISSN 0980 (review about the essay Techno-Poetry)
  • La Biennale di Venezia, 51ma esposizione internazionale d'arte, Partecipazioni nazionali - Eventi nell'ambito, catalogo Marsilio. ISBN 88-317-8800-0
  • AAVV, L'immagine leggera, catalogue of the festival, Palermo 1997
  • 49ma Esposizione internazionale d'arte Platea dell'umanità La Biennale di Venezia, Electa 2001
  • Elisabetta Mondello, La narrativa italiana degli anni Novanta, Meltemi Editore, 2004 ISBN 978-88-8353-290-0
  • Massimo Mori, Il circuito della poesia, Ottovolante 1983, published by P. Manni, 1997, p. 303
  • Observatori 03, Valencia, Spain (Paper catalogue and CD)
  • Oreste At The 48th Venice Biennale, Ed Charta, Milano 1999. Catalogue of Oreste Project at the Venice Biennale 1999, Italian Pavilion. ISBN 88-8158-279-1
  • Lamberto Pignotti, Scritture convergenti. Letteratura e mass media, Pasian di Prato - UD, Campanotto, 2005. ISBN 88-456-0724-0
  • Marco Nereo Rotelli, Bunker Poetico. La poesia come opera. Porretta Terme - BO, I Quaderni del Battello Ebbro, 2001. ISBN 88-86861-49-4
  • Maria Trigila, Letteratura al femminile: dalle origini ai nostri giorni in Italia, Salvatore Sciascia editore, 2004 ISBN 9788882411985
  • Veneziapoesia 97, 47ma Biennale di Venezia, a cura di Nanni Balestrini, Edimedia, Venezia 1997
  • Virtual Light. Nuove frontiere nella comunicazione e nell'arte, Multilink, Bari 1996, catalogue of the exhibition in Palazzo Fizzarotti
  • Fare Mondi Making Worlds 53. Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte. Partecipazioni nazionali Eventi collaterali, Marsilio, Venezia 2009, p 254. 978-88-317-9803

External links

  • Official website (it) (en)


  • Techno-PoetryLast chapter of the essay (en)



  • (En)
  • (En)
  • (It)
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