Paolo Javier & David Mason
Sunnyside, New York
Poetry, Sound Art
Fel Santos: All Convulsions presents the book phase of a multimedia work that journeys through an underworld of language and postcolonial haunting, while showcasing the potential intimacy in sound poetry—a language art often dismissed as too conceptual and esoteric—to a new and diverse audience. Since 2013, Paolo Javier has developed The Fel Santos Project, a performative exploration of the mysterious sounds and fragments of speech by a fictional Filipinx-American poet, Fel Santos, whose work draws from motherese, demonology and occult experience, and experiments in sound symbolism and language creation. The hallmarks of Santos’ work—its theatricality; its experiments with linguistic hybridity and poly-vocality; its material interest in nonsense, baby talk, babble, and neologisms; and occult thought and practice—offers a feverish engagement with and a challenge to western experimental poetry and avant garde history, and an innovative way to consider the multiplicity of racial identity formation and belonging.
The former Queens Borough Poet Laureate (2010-2014), Paolo Javier was born in the Philippines and grew up in Las Piñas, Metro Manila; Katonah, Westchester County; El-Ma’adi, Cairo; Burnaby and North Delta, Metro Vancouver. He has produced three albums of sound poetry with Listening Center (David Mason), including pamphlet/cassette Ur’lyeh/ Aklopolis and the booklet/cassette Maybe the Sweet Honey Pours. The recipient of a 2021 Rauschenberg Foundation Artist Grant, he was a featured artist in Greater NY 2015 and Queens International 2018: Volumes. He recently completed “O.B.B. aka The Original Brown Boy,” a weird postcolonial techno dreampop comics poem that also includes illustrations by Alex Tarampi and Ernest Concepcion.