Posts Tagged ‘visual poetry’

easter wings

February 9, 2009

herbert

George Herbert, Easter Wings/ The Temple (1633)

More about historical visual poetry:  How do we define Visual Poetry (and letter-inspired art) by Phillip John Usher

“Our understanding of visual poetry means that words and letters become plastic; they are (perhaps) also signifiers, but they are first and foremost objects: they “are” before they “mean,” suggesting they take on a life of their own. And yet words and letters never totally escape their linguistic sounds and meanings-hence the games our mind plays when we view visual poetry, caught-as it is-between different ways of viewing. It’s a bifurcated road: should I read, or should I see? How do letters and words get in the way? How do they confuse (in the strongest sense) the image?” 

word and image are one

January 8, 2009
wordandimageareone - visual poem - sigrid jones

wordandimageareone - by sigrid jones

I don’t play digital games, but I do like to play with digital tools. In the recent holidays I was playing around with some more poetry generators, which I found online. 

My favorite outcome is this visual poem, which I created with the composer on RoboType. This is a great little online tool for creating visual poems with four classic types of font. “Robotype, a type comoposer, that allows playing with letters as graphic elements, exploring each one of the forms, something so extended as typography, draw, design, compose, create.” It allows you more control over the image  than this concrete poetry generator which I posted about here. I guess, if you know how to use design software you can do things like this elsewhere, but I don’t, so I think it is a nifty little tool, and easy to work with so that it could be also used by children. (I just could not figure out how to upload images on the web gallery.) I hope I will find the time to use this generator more often.

The text is based on a quote by dadaist and later mystic Hugo Ball, from his “Dada Fragments” from 1916 “the image and word are one”. Visual poems have been created before, but the dadaists were this first group of people to really explore and experiment with words and letters liberated from their context. When I was a teenager two boys tried to woo me with poems, one used a medieval minne somg, the other one Kurt Schwitters’ Anna Blume. Dada won.

The poetry generator is based on a project, which turned Schwitters’ book Die Scheuche. Märchen (created with Käte Steinitz & Theo van Doesburg) into an online interactive story book, or game in Flash. You could say it is a very different kind of alphabet book. I would like to know what kids make of it.


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