Saturday, June 11, 2011

bp / rosen

I have made connections between the concrete poetry and linguistic systems in bpNichol's and Kay Rosen's work before, but I've never seen it so straight forward as this. It is unclear which came first (bpNichol's book was published in 1990, and Rosen's Read Lips was made in 1989), or if one influenced the other. Regardless, these two piece are certainly mining the same intellectual ground. For me, finding this bpNichol piece really informed and opened up my read of Rosen's piece - which prior, seemed both on the surface and coded.

bpNichol - Portable Systems 17 (from art facts, 1990)

from later in this piece:
W = C1 + C2 + C3 etc

where W is the circumference of any word, C the circumference of the mouth opening at the apex of its particular phonemic movement & where 1,2,3 etc indicates the particular phoneme in terms of its place in the relevant speech sequence.

Kay Rosen - Read Lips (paint on wall) 1985

Where bpNichol's is more cold (analytic), Kay Rosen finds a place of geographic/familial investigation. (mum is 'British' for mom). This 'mom' (or the idea of mom), is illustrated in a manner that is surprising because of its cold approach, through a phonemic series, to a term that is used in mostly private and personal places.

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