This festive suite of 10 Anipoemas extends the range of Uribe’s talent to imbue letters with character, this time inhabiting different roles in a circus. Set up as a sequence that begins and ends (just follow the links) with a grand parade, these poems turn the alphabet into jugglers, trapeze artists, equilibrium acts, clowns, animals, and more. Who else would’ve had so much fun with the idea that the only difference between a 1 and an i was a diacritical dot?
With this curious little poem, Ana María Uribe uses a simple modification of a row of letter H— extending the arms and legs of the letter H into ascenders and descenders (respectively)— to imbue them with life. The music and German-like orders barked at these letters make them seem like soldiers marching, exercising, and performing a drill all over the window space. There is tension between the individuality of each letter color and the sameness of each letter’s shape and motion, which that breaks down in the image above as the voice barking orders becomes increasingly frantic. Perhaps these letters aren’t just arms and legs and do have a head on their shoulders, after all.
These three short poems about desire distinguish themselves from her “Anipoemas” by incorporating sound and featuring more fluid animations facilitated by Flash. There is a sense of humor to these poems, taking surprising turns in how one imagines they might develop. Like her previous work, her letters are full of character: the sinuous, sexy, teasing letter s encounters some hungry vowels, devours some of her own, and dances a tango with the stiff serifed i (who can still dip the s in an italic flourish). Watch and listen to these poems and reflect upon what they have to say about desire, particularly in the realization we must reach at the end of the poem.
The late Argentinian poet Ana María Uribe (1944-2004) wrote visual poetry from the 1960s with a keen typographical eye that imbued letters with character. Her “Typoemas” are very much in the Concrete poetry tradition imbuing the typed word on the page with “verbivocovisual” energy. Her “Anipoemas” lean more towards a Lettriste tradition, imbuing statuesque letters with personification through motion. Her tools were very basic: sequencing typographic images into animated GIFs to create simple animations that breathed life into letters.