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New Word Art

The interest in language as a visual and material medium continues to grow. The more we lose in this area electronically, the more we are learning to value it. A new exhibit, “Postscript,” now on view at the Denver Museum for Contemporary offers a nice look at the history of text art. Triple Canopy is doing a really interesting special issue in connection with it called “Corrected_Slogans.”

There was also a recent exhibit at New York’s Museum of Modern Art called, “Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language.” Besides not being able to settle on one title, it offered a beautiful array of newer and older works that explored the materiality of language. Moma seems particularly invested in this area right now, from its Tangled Alphabets exhibit that appeared before this one or its On Line exhibit, which explored the even more elementary aspects that comprise both language and shape.

We keep using digital recyclings of writing metaphors (postscript, on/line) to refer to predigital histories of writing. Tangled indeed.