Graphics and Writing continued


I am not sure what is going on with my weekly meditation on graphics and writing. It could be the electronic lit conference, my reading VISPO, my earlier reading of concrete poetry, my attempt at making diagrams. I am not entirely sure.

I have lots of thoughts about Thinking about Comics and Scott McCloud about hot and cold media via Marshall McLuhan and about images, text, and digital media via Vilem Flusser. I have lots of feelings, how do images make me feel, how do words make me feel. I react strongly to certain word and certain images and certain word images. I am drawn to them or repulsed by them for no immediate reason.  I have a certain averson to photography and typography. Not sure why.

This post will probably end up being some visual poetry/poets I want to bookmark for inspiration.

I like word play that plays with meaning and rhythm and sound, I like transposing one writing system on another – using the musical staff for drawing or writing with notes, like this piece printed in The Paris Review 2012 from Greg Evason – The Blind Canoe:

Greg Evason, The Blind Canoe.

and Jo Cook’s Celestogram, or Jesse Glass’ Shout Speak Whisper, or Jaap Blonk Just a Thought.

This is one of the reasons I love BpNicol.

I love Fabio Doctorvich. Here is one of his works from postypographika.

It uses the language of something like a circuit diagram but with words and iconography… and often color.

I love the intersection of labyrinths and mazes and text. This is a version of pattern poetry that predates the 20th century and is perhaps not considered ART. ButI love this work too and I see it in Eva O Ettel’s Waterford. It integrates mapping with mazes/labyrinths and text.

Or  Sveta Litvak with pppp, dolls, etc represents for me language and becoming. Text is so static as are images. Diagrams are movement, as are films and music.

This is Klaus Peter Dencker, A and it reminds me of what I was creating in my post the other day when I was attempting to create a graphic based on my reading of Henry Corbin.

I could go in a less diagrammatic way – the way that Carol Stetser does like here. If more diagrammatic work foreground the connections or nodes, this gives equal weight to the background and the milieu.


Writing that does not have “semantic content” (wordless) is called asemic. This could include fake letters, letters that do not make words, letters and images, letters used as images. We turn back what is effable – into that which is ineffable. I am sort of inspired by the Dada-ist inspired Lettrism… there is a great manifesto for that linked to in the wiki.  Also mIEKAL aND and The book of the dead… as this image shows from poetry magazine:


This piece is called Fonotaip system – combining phonetics and typographt.  It is probably no coincidence I like this piece since I am interested in mapping, in transduction, how different systems interact.  There is also a generative quality, an attention to process not just product. How does the letter emerge and change as it is spoken. There was also a typography and mapping mashup by W. Mark Sutherland that really reminded me of psycho-geography (which is related to the letterists).

There are some images I have found that are mappings of chess boards. I imagine what other game boards could provide visual scaffolding for poetry.  What kind of movements different boards indicate – what sorts of rhythms, what sort of inspiration do they provide. I imagine a sort of exquisite corpse game of poetry played as a settlers of catan board game.

As a sort of coda, I just attended a performance session where the artists were typing into a system that generated tones based on what was typed. I wonder about what creates virtuosity in that sort of work. At first my mind when to that attack of the finger on the keyboard, or how long you held the key for or how quickly or slowly the keys were typed. But this is not quite it. The virtuosity is in patterns. It is the composition. And in the case of live performance it is in improvisation. I am not sure if this can be called virtuosity, and I feel like I am leaving something on the table here. There is a virtuosity in mapping, that is similar to the skill of the data scientists who can tweak fitness variables and clean data but it not necessarily programming or collecting data or creating algorithms.

When I think about the mapping that to me is interesting. The virtuosity is in the system poetics.