Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Shine on, Sharrow

Some more local stuff, but is it graffiti, or wall-art (it’s tagged as both in Flickr)? Maybe I’ll just settle for urban literacy, but it’s amazing how much wordplay and bookplay is around. Bloggers will be aware of how Avant Game’s Ministry of Reshelving mobilised playful social action in bookshops. Logolalia have a less radical form of bookplay. Here’s their instructions:

Cut the bindings off of books found at a used book store. Find poems in the pages by the process of obliteration. Put pages in the mail and send them all around the world. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I suppose in essence this is a recycling of William Burroughs’ cut-up technique. Maybe he was doing serious play; play as art. In a related way, Ian Breakwell has been doing art with words for a long time (since the mid 70s). And Tom Phillips’ Humument is a sort of visual and verbal mash-up of an 1892 manuscript by W.H.Maldock A Human Document. So more and more the word is being set free from the ‘enclosures of bookspace’. Like this posting, the word onscreen, digital literacy, message play, blogging.

1 comment:

Joolz said...

I completely love the Logolalia instructions but am less impressed by the results. Apart from the Dog eared poem of course.