meanwhile, in Trafalgar Square

September 21, 2018

If you happen to be in London as you read this post, hurry over to Trafalgar Square to see “Please Feed the Lions,” an installation by artist Es Devlin that fuses design, poetry, and machine learning. Painted a hard-to-ignore fluorescent red, the piece invites passersby to “feed” the lion a word and then uses a deep learning algorithm developed by Ross Goodwin, creative technologist at Google, to compose a poem, which appears on a display in the lion’s mouth. At night, the poem’s evolving text is projected across the body of the lion and on Nelson’s Column.

Part of the London Design Festival, the interactive work will be on display through Sunday, September 23, 2018, only. Read more about the project and the lion’s daily poem on Google Arts & Culture.

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signs of poetry

July 24, 2017

Australian poet and artist Richard Tipping makes artworks that incorporate his own poetic texts — cryptic, subversive, humorous, and often public. His “Signed Signs,” including Private Poetry, are road sign lookalikes. Fun.

We’ve mentioned the Seattle Center Poetry Garden before and mention it here again since there is a new exhibit in the peaceful outdoor space. In honor of Festál, which celebrates 20 years of cultural programming with a year-long series of events, artist Jennifer Szabo has entwined the garden’s trees with colored string to create a new physical and metaphorical space. The exhibit will remain on display through August 4, 2017. Szabo is one of five artists creating temporary works for the Poetry Garden between February 2017 and May 2018.

signs of the times

March 19, 2017

Meanwhile, in San Antonio… Word Around Town is a public art project created by Jennifer Khoshbin. She has installed two illuminated signs in the yards of corner houses; the signs display a micropoem on each side. The initial set of poems (uncredited on the signs) comes from poets Naomi Shihab Nye and Jenny Browne, current poet laureate of San Antonio. Khoshbin anticipates that other poets will contribute works in the coming weeks.

Read about Word Around Town in The Rivard Report.
. . . . .
photo by Bonnie Arbittier

on the drawing board

November 10, 2016

Bjarke Ingels Group

The Danish architect Bjarke Ingels and his firm, BIG, were commissioned to design 2WTC, the last of four buildings to border the 9/11 Memorial Park in New York City. The structure is currently completed only to street level, but the drawings can be viewed online.

Of the many options for the building’s main entry, it’s interesting and heartening to see that the designers chose poetry to adorn the huge wall. In what looks (from the rendering) to be illuminated letters, there are three lines from the opening stanza and four lines from the eleventh verse of Walt Whitman’s “Salut au Monde” from Leaves of Grass.

big words

November 4, 2016

Maryland Purple Line

If you are a literary artist who is ready to think big, the Maryland Purple Line has an opportunity for you to consider. The Purple Line is a 16-mile light rail line that will extend from Bethesda in Montgomery County to New Carrollton in Prince George’s County. Now in the final design phase, it is slated for 2022 completion, with 21 stations and 74,000 total daily riders projected by 2040. As part of the process,

“The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) Project Management Consultant (PMC) is seeking literary artists to create a story to be integrated into the design and infrastructure of the future Purple Line transit corridor in suburban Washington, D.C. This is a call to all types of writers who wish to be considered for this opportunity to create a story that captures the essence of the corridor and text that will be incorporated into the stations along the line to be discovered by the ridership. This call will be used to generate a pool of candidates who could be selected to compete for this commission in the future.”

They offer the following definition of literary artist:

The definition of “literary artist” is meant to be broadly inclusive of artists whose work involves written material and is of recognized excellence in style and expression. For the purposes of this call, “literary artist” can include a writer whose work includes fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays, scripts, lyrics, journalism and others whose work meets the criteria below. “Literary artist” can also include artists whose work combines performance and literature (for example, monologue, storytelling, spoken word) to the extent that their material is original and can be documented in writing.

This is an ambitious undertaking, but if you are a literary artist and are prepared to think big (and fast — the entry deadline is December 1, 2016), see the complete details on CallforEntry.org.

blazing poetry

August 9, 2016

Robert Montgomery - I WANT

It has been a while since we mentioned the poet/artist Robert Montgomery. A text artist, Montgomery creates large-scale public poetry — billboards and installations with light and fire. His work is brief, accessible and, as the artist says, “very frank.” Visit Robert Montgomery’s website to see and read more and find updates on Facebook.

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