More Unsolicited Advice

May 16, 2012

Still having fun with these and as a non-directly-art side to it I’m having fun with a newish school of thought in experimental writing called Conceptual Writing; so many people are doing so many different takes on it that it’s hard to describe exactly what it is but it does deliberately borrow “conceptual” from Conceptual Art but feels and looks more like appropriation art, because the main constant is the re-presentation of an extant text regardless of the “literary” value of the original and ranging from unaltered reprints of text as anodyne as weather reports to poetry and prose that works in a complex interaction with source material(s).  Worth checking out is I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women, because though unfortunately as with all anthologies there’s not enough page-space per writer it’s a great read and a great introduction to the variety and compelling nature of what conceptual writing is and does.  (I wrote a review of the book for HTMLGIANT but it’s not up yet; I’ll link soon.)

How my signs relate to that is that originally I was using the “found text” of solicited bits of advice for the signs, and that the images are constraint-based: only fifty spaces for letters per image, like an enormous molasses-slow twitter.  I eventually ditched most of the found advice because it was too long and made up my own advice but it’s still constraint-based and as such is a kind of analog to the writing I’m talking about.  Anyway, more samples below; apologies if any are repeats but I’ve gone back and done some rearrangement of words and letters.  And the top one here comes from altered advice borrowed from conceptual writer and I’ll Drown My Book editor Vanessa Place.

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