Friday, January 3, 2014

Open commission for Phantom Selfies

Photograph by Andreas Embirikos
Poetry Scores is issuing an open commission for Phantom Selfies that translate Andreas Embirikos' 1935 poetic sequence Phantom of the Dreams' Origin into the medium of a selfie.

The process is simple. Take a photograph of yourself that is in some sense "phantom," then title that photograph after a direct quote from Embirikos' poem, as translated from the Greek by Nikos Stabakis.

We ask that you then email your Phantom Selfie and its title to Poetry Scores creative director Chris King ( or post it to Poetry Scores on Facebook or Twitter.

Need some help thinking through what a Phantom Selfie might be? So did we. So we asked translator Nikos Stabakis. Stabakis replied:

"Phantom" refers to the word Φάντασμα (Phantasma), meaning a phantom/ghost, its etymology pointing to imagination (Phantasia/Fantasy), but also to appearance (as in "apparition" taken to denote a ghost). Some ambivalence there (a creature of the imagination or something that appears through it).

So you could say a Phantom Selfie is a selfie where you appear as a phantom or ghost, "a creature of the imagination or something that appears through it." And it has to be titled using a direct quote from Stabakis' translation of Embirikos.

Poetry Scores previously has scored Embirikos for visual art, guest curated by Andrew Torch, and music, composed by Barbara Harbach. Poetry Scores will release Barbara Harbach's poetry score of Phantom of the Dreams' Origin for chamber orchestra in Spring 2014.

For fun, Poetry Scores will offer a free copy of the Phantom of the Dreams' Origin recording to three people who submit Phantom Selfies. One each of those three winners will be selected by translator Nikos Stabakis, guest curator Andrew Torch and composer Barbara Harbach.

Also, Phantom Selfies will be published on the Poetry Scores blog, arranged according to the title of the selfie and where that title appears in the flow of the poem. Check out how that works by looking at this Gallery of Snow White Mirror Selfies, from our inaugural selfie open commission based on the poetry of Anne Sexton.

The deadline for Phantom Selfies is April Fool's Day, 2014.

Questions? Email Poetry Scores creative director Chris King ( He can direct questions to Stabakis, Torch or Harbach, if needed.


Embirikos' photograph of the masked woman borrowed from Fainting Christine.


Phantom of the Dreams' Origin, translated from the Greek by Nikos Stabakis, is excerpted from a longer Embirikos piece, Blast Furnace (1935).

Nikos Stabakis' translations of Andreas Embirikos first appeared in his definitive Surrealism in Greece: An Anthology, still in print with the University of Texas Press.


Andreas Embirikos

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