Bit of a continuation of last week’s question:
Can poetry be a visual medium? Is it always a visual medium, never a visual medium, or sometimes a visual medium?
My answer: It is a visual medium as long as it is being read on the page. The way words look will always…
Got this response in my ask box from one of my first followers (and one of the first I followed), snake-oil-lullaby. I thought it was a great response, and I learned some things, so I’m sharing it!
“In response to the Sunday question, I think poetry can be extremely visual. There’s three examples I can use from my background as a U.S. Marine, a graphic designer, and a newspaper editor.
1: In many Islamic countries, iconography is forbidden. To get around this, they will use Arabic Calligraphy to make art. Some of the most beautiful verses of the Quran are made far more poetic by the flowing strokes of a master calligraphist.
2: Typography is the arrangement of the letters on the page. The fonts used and even the spaces between individual letters (tracking and kerning) can give a message more meaning and stress or enforce certain words. A prime example would be Tristen Tzara’s use of typesetting in his Dadaist Manifestos.
3: They’ve done studies on the size of type in newspaper print to determine the impact it has on the reader’s comprehension and how they react to certain variations (and even if their moods can be changed by the font and weight selected.) I was gonna get more into that, but I didn’t.
So I would say that, yes. Poetry is a very visual medium, but like any art it goes beyond that, and channels something that we can’t really see.
Sorry if that was a bit lengthy, but that’s what I think.”
LA ART BOOK FAIR OPENING TONIGHT AT THE MOCA
Free and open to the public, the LA Art Book Fair is a unique event for artists’ books, art catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines presented by over 250 international presses, booksellers, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers.
The event will be open through the end of this weekend at the MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary location in Little Tokyo, and looks to see tens of thousands of print-lovers from around Southern California. A series of lectures and discussions curated by David Senior called The Classroom will draw visitors each and every day of the fair, and Hyperallergic will even be present and hosting a get-together of their own after hours on Saturday.
Downtown Los Angeles, California
Over 250 international outfits are taking part in the assembly, and the range of offerings is highly impressive. Everything is egalitarian, sharply presented and extremely tempting.
Hometown heroes Ooga Booga, KesselsKramer, and Arcana — who are making waves on the international scene — are paired with their out-of-town peers, simultaneously repping their work and acting as ambassadors.
The fair is going on until Sunday and is free to enter and enjoy, thanks to the selfless contributions of many. For more information and for the full schedule for screenings, panels, lectures and special events visit laartbookfair.net.
The Mouse’s Tail