M HKA gaat digitaal

Met M HKA Ensembles zetten we onze eerste échte stappen in het digitale landschap. Ons doel is met behulp van nieuwe media de kunstwerken nog beter te kaderen dan we tot nu toe hebben kunnen doen.

We geven momenteel prioriteit aan smartphones en tablets, m.a.w. de in-museum-ervaring. Maar we zijn evenzeer hard aan het werk aan een veelzijdige desktop-versie. Tot het zover is vind je hier deze tussenversie.

M HKA goes digital

Embracing the possibilities of new media, M HKA is making a particular effort to share its knowledge and give art the framework it deserves.

We are currently focusing on the experience in the museum with this application for smartphones and tablets. In the future this will also lead to a versatile desktop version, which is now still in its construction phase.

Roda Lume, 1968


In 1962, The Times Literary Supplement published a text by the experimental poet and textile engineer Ernesto de Melo e Castro. The article focused on the most innovative word experiments that were being made on the other side of the Atlantic. For poets such as Dom Sylvester Houédard and Ian Hamilton Finlay this was the first contact with the Brazilian avant-garde and its concrete poetry movement, but above all it provided much needed motivation for the formation of a germane branch in the UK.

Seven years later our textile engineer and renown experimental poet took a second radical step towards the dissemination of concrete poetry in Europe. When invited onto a poetry show on Portuguese national television, Melo e Castro used the occasion to release what is considered the first video-poem. Roda Lume, which loosely translates as "Wheel of Fire", “Circle of Light” or “Spin Flame”, was a short animation, depicting a synchronised succession of geometric lines, words and improvised vocalisations towards a new "liberated syntax".

In 1969, two million monitors hosted Roda Lume as a stage for an embryonic language in continuous mutation. The broadcast poem appeared as a UFO, invisible to the fascist censorship radars that allowed its transmission unaware that it contained a transversal radicalness; the video acted as a wheel of fire against social and artistic conformism, and in this context as a call for a later revolution. Unfortunately Roda Lume was lost or might even have been destroyed by that same national TV station. In 1986, Melo e Castro attempted to reconstruct the poem based on photograms and a precise score. The version presented at M HKA is Roda Lume Fogo, in which the poet added the word "Fire" to the title to distinguish it from the original. 

Similarly to Alexandre Estrela’s work, Roda Lume Fogo creates a different notion of time and space. The viewers’ perception influences the reading of the images and text. Words and images are set in motion in a closed circuit, seeking liberation from the burden of communication and the laws of Nature. Both artists create systems where energy is never lost and as in Sator Arepo, the acrostic roman poem, the rule is to maintain the moment in the work.

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>Ernesto de Melo e Castro, Videopoetry. pp. 175-184 In: Ed. Eduardo Kac. Media Poetry: An International Anthology. intellect Ltd, Bristol, 2007  

>Ernesto de Melo e Castro, Roda Lume, 1968

>E.M. de Melo de Castro, Roda Lume, 1968


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> Ernesto de Melo e Castro.

Exhibitions & Ensembles

> Exhibition: IN SITU: Alexandre Estrela – Roda Lume. M HKA, Antwerp, 30 January 2016 - 08 May 2016.