Object 1: Blackout found poem

June 1, 2021

Object 1: Blackout found poem

This poem is part of Austin Kleon’s collection of poems, blacking out words where exposed words form a “found” text different from the original (Kleon, 2021). This object is evidenced in the real world as it’s a news article, used to provide information of the real world manipulated into a poem, used to express opinions of the world.

This object enriches this exhibition as from the perspective of Kleon, it creates a limited universe of words which he must abide by, limiting it to interpretation. In a normal poem, the poet can choose from the entire English language to incorporate his own concepts, deeming it personal expression. Further limiting the expression of his creativity, Kleon erases the thought of the original author. Restricting his word choice and using pre-existing text to convey his poem leads us to question whether the content presented is the poet’s own intuition or his interpretation of random words.

This object has been included in this exhibition as the chosen approach to the poem allows for more interpretation of creative knowledge. The author blackens out words which he deems less important, highlighting crucial concepts in a blunt manner. Rather than guiding us through his perspective, we are encouraged to push the boundaries of meaning. Like the creativity of art which is confined to our imagination, the blackened words provide finite words for us to explore. Forcing us to draw parallels from the few related words, the placement of the exposed words means we try to piece together the original article. The randomness and puzzling nature invites us to be more curious of what’s left out, leaving a greater impression. In a way, we as readers feel like we’ve been manipulated, allowing further interpretation to solve the mystery.

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