Spam Radio & Basil Bunting Center for Investigative Mail-Art on Visual Poetry w/ Support from the Fork Lint Academy

Our current visual poetry project has revealed something important: The artists want to see examples of visual poetry! 

Thanks to the convergence of unusual psychic & cosmic forces, we have been able to establish this research center that provides links to all kinds of interesting vispo. Many thanks also for the support of the Martha Stuart School of Asemic Wallpaper. 

Here's a first, really excellent link to the famous Sackner Archives:

Karl Kempton is one of the Old Masters from "the days old when they were mining for gold." Nice piece in his archives on minimalist concrete poetry, for those interested in the minimal side of things:

Kempton's "Kaldron" is one of the longest running vispo publications in North America. If you ave time to browse, you'll find all sorts of interesting things:

Need I mention? Our own IUOMA comrade Litsa Spathi is, uh, possibly the best visual poet currently on planet Earth?

Visual poet Geof Huth, an IUOMA member, has a blog that is a hub of info on current vispo:

John M. Bennett & C Mehrl Bennett need no introduction:

Here's the wikipedia entry for visual poetry, which might serve as an "official" view on the subject, but proceed with caustion, still interesting?

Helen Amyes is doing a great, ongoing fotovispo show. You can connect through her IUOMA blog:

Crag Hill - interview, Score, and Spore

Please post your links to interesting visual poetry!

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Replies to This Discussion

Thanks Nancy. The Hannelore Baron work is fantastic - exactly the sort of thing I'm hoping people will post.

This discussion is a great idea, DVS, thanks. (Love the title!)

Here is the Smithsonian's description of Baron's work for their 2002-2004 traveling exhibition:

Hannelore Baron: Works from 1969 to 1987

Self-taught artist Hannelore Baron (1926-1987) made collages and box assemblages that drew upon her own experiences as a Holocaust survivor, cancer patient, and a person who suffered periodic depression. Baron found more than solace in her art: she found a fountain of creativity with which she could explore her feelings and ideas.

She developed a profoundly personal iconography, which included abbreviated human figures, birds, patterns, and hieroglyphics to symbolize her own anguish as well as that of humanity. The intimate scale of her work (few collages are wider than 12 inches) and their abstract qualities help the themes achieve a universal appeal.

Hannelore Baron: Works from 1969 to 1987 was the first national touring retrospective of her artwork. More than 40 collages and box assemblages were presented along with quotes from Baron regarding her artistic inspirations and creative processes. Born in Dillingen, Germany, Baron experienced the early horrors of the Holocaust. On the night of November 9, 1938, known as Kristallnacht, Nazis pillaged Jewish businesses, synagogues, and houses, including Baron's home. After a series of moves throughout Europe, the family escaped to the United States in 1941, settling in New York City, where Baron studied applied design at the Straubenmuller Textile High School.

Baron's first collages, made in the early 1960s when she was in her 40s, were composed of old torn paper, ink, and watercolor. She later incorporated cloth, etchings, and monoprints into her work. In 1968, she began making box assemblages from various found items, including wood, discarded cloth, and string. She also constructed series of black boxes, white boxes, and boxes of mysterious games with unusual game pieces. Many of her motifs, such as monoprints made from thin copper sheets, appear in both the collages and the assemblages.

Often compared to the art of Paul Klee and Kurt Schwitters, Baron's work combines a sense of naïveté with sincerity and appreciation for the accidental. With their torn and tattered edges and fragments of chipped wood, Baron's pieces are imbued with a sense of passing time and the frailty of the human spirit. Although influenced by her early traumas, her work reveals other inspirations, such as American Indian, African, and Tantric art, Persian miniatures, the illuminated pages of the Koran, and existentialist writings. Her art touches on issues that were prevalent during her lifetime, including the Vietnam War, industrial pollution, and civil rights.

Hannelore Baron was organized by SITES in cooperation with the Estate of Hannelore Baron and the Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles. Independent contemporary art curator and critic Ingrid Schaffner curated the exhibition. An award-winning full-color catalogue (SITES, 2001) published in conjunction with the tour was made possible by The Judith Rothschild Foundation, Ruth and Robert Halperin, Ruth and Barney O'Hara, The Jamie and Steve Tisch Foundation, Mary Mhoon Walker, and The Howard Earl Rachofsky Foundation.

This Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service exhibition toured from 2002-2004.

Thanks for the contributions! Keep those links coming. I'll add more too. And Cheryl's book also

Spam Radio Head

Thanks, KDJ. We could use some links that aren't so US-centered too.

Good news and bad news:

The center's work continues thanks to new support from the prestigious Fork Lint Academy.

Our request for support was sadly Denied by the DK Charitable FounDation

KDJ, this probably not the place to post this, but you brought it up.

A quick estimate is that DK's massive organization managed to produce 2 or 3 D-Koder rings in about six weeks. Yet it generated I don't know how many D-oKuments. That is a model of inefficiency with which few can compete.

I added the wikipedia entry on visual poetry to the list of links. It talks about three different views of visual poetry, I wouldn't take it as any end-all and be-all definition of vispo, but it does establish some central concerns:

(1) Visual poetry is just another name for concrete poetry

(2) Visual poetry is a sub-category of concrete poetry

(3) Visual poetry is a distinct form

IMHO, #3 is the one that holds up best at the start of 2012. I've also added a link to Helen Amyes's foto vispo blog here at IUOMA - I think it's packed with wonderful vispo, all based in photography.

I'm adding another link in the Spam Radio Vispo Center (and below) to an interview with visual poet and editor Crag Hall. The interview explains a lot about the connection between vispo and mail-art. Crag is still a leader today and also kept the vispo fires burning in the San Francisco Bay Area at a time when things weren't so easy: Notice he discussions the relationship between vispo & langpo - both were (originally) united by a view of language as material, which even earlier had to do with shared influences in NY. A nice interview:

I'll also add a link to Crag Hill's blog - I think it's called Spore - that evolved out of zine he edited for a long time called Score.

What a great resource.  Thank you!

Gracias por esta info, muy enriquesedora





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