can you say Skryf?

November 14, 2015


Just in case you think there’s nothing new in the world of poetry, there’s Skryf. An Afrikaans word meaning to write, Skryf is also the name of a writing machine designed by Amsterdam installation artist Gijs van Bon. A sandwriter, Skryf deposits fine sand text on the ground. Much as a poem spoken aloud disappears once it is spoken, van Bon’s sand script vanishes underfoot — part of its appeal for the artist.

An article in Make quotes van Bon talking about a poetry “installation” at the World Maker Faire: “I was asked to perform 40 poems during a 10 day festival, and the poems were about transition and letting go. And then I thought the obvious thing to do as an artist is to make a machine that writes those poems with sand. I started writing them, and when the third poem was written, the first one was completely gone, and it was such a beautiful thing.”

Find more information, photos, video and details on other drawing and writing machines on Gijs van Bon’s website. Skryf also has its own Facebook page.


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