Monday, 19 February 2018

Cursor - 5 variations

For too many people concrete is a head trip, which is to say, an intellectual trip, and as such I can look at it and admire it. For most people I know it is a gut experience. 
- BP Nichol, 1970

Perhaps by 1970 concrete poetry's legs were tiring. After the big bang of the 50s and the boom in the 60s it seemed to be a debatable genre, as all art movements are in time. Innovation gives way to imitation, yet variations on early forms cannot be dismissed except by weary seen-it-all-before cynics. There may be limitations regarding what can be done with text when it comes to structural forms, yet the permutations within any one form is endless. 'Vispo' is a more commonly-used term these days, although the 2015 anthology,  The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century, had it's cake and ate it, title-wise.

Nichol rightly points to the intellectual aspect of concrete poetry. For some it is an exercise in the theoretical exploration of words and their 'meaning'. Critics have written from a university thesis standpoint in order to mine the potential meanings of the meta-text, linguistic philosophy, visual representation etc.   

For me, it is a 'gut experience' first and foremost, which is not so say that there aren't sometimes thoughts  regarding meaning behind the process. It will depend on the content as much as the form. I prefer to leave it to the viewer to apply their own 'meanings' to my work. These pieces were created using the twofold process of digital and print. Thanks for visiting.

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