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Open “On Lionel Kearns” by Jim Andrews
In this piece, Jim Andrews curates and meditates on a selection of proto-digital poems by Lionel Kearns from the 1960s to the present. Heavily influenced by McLuhan, Kearns intuited that “if one messes around enough with the physical form of language (either spoken or written), eventually you get to the point where it (the language) drops its load of conventional reference” and created works of visual and sound poetry “right on that edge, where language begins to work into either music or visual art.”
On Lionel Kearns contains Kearns’ visual poems, short films, conventional poems, and even a hypertext poem, most of which are creatively intervened with by Andrews by “messing with their physical form” as images and transforming them into malleable, remixable, transformable digital objects.
Kearns represented the digital in analog forms. Andrews represents Kearns’ analog work in digital media. How we go on.
Featured in New Media Writing Prize 2010, The Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 1.