Kat Mustatea, Voidopolis (2020)

@kmustatea on Instagram (January 30, 2021)

Voidopolis is a digital performance about loss and memory that is currently unfolding over 45 posts on my Instagram feed (@kmustatea). Started July 1, 2020, it is a loose retelling of Dante’s Inferno, informed by the grim experience of wandering through NYC during a pandemic. Instead of the poet Virgil, my guide is a caustic hobo named Nikita.”   –Kat Mustatea

Featuring a Dantesque cast of characters ranging from the Virgilian Nikita to a mohawked Minos, a gruff ferryman named Kim and a withdrawn George Perec, Mustatea’s Voidopolis weaves through the pandemic-deserted streets of Manhattan, a posthuman landscape of absence and loss, bearing witness to its vanishings. Voidopolis won the 2020 Arts & Letters “Unclassifiable” Prize for Literature, and received a Literature grant from the Cafe Royal Cultural Foundation.

To read more about both the process of the piece and its influences, including Dante, see the interview with Mustatea featured in Dovetail Magazine (2020).

 

The Dante Alighieri Diploma (2020/21)

“To celebrate the genius of Dante Alighieri, experimenter of the language and recall his gaze always turned beyond the borders, the sections of Ravenna, Florence and Verona of the Italian Radio Amateurs Association (ARI), organize, as part of the celebrations for the 700th anniversary of the death, the ‘Dante Alighieri Diploma.’

“Participation in the diploma is open to all radio amateurs and SWLs in the world. The diploma will be awarded to radio amateurs or SWL who will connect or activate ‘Dante places.’
Dante places are defined as:

  • Places related to the life of the poet (birth, residence, death, travel)
  • Places expressly mentioned in the Divine Comedy or in other Dante compositions
  • Places not explicitly mentioned, but whose identification is possible through periphrases or adjectives and which are normally accepted by Dante’s criticism.

“The Dante Places were identified using the database developed by Prof. Andrea Gazzoni of Pennsylvania University who surveyed over 300 geographic references in the Divine Comedy between cities, regions, rivers, mountains and nations.

“Prof Gazzoni’s database can be consulted on the website www.mappingdante.com.

“The diploma will begin on September 1, 2020 and end on September 30, 2021.”   –“Introduction,” Diploma Dante Alighieri

Contributed by Andrea Gazzoni