In Protracted Type, Nico Vassilakis provides us with a stunning and extensive survey of the impressive variety of his visual and conceptual work with language over the past several years. The book is punctuated with thoughtful statements about the nature of creating that work, of “finding your aleatoric self among the pencils”; i.e., coming to grips with the paradox of working subconsciously with language which is generally experienced as a conscious medium. In one of his statements he describes his creative process as a kind of disassociation: “I let my brain do the thinking. I watch it think for me…it makes the associations…maybe my brain thinks I’m staring and is piecing the puzzle together for me.” This is an excellent description of the creative process at its best. Vassilakis has explored the possibilities of visual poetry from the outer limits of the purely letteral to the purely graphic, and the results are consistently stimulating and resonant: from enlarged and manipulated photos of typewriter keys and printed letters, to collaged cut-ups, to glyphic drawings, to concrete poetry, to photocopier artifacts, Vassilakis has given us a tour-de-force of styles and approaches. This is an essential work, and would be a bargain at three times the price.
John M. Bennett
the formula states, “a picture equals a thousand words.” what, then, is the formula when the image is itself language? and, that the language ranges from its initial formation slowly congealing afloat in the willful stage of conscious intent to its full and robust compositional form as a typographic-scape on a page?
to approach this collection, think first of a landscape artist’s precise use of topographic perspective at the marco level and the same artist as a still life painter at the micro level rendering the sensual curve of an apple in a tree within the macro-scape. then, transfer your trained eye and esthetic process onto and into vassilakis’ typographic-scapes and typographic-stills to wander with delight and wonder within one of the most comprehensive, serious and playful overviews and inner views of type and font with accents by hand to date.
A tour de force through visual poetry, Protracted Type is a place where, according to the author, "letters are vulnerable and cant always stand on their own." Within, our thoughts become interlaced with Vassilakis's perception of visual poetry from minimal to maximal with letters ranging from typewriter and digital through handwritten, shorthand, and altered text, text sometimes so overlayed as to become asemic. This is a thoroughly enjoyable and beautiful book.
It’s drizzling on Admiral Way. Cigarette smoke trailing through his black hair, the Captain stands stock-still at the window, his sea legs steady, framed by the world he’s framing. He sees this series of black and white visual poems–and these poems are seen, composed, more than they are written–particulates, letters, phrases, fields of words before and after they construct their meaning, some sharp, some fuzzy, some slipping over the edge. At the center point of the glass, where inside and outside are indivisible, these poems fuse, the Captain’s eyes seizing–seized by–the world he perceives. At the very instant of our dissembling, he nods, our language comes together.
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Xerolage 43—Grapyrus by Matina L. Stamatakis
Stamatakis has "arrived" even if the rest of the world has been too slow to
realize it. Her newest "art/non" textscape is a veritable plum pudding of
ruthless extravagance, a cryptological scherzo written in "sanscript", so to
speak. Teasing out texture from text, this most recent offering from the
Xerolage series has a haunting aspect that unites papyri and the phantom
after-effects of words in constant stochastic exile. In essence, Stamatakis
"writes" perpetually double, the reflection upon a surface of "lin/geist"
that judders with an ekphrastic motion of the cinematic or photographic
—Kane X. Faucher
Tombstones and footprints,
prehistoric imperial Chinese silk distressed and preserved in airtight tombs,
Sapphic papyrus scrolls used as winding sheets for the human dead: languaged
shapes (letters, glyphs, cuneiform, runes) layer each other on
multidimensional, neonic, poly-textural surfaces that glow through the eras,
aeons and ages. Evocative of sound, syntax and melismatic intuition,
these works are endlessly resonant through time, space, and mind,
expanding them all.
In Matina Stamatakis'
Grapyrus, an utterly fresh light unveils antiquities. Under the cold glare of
the photocopier's bulb new thoughts are seared onto the richly textured
venerability of the page. Here is a vibrantly dark art that does not merely
mimic or ape antediluvian roots, but consciously honors and revises
them, relentlessly refreshing deep-seeded threads of thought.
Flourishing gestures of contemporary graffiti no longer deface or elide,
but honor; the visually brutalizing process of Xeroxing
accentuates, antiques. Here papyrus and spray
paint conspire to create a Rosetta stone for the hermetic
communiqués scribbled on bathroom walls. The "reader" wanders through
a nonexistent city, inexplicably entranced by the tattered posters pasted
to crumbling edifices, and couldn't be happier to be so
primary investigation of Xerolage is how collage technique of 20th century
art, typography, computer graphics, visual & concrete poetry movements
& the art of the copier have been combined. Each issue is devoted to the
work of one artist.
24 pages, 8.5 x 11, $6 includes
postage Subscriptions: 4 issues/$20
XEXOXIAL EDITIONS 10375 Cty
Hway Alphabet La Farge WI 54639