Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category
“The Shufflebook … was sold at Museum of Modern Art’s store as a sort of (unbound) children’s book. The reader/storyteller is instructed to deal the cards that featured large illustrations and either a verb phrase (e.g., “slipped,” “got kissed”) or a noun phrase (e.g., “and my uncle”, “and 5 cows”). … The total number of the cards is 104.
The opening and closing sentence of the text on one special card says: “This is an anything book.” The text on the cover states: “There are over a million stories in this box. Shuffle the pages, lay them down and make your own story happen.” The text segments are written to combine into one very long (possibly run-on) sentence or several sentences. There is no text with capital letters and no punctuation. There are also 2 special pages with empty lines where the “storyteller” can write additional text …”
via Grand Text Auto
This is such a sweet project from a primary school in Germany. The children used a poem about winter by Josef Guggenmos as inspiration. A copy of the poem was glued onto a piece of paper and painted over with water colours. The poem was partially covered with opaque white. It gives the impression of snow softly covering the poem. The children only left those words and sentences they liked in particular. This reminds me of Austin Kleon’s blackout poems, these, in contrast are whiteout poems. You can see the entire series here: “Ich male mir den Winter”
on open ground
lit by natural light
inhabited by friends and enemies A house of paper among high mountains using natural light inhabited by fishermen and families A house of leaves
by a river
using candles inhabited by people speaking many languages wearing little or no clothes …
Here are some stanzas of a poem I came across when looking for poetry which may inspire young children to write. The simple structure of the stanzas could be used as a model, offering endless possibilities for new poems.
Then, to my surprise I realized that this may well be the first computer-generated poem. Artist Alison Knowles (b.1933) and James Tenney used programming language and word lists for a poetry project in 1967, creating a poem of the following structure:
a house of (list material) (list location) (list light source) (list inhabitants)
in which combinations of the variables were randomly generated.
Alison Knowles’s A House of Dust is an early example of computerized poetry that plays on the unlimited possibilities of the random juxtapositions of words. To create this work, Knowles produced four word lists that were then translated into a computer language and organized into quatrains according to a random matrix. Each of the four lists contains terms that describe the attributes of a house: its materials, location, lighting, and inhabitants. The computer program imposed a nonrational ordering of subjects and ideas, generating unexpectedly humorous phrasing and imagery, such as “A house of dust, in a hot climate, using all available lighting, inhabited by all races of men represented, wearing predominantly red clothing,” or “A house of broken dishes, on the sea, using natural light, inhabited by vegetarians.”
Printed on perforated tractor-feed paper common to dot matrix printers of the time, Knowles printed out numerous pages of these phrases in the form of a long scroll. She then created a book of sorts by tearing off a block of approximately twenty pages at a time, folding it in the manner of an accordion, and placing it in a plastic pouch. Hundreds of variations of houses are possible, as every version of the poem begins and ends with a different set of quatrains. Knowles’s collaboration with the computer highlights the underlying arbitrariness of language, demonstrating how words acquire different meanings through structural relationships and shifting contexts.
A couple of years ago I found some of this green and white perforated paper with some kind of “computer art” among my dad’s things. It gave me such a weird flashback. All over a sudden, I was transported back to those days when computers and photocopiers were new and people started experimenting with their affordances. Remember the many photocopied hands and faces or other stuff, like … cats? I am digressing. Way back then, the computer paper stood for everything that was ugly, in my eyes. I like the poem and so I am reconciled with the computer paper. Now its retro.
by Rebecca Puig of Sugarboo Designs.
The quote is by Emily Dickinson ”Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.”
In 1775 Austrian Emperor Joseph II dedicated a large piece of land for the use of ”all the people for their amusement and merry-making”. The park with baroque garden design is called Augarten and I live round the corner, and so it is close physically and close to my heart too. Over the years there have been various attempts to build on parts of the land, which have been for the most part thwarted. But since a few years, the City Authorities in liaison with private investors have been planning to build a large concert hall on one end of the land. Protesters have been squatting on and off for three years now. Political protest has become more playful and performance orientated in the last decade or so, for example in the form of flashmobs. But only in Vienna I guess, protesters would come up with the idea to do it in such style and in baroque style too. After some of the trees were cut down last year to prepare the ground for the building work the activists staged a funeral procession around Vienna. On May 1st, Labour Day, they arranged for a colourful protest procession in full regalia. You’ve got to love the dresses! Makes me think of the work of artist Yinka Shhonibare.
Also, they do the prettiest leaflets! I fear it will all be to no avail.
Stuart Hall compared the theoretical work, the work of the academic or intellectual, with a struggle using the metaphor: “wrestling with the angels.” He added: “The only theory worth having is that which you have to fight off, not that which you speak with profound fluency.” Its a curious image Hall uses here. Tracing it back to Jakob’s biblical struggle with an unknown, who might have according to various interpretation been a man, an angel or God himself, shows that the meaning of the story is ambiguous. Jacob, after having wrestled with the angel all night, overcomes him, but then asks him for his blessing.
Furthermore, Satan himself was an fallen angel, who according to Milton in Paradise Lost used his abundant rhetorical abilities and persuasive powers for his own purposes, with long lasting consequences, as we all know. Was Jakob wrestling with a fallen angel, or an angel who would fall, after all? To muddle things up further William Blake later reversed the meaning of Heaven and Hell and stated that Milton “was a true Poet and of the Devil’s party without knowing it.”
So who is the theorist, according to Hall, wrestling with? Hall leaves the interpretation to the reader, “you can take as literally as you like,” he says. I think “wrestling with the angels” is a great metaphor, and I may use it to preface my PhD thesis, if I ever manage to finish it. My night of wrestling with the angels is not over yet.
Stuart Hall (1992) Cultural Studies and its Theoretical Legacies (originally published in Cultural Studies, ed. Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson, Paula Treichler. New York and London: Routledge, 1992
Parisian Love is a promotional video by Google. Made in the vein of Michael Wesch’s videos I cannot help liking it. It is is really well made.
Here the New York TImes have a fascinating report about Carl Jung’s private notebook with personal reflections as well as drawings, which has been kept from the public until now. He worked on the Red Book for a period of 16 years, and ever since his death it has been locked away. Now, for the first time it is going to be published.
Carl Jung said the Red Book stemmed from his “confrontation with the unconscious,” during which visions came in an “incessant stream.”
“I should advise you to put it all down as beautifully as you can — in some beautifully bound book,” Jung instructed. “It will seem as if you were making the visions banal — but then you need to do that — then you are freed from the power of them. . . . Then when these things are in some precious book you can go to the book & turn over the pages & for you it will be your church — your cathedral — the silent places of your spirit where you will find renewal. If anyone tells you that it is morbid or neurotic and you listen to them — then you will lose your soul — for in that book is your soul.”
Wow, this is intriguing. I might have mentioned before, that many years ago I researched the visonary writings of Jakob Boehme, a German mystic, who had visions, and who is thought of as the first German philosopher, e.g. by Hegel. > On my Christmas Wish List!
via Austin Kleon
Recently I have been thinking about the scene of the final showdown between Deckard (Harrison Ford) and the replicant Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) in the Blade Runner, and its poetic ending. This film had a powerful impact on me when I saw it in a cinema in New York’s Lower East Side, when it first came out in 1982 and when I watched it several times after that in the following years. Fast forward to over twenty years later, when I started reading film theory and realized that it was not only me who thought highly of the film, but that it is considered a film classic.
This scene can be found in multiple YouTube versions, however watching the brief clip online seems a bit sad and cheesy. Not at all the same experience as watching it at a time of the cold war, on a big cinema screen. Time, place and medium of distribution make a difference on the reading experience.
León Ferrari (Argentine, b. 1920) and Mira Schendel (Brazilian, b. Switzerland, 1919–1988) are considered among the most significant artists working in Latin America during the second half of the twentieth century. Their works address language as a major visual subject matter: the visual body of language, the embodiment of voices as words and gestures, and language as a metaphor of the worldly aspect of human existence through the eloquence of naming and writing. They produced their works in the neighboring countries of Argentina and Brazil throughout the 1960s and 1980s, when the question of language was particularly central to Western culture due to the central role taken by post-structuralism, semiotics, and the philosophy of language. Although their drawings, sculptures, and paintings are contemporary with the birth of Conceptualism, they are distinctively different, and have not yet been exhibited in their entirety in the United States.
The exhibition can be viewed in detail also through an interactive flash site.
This piece is really a sculpture, and should be seen large. I love the way the alphabet swirls out of the vortex, a galaxy in the making, a big bang. In biblical cosmology “in the beginning there was the word,” in Asian cosmology in the beginning there was the sound, the AUM. Here we have vision of how the language and signs came into being.
The Letter to the General above is beautiful piece of calligraphy in an imaginary script as a part of a series of “deformed writing”. It reminds me of “pretend writing” – emergent writing of children. Apparently the artist said “it is difficult to write a ‘logical’ letter to a general” so there we have a play with nonsense and mystery.
I discovered this multidirectional poem by Amelia Walker – it can be read left to right or down the columns on the first issue of verbeatehim. It is called “garden”.
Through her website I found out that she also does poetry and performance workshops with children and it seems she has great ideas. I wonder how the poetry pets work. Here is also a neat little warm up exercise for writing poetry with children:
Young Femme With Stickbild Jeanne (AK Junge Frau mit Stickbild Jeanne)
Is this not a lovely picture? This is a vintage postcard currently available on eBay. A combination of some things I like – photography, embroidery, vernacular creativity, womans’ crafts, (subversive) cross stitch. See some earlier postings: petit point and women reading, cross stitch text message and more digital petit point.