Lineation experiment

    Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


    Lineation - The technique of making lines of verse that involves also the rationale for breaking the lines, whether by closure...or by enjambment...(Mary Kinzie, A poet's guide to poetry)

    We cling to lines. They stop us from becoming lost, from floating away.

    In poetry, especially free verse, or even more so in 'experimental' forms such as l-a-n-g-u-a-g-e poetry, lineation serves to set us adrift in order to expand the range of possible interpretations and responses. Conceptually, the poetic line is far closer to the idealized geometric idea of the line as breadthless length: a useful concept related to flow, but dangerously susceptible to breakdown when tested.

    Gerald Bruns suggests (after Wittgenstein) that “what we take to be poetry cannot be exhausted by examples, because examples are always in excess of our experience and understanding. Anything goes, even if not everything is possible at once.” This accords with my own obsession with making poems out of all sorts of things: always involving words, but words and images, words and metal, words and sound. My words, found words, stolen words.

    This work is a poem. I declare it to be so because it is made of words. It attempts to manipulate its readers into receiving it as a poem because it is arranged into lines and poems have lines. Don’t they. It borrows words from The Idiot’s Guide to Poetry, from Christann’s Miller’s version of Emily Dickinson’s poems, and from Mary Kinzie’s A poet’s guide to poetry, all of which, in their own ways, have something to say about the line in poetry. Yet because they are selected somewhat randomly (the artist’s predilection for juxtaposition of the poetic with the quotidian was a factor, I confess), this experiment can be argued to achieve its poetic effects largely through lineation. Just as in the poem on the page, the lines on the flat plane of the work move the poem through space and create meaning in the process.

    The silk lines on the work’s surface move backwards, forward, upside, downside according to their own fancy. There is no concern for syntax, meaning, discourse, narrative. Only for the movement that is the line and the meaning that is made out of that motion.

    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationCanberra
    PublisherAustralian National Capital Artists (ANCA)
    Media of outputOnline
    Size.8m X 2.0m
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2016


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