THEODOROS CHIOTIS is the editor and translator of the anthology Futures: Poetry of the greek Crisis (Penned in the Margins, 2015). Other publications include Screen (with photographer Nikolas Ventourakis; Paper Tigers Books, 2017) and limit.less:towards an assembly of the sick (Litmus, 2017). His work has appeared in Litmus, Datableed, Adventures in Form, Austerity Measures, Shearsman, aglimpseof, amongst others. His project Mutualised Archives, an ongoing performative interdisciplinary work, received the Dot Award by the Institute for the Future of Book and Bournemouth University; he has also been awarded a High Commendation from the Forward Prizes for Poetry in 2017.
These three visual poems ("centreofgravityinatringle", "collateral" and "thermal imaging") are treated digital artwork taking pre-existing images in an attempt to consider what it means to live in a deteriorating body. The pieces "centreofgravityinatringle" and "collateral" use pictures of medical documents as their starting point; "thermal imaging" layers multiple MRI scans in order to resituate the relationship of bodies to the visually unintelligible messages they often generate.
In this manner, I have tried to approach the deteriorating body as a part of the sociopolitical and cultural strata wherein it is seen as a somewhat unpleasant glitch in a sociopolitical ecosystem of stories of able-bodiedness and wellness. When making these images, I deliberately amped up the signal-to-noise ratio as a way of highlighting their mundane individuality. Indeed, chronic illness and the experience of the empty time that occurs post-diagnosis create their own cryptic system of drama inviting us both as patients and soothsayers. How might we understand the messages pulsating out of deteriorating or disabled bodies? These three pieces can also be viewed as cross-sections of the biopolitical narrative in which the failing body finds itself.