sorabji.com: Is it art?: Words

By Spider on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 12:11 am:

    Speaking of geeks....I wrote old Dr. Oopy an email in
    which I geeked out on him regarding my love of art that
    (which?) includes words.

    I'm thinking primarily of the works of Jenny Holzer and
    Ed Ruscha -- the former deals exclusively with words,
    and the latter has painted other things (pictures...huh!)
    but paints a lot of words, too.

    Like, he paints just words.

    Sometimes it's just words,

    Jenny Holzer I've mentioned on the boards before.
    She's my favorite living artist, and I'm thrilled that the
    MFA in Boston (which I can enter free with my student
    ID, praise be) has one of her pieces -- it's an LED
    screen that scrolls some of her Truisms, if I'm not
    mistaken. (I was at the MFA today but neglected to pay
    this a visit.) Jenny
    . If I had to steal anyone's art and pass it off as
    my own, it would be hers.

    First of all, I love the look of words. Typography
    honestly turns me on. The idea that the way a word
    looks influences its meaning or reception is so thrilling
    to me. A phrase resonates differently with you
    depending on the way you see it -- is it scrawled in
    graffitti on brick, or is it carved in roman capitals in
    marble, or is printed in sans serif font on a poster? Of
    course, the different styles imply different authors, and
    different types of authors -- disaffected youth, some
    stately organization, a corporation. (This is why I love
    Holzer's series of Survival statements printed as
    subway posters -- you initially think they must be ads for
    something, but there is no attribution line...nothing to
    indicate who wrote them or what for what purpose.
    Imagine seeing:
    printed in sans serif caps, say,
    yellow letters on a pink background, on a poster in a
    busstop. What would you make of it?}

    Then, it's also the mere look of the letters I like...the
    alphabet itself, and the way the letters are formed and
    how they look next to each other. I love words with an
    "e - consonant - e" pattern, like serene (extra good) or
    austere. I can't explain why -- it's just satisfying
    somehow. And the shapes of A, e, f, J, N, W, R....these
    are great to draw in creative lettering of your own

    I'd go on, but I'm starting to scare myself with how
    autistic I sound.

By Spider on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 12:12 am:

    If you click on the "this" link, you'll have to take the <
    BR> out of the URL for it to work. Sorry.

By Spider on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 12:24 am:

    If you click on the "this" link, you'll have to take the <
    BR> out of the URL for it to work. Sorry.

By Spider on Saturday, September 9, 2006 - 01:54 pm:

    Wow, was this too geeky for this crowd?

    What about this? Photographs of Idaho, so large and
    vivid, you feel like you're looking at the landscape through a
    window, and you're reminded so much of Montana you find
    yourself crying.

By Spider on Saturday, September 9, 2006 - 01:56 pm:

    Or, you know, you could go here.

By Spider on Saturday, September 9, 2006 - 01:57 pm:

    Or not.

    Today is a low day.

By jack on Saturday, September 9, 2006 - 01:59 pm:

    i like jenny holzer very much.

    but i'm not sure that link is what you intended even with the <BR> removed, so i can't comment.

    your photographs of idaho link doesn't seem to work, either. so, uh, yeah?

By jack on Saturday, September 9, 2006 - 02:07 pm:

By jack on Saturday, September 9, 2006 - 02:10 pm:

By jack on Saturday, September 9, 2006 - 02:11 pm:

By semillama on Saturday, September 9, 2006 - 08:46 pm:

    interesting. Not sure what to make of the beliefs one.

By V on Saturday, September 9, 2006 - 10:09 pm:


By jack on Saturday, September 9, 2006 - 11:12 pm:

By dave. on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 03:17 am:

    y'know . . .


    poets are so fucking happy about their words. most times, i can't read a poem and experience the words because i'm stuck on the image of the proud poet.

    when i read a poem, i don't want to know who the author is, and i especially don't want to know if they're famous or not, respected or not.

    that said, the new melvins album is pretty damn good. they actually use real lyrics this time -- not just random and nonsensical words and phrases.


By Spider on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 08:59 pm:

    Thanks, jack -- I don't know why my links got screwed
    up like that.

    Dave -- the cool thing about Jenny Holzer is that, at
    least at the beginning of her career, you could see her
    things everywhere, but you'd have no idea who did
    them. Now, projecting words onto buildings at
    night...you clearly need permission for that, so it's not
    anonymous, but early on, she'd just paste posters, print-
    outs, stickers, etc. all over and never indicate that they
    were hers. They were just anonymous messages left
    out there in the world.

    And also, the ideas she expresses are not necessarily
    her own. Her Truisms series specifically sets out
    widely-held ideas, and if you look at a list of the
    statements in the series, many of them contradict each
    other, because they're not believed in by the same
    group of people. Survival (which I -- and jack -- linked
    to) is another series of statements that aren't
    attributable to her and her personality...they're
    statements from fictional people on the edge of living.

    I have a book of hers that includes an interview with
    her, and she doesn't consider herself a poet -- she says
    she cares only about writing clearly.

By Dr Pepper on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 - 03:55 am:

    Jack,when I click your link, it looks like something I remember Commodore 64 back in 80's also Atari too.

By Spider on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 10:12 am:

    As I was walking to school this morning, I saw that someone had
    scrawled a message in chalk on the brick siding of an apartment
    building. It read, in all capitals, "YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT HE

    I approve of this as art. The building is adjacent to the College of
    the Museum of Fine Arts, so it's possible that the message was
    intended as art and not as a warning to potential dates that some
    guy is impotent.

By eri on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 06:03 pm:

    I like the idea of that on the wall letting potential dates know the guy is impotent, though. Kinda funny.

By Spider on Saturday, November 4, 2006 - 04:51 pm:

    Wisper, have you heard of (or read) this book by Simon Loxley called "Type: The Secret History of Letters"?

    It's great. He takes you from Gutenberg's blackletters up to the present, and he's got a really cute, dry sense of humor which brings all the characters (like the huge Caslon family...and I'm talking fathers and sons) to life.

    He also calls Univers "efficient, but the coldest typeface ever produced," which makes me love him.

    And this caption to a late 19th Century concert poster --

    A typical nineteenth-century riot of display letters... "Who can exaggerate the horrors of those letters?" wrote a commentator in 1895.
    -- made me laugh out loud. That anonymous commentator has a place in my heart.

    It's so much fun to hear about all the detractors of the various fonts (e.g., Baskerville's typeface with its narrow strokes, people complaining that he'd make them go blind)....font was so contentious back then!

By ghost of jack on Saturday, November 4, 2006 - 05:24 pm:

    spider, do you know ellen lupton's books?

    probably worth a look.

By Spider on Saturday, November 4, 2006 - 05:50 pm:

    No, I haven't heard of her....I'll have to look for them.

By wisper on Sunday, November 5, 2006 - 04:13 pm:

    ooooo, i will search it out.
    i discovered that wiki has a section on typefaces. I'm working my way through the whole thing.

    omg Univers is the mac keyboard font. FUCK THAT.


The Stalking Post: General goddam chit-chat Every 3 seconds: Sex . Can men and women just be friends? . Dreamland . Insomnia . Are you stoned? . What are you eating? I need advice: Can you help? . Reasons to be cheerful . Days and nights . Words . Are there any news? Wishful thinking: Have you ever... . I wish you were... . Why I oughta... Is it art?: This question seems to come up quite often around here. Weeds: Things that, if erased from our cultural memory forever, would be no great loss Surfwatch: Where did you go on the 'net today? What are you listening to?: Worst music you've ever heard . What song or tune is going through your head right now? . Obscure composers . Obscure Jazz, 1890-1950 . Whatever, whenever General Questions: Do you have any regrets? . Who are you? . Where are you? . What are you doing here? . What have you done? . Why did you do it? . What have you failed to do? . What are you wearing? . What do you want? . How do you do? . What do you want to do today? . Are you stupid? Specific Questions: What is the cruelest thing you ever did? . Have you ever been lonely? . Have you ever gone hungry? . Are you pissed off? . When is the last time you had sex? . What does it look like where you are? . What are you afraid of? . Do you love me? . What is your definition of Heaven? . What is your definition of Hell? Movies: Last movie you saw . Worst movie you ever saw . Best movie you ever saw Reading: Best book you've ever read . Worst book you've ever read . Last book you read Drunken ramblings: uiphgy8 hxbjf.bklf ghw789- bncgjkvhnqwb=8[ . Payphones: Payphone Project BBS

sorabji.com . torturechamber . px.sorabji.com . receipts . contact