January 28, 2011 - To start the second round of our mail-art exchange, Matthew Stolte sent me this postcard-size piece of visual poetry. The use of the term "heavy metal" here is not ironic :) I explain at the end.
The first piece he sent was a single-word poem defined by negative space. This piece is more complex and reliant on symmetry with slight variations. Matthew's use of black and white here reminds that the printed text is still dominated by the lack of color. I think it is also a nod to, or shows the influence of, black and white photocopies that were once the primary medium for distributing visual poetry. A gigantic body of work was produced using this medium. This particular "means of production" shaped form and content. Visual poetry is heavily influenced by the changing nuances of technology; and I know Matt Stolte is also doing ground-breaking digital work.
This piece Matthew sent is also strong on texture. It especially makes me think of the contours of metal - an industrial vispo. You can find many pieces by other artists that have these metallic qualities. I wonder if it does not represent the idea of object or haptic poetry: that somehow the piece has life beyond an abstraction on paper. Heavy Metal is a term many associate with music. That reference is not lost here, but it is derived from science: substances listed on the Periodic Table of Elements. William S. Burroughs applied to music and thus an ironically free-floating descriptive term for art.
I am looking forward to more trades with Matt and having more examples of his excellent work.
He has a great blog that has links to some other vispo sources. Don't let the name fool you, it's FDA approved: