By Deb A.
As bloggers around the world wonder exactly how many blogs entries in late December of any given year begin with "As the year draws to a close," we at Agave are looking back in gratitude at 2013, when we reached out to the world with a desire to bring the most remarkable original art, photography and literature together in a continuous experience for all those who yearn not only for beauty, but also for context and connection in an increasingly fragmented environment.
In no time, poets, writers, photographers and artists were responding to our call, inundating us with exceptional works that struck an oft-elusive balance between potent creativity and precise clarity. We found renewed motivation in collaborating with an array of talented individuals to bring their finest efforts to our pages, and in feeling the magazine take shape through the combined voices of nearly 60 contributors from around the world.
We proudly launched the inaugural edition of Agave Magazine in August. Its reception and the sheer amount of tantalizingly good submissions quickly made it clear that there was more demand for our vision from both sides than a biannual publication could sate.
And so, after just one issue, we are thrilled to announce that Agave will become a quarterly publication in 2014.
We would like to thank all our contributors for sharing their exceptional creations with us, and you, our readers, for joining us on an exhilarating adventure. May we together continue to cultivate a space where the best art, photography and literature can intersect and interact for many years to come.
Ariana, Anna, Issraa, Deb and Grant
By Deb A.
JWTIntelligence has made its predictions for 2014, and one of them is titled 'Telepathic Technologies'. Artists and scientists alike are already transforming brain waves into art; here are a few examples that may offer a glimpse into our shared future.
Lisa Park's Eunoia converts the brain waves the artist creates while meditating into ripples of activity in five dishes of water, each representing a different emotion: anger, desire, happiness, hatred and sadness.
Josef Pavisi and Chris Chafe translate brain waves into music. Having set an EEG of a seizure to music, next year the two professors will debut a system that allows visitors to Stanford's Cantor Arts Center to use their smartphones to convert their brain activity into music in real time.
Maria Abramović joined forces with neuroscience researcher Suzanne Dikker to create Measuring the Magic of Mutual Gaze, which provides a visual representation of a meeting of minds, documenting the brain activity of two individuals holding eye contact.
With the holidays well and truly upon us, the editorial staff at Agave Magazine thought we would share some of the literary and artistic highlights of the season. What events are happening in your city? We've put together an overview from around the globe. If you'd like to see another city featured or add to the list of events, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.
ATHENS: Art & Exhibitions, National Archaeological Museum: "Seeking the Ancient Kallos." Archaeological photography by renowned photographer, Garrick Joshua. www.namuseum.gr
AUSTIN: Ring in the new year at Austin's New Year, a family friendly, alcohol-free event showcasing art, film, live music, and a fireworks finale. Free event at Auditorium Shores (South 1st & Riverside). http://www.austintexas.gov/department/austins-new-year
BERLIN: Savvy Contemporary presents "WAHALA. On Representation, Authenticity, Expectations and Other Inflated Concepts." Dec.8, 2013-January 7, 2014.
BUENOS AIRES: Teatro Colón presents "Swan Lake." Dec.17-28, 2013. www.teatrocolon.ar
CAIRO: Cairo International Book Fair, starting January 2014. http://www.internationalpublishers.org/book-fairs/book-fairs-calendar
CAPETOWN: Galileo Open Air Cinema at Kirstenbosch. Through April 2014. Grab some popcorn or other gourmet treats from local vendors, lounge and enjoy the warm temperatures watching cult film classics. For a schedule of what's on: http://www.thegalileo.co.za/
CASABLANCA: TED x Casablanca, Dec.12, 2013. Event will be held at: 16, Avenue Moussa Ibn Noussair.
CHICAGO: "80 at 80": Celebrating 80 years of the Museum of Science and Industry. 80 rare artifacts will be on prominent display. http://www.choosechicago.com/event/80-at-80/21029/
DUBLIN: Airtricity Dockland's Christmas festival. Dec. 12-23, 2013. http://www.visitdublin.com/event/Dublin_Docklands_Christmas_Festival
EDINBURGH: The Scottish Colourists Series: JD Fergusson. At the Modern Two (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art). http://www.nationalgalleries.org/whatson/exhibitions/the-scottish-colourists-series-jd-fergusson/
ISTANBUL: Internationally celebrated artist, Anish Kapoor brings his soaring architectural art to Turkey for the first time. Sakip Sabanchi Museum, through January 5, 2014.
LONDON: Workshop at St. Paul's Cathdral: "All We Know of Love: Poetry for Advent."
LOS ANGELES: Tavo Olmos: The Colorado Street Bridge Restoration Project Photographs, 1991-1993. Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena, CA.
MELBOURNE: The Immigration Museum presents "Faith, Fashion, Fusion": Muslim Women's Style in Australia. Entry is free with museum admission. http://www.weekendnotes.com/faith-fashion-fusion-exhibition-immigration-museum/
MONTREAL: Beginning in December 2013 and ongoing, the Musée des Beaux Arts presents "Sacred Africa: Ancient Art from Sub-Saharan Africa."
NEW YORK: 92nd Street Y (Lexington at 92nd St.) Celebrating the centenary of A. Camus. "On Camus"with Robert Zaretsky.
PARIS: Benefit concert for Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan victims. American Church in Paris, Dec. 15, 2013 at 7pm. Requested minimum donation is €10.
ROME: Duchamp - Remade in Italy. In honour of the centenary of the artist's first "ready-made" (Bicycle Wheel, 1913). Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Viale delle Belle Arti 131
SHANGHAI: Lomography presents "Talk to Her," exploring multiple roles of women through the art and photography of Moggy Chang and Adam Hsieh. Free admission at Rooms. http://www.timeoutshanghai.com/event/Art-Art_Exhibitions/15909/Talk-to-Her-lomography-exhibition.html
By Deb A.
Rafael Ayala Páez is a Venezuelan poet and author whose works have appeared in publications around the world. He is a founding member of the Municipal Writers Network of Zaraza. His poem, Vaisvanara/Agni, was included in the inaugural issue of Agave Magazine.
Your poetry has been translated from Spanish into English, French, German and Hebrew. What do you believe is the most important thing for someone to keep in mind when translating your poetry?
Rafael Ayala Páez: I believe the translator should be as faithful as possible to the original text. Fortunately, I have had good translators, who are also poets. And because of their own poetic talents, they have been able to capture the feeling of my poems extraordinarily well.
What motivates you to write poetry?
A constant curiosity about the world.
What is the starting point for your poetry? Do you search for ideas, or do they find you?
My poetry is a response to my need to save my core childhood perceptions, fantasies, and experiences from oblivion, without idealizing them. As the Spanish poet Marta López-Luaces says, "we write to recover, to find, to convene what we yearn." But my poetry is not strictly autobiographical – one good example being Vaisvanara/Agni.
As to whether I search for ideas or they find me, I would say both. There are ideas that always escort someone. And others are found by chance.
The title of Vaisvanara/Agni is a reference to a Hindu deity. Tell us about the connection.
In Vedic mythology, Vaishvanara/Agni is the god of fire. He represents fire's duality, which is both helpful and destructive. In my poem, Vaishvanara/Agni is the representation of man's beneficial and destructive qualities. Ultimately, the poem arose out of my own spiritual connection with the culture of India.
Vaisvanara/Agni is succinct and sparse, but strikingly rich. How do you know when a poem is finished?
Thank you very much for your beautiful description of my poem. I know a poem has reached its culmination when I have the distinct sensation that it has finally succeeded in capturing an atmosphere, an idea, an image. Until then, it's not as simple as it seems. It requires a lot of corrections to finish a poem. And intuition.
The next issue of Agave Magazine will be published in February 2014. To receive a copy delivered directly to your inbox, subscribe here.
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