XraysMonaLisa was a writing project I started in 1995. Its roots date back to wordprocessing1 experiments around 1990/91, a desire to have an monolithic, abstract, non-linear and incremental approach to writing, where I could splash text-particles like Jackson Pollock, continuously revise a la Willem deKooning, and work within a seamless-void (bounded only by the margins of the medium) as per Mark Rothko. My fascination with punctuation and other minor particles of language had a lot to do with all of this.
My website was to showcase one end-product of this work; those versions have yet to (re)materialize online.
I don’t know if Marinetti’s manifesto A Technical Manifesto of Futurist Literature had an influence on this project, but I wouldn’t discount it. Particularly since I had read a copy of “Futuris Manifestos” at least once during 92-95. Other fragments of futurist manifestos have popped up in my notebooks out of the past; I enjoyed reading about the Futurist, Dadaist and Surrealists during the gestation phases of this project. Their non-linear approach to language remains liberating, and has surely inspired part of the soul of this project both directly and indirectly.
If Rothko was an influence, how much so was Robert Motherwell, with his Dada Painters and Poets anthology (which, shamefully, I have never read)? There must be some sideways influences on others who more directly interfered with my mind. I’ve been aware of Franz Kline’s use of yellow pages for test scraps, something I emulated in my own abortive painted scribblings. And there is that grid, again, a ground-round that is both ignored and plotted against, abused and used, overlooked yet continuously [per|re]spected.
tyranny of the grid?
There is something ironic in my goal of flinging words and letters to liberate them from the tyranny of the narrative line having an end-game of a rigid grid of punctuation.
From 1992-1996 I filled notebooks nigh-obsessivly - the notebooking was ironically inspired by this digital project, in the absence of a computer. But in that absence I found plenty -- grid-texts in receipts, the typewritten word (and letters, and punctuation, of course) and others.
ATM and other receipts, for instance
1 Word Perfect 5.1 for DOS FTW!!! (↑)
- XraysMonaList Feb 1998 - WARNING: 6MB pdf file that has a lot of duplicated pages.
- Programming.TextMunger - as part of this programming project, I am trying to analyze the hermetic processes used in composing XRML
This is a portion of Reference.