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Almine Rech

John Giorno Dial-A-Poem

Apr 7, 2023 — ongoing | Museum of Modern Art, New York

In 1968,  John Giorno began delivering instant poetry through Dial-A-Poem, a free telephone hotline in New York City. He invited a cross-disciplinary network of peers to recite their works of poetry, which he recorded and played back using industrial-sized answering machines. This vision for a shared, open-access repository of information was groundbreaking in a pre-digital world. 

Initially presented at MoMa in the 1970 exhibition Information, organized by Kynaston McShine in opposition to the Vietnam War, Dial-A-Poem incorporated numerous works by radical poets and political activists. This gallery features notes and documentation that illustrate how Giorno originally arranged the poems, as well as phones containing 200 randomized poems selected by the artist in 2012 from his archive of thousands.

Press release

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