Twenty-first Century Approaches (2000-2012) from the University of Vigo (Spain)
Edited By Veljka Ruzicka Kenfel
The Medium is the adventure
Translated by Iria de Dios Flores and Karen Barlow
The issue of the relationship between writing, understood as a series of strokes, and the surface on which it is placed, can be contextualised within the scope of the avant-gardes’efforts to deconstruct the structures through which language establishes forms of thought. These structures obviously include those of syntax, sentence and discourse, but they also involve the organisation of the page that disposes a certain reading order, in setting what is relevant to be read and what is not. The chunk of black lines adjusted on the white surface of a page is intended for being read from left to right and from top to bottom. Therefore, the possible transformation or destabilisation of this standard challenges the habitual distribution of the meaning on the medium whilst proposing different decoding processes.
Mallarmé was probably the first to point this out when he wrote “Un coup de dés”. Its arrangement provided the blank spaces with semantic value, equating them with words, and suggesting nonlinear itineraries.
After Mallarmé, Dadaists and Surrealists would throw the words on the pages without any order, in their attempt to free them from their habitual meaning and create unusual relations between them in order to increase their significance potential.
Thus, calligrams provide meaning to all the visual aspects of the text (typography, arrangement, blank spaces) and allow the reader to alter...
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