SEE LEX IONS
2016. 8.5x11, 24 pages.
from the introduction:
SEE LEX ION (1968/2015) See words ionizing, letters break up, ideas breaking down through cracks, speculations spreading rhizomatically, aural, oral, visual, mental.
On the outskirts & also in the center. Slips from planned to spontaneous, mental to physical, from sight to sound to kinetic perceptions, from visceral to abstract, social to individual. The joins, the margins, the boundaries, the sinovial fluids of growth & inspiration, as well as being centers of blockages, are a continued source of endings and beginnings.
Not all of these strongly feminist works has a title – some do, along with a date, tucked away in tiny print. They aren’t quite arranged in chronological order, though most seem to be from 2014 and 2015. Nevertheless you can trace the artistic gains from 1968 to 2015, the polish, the increasing skill with the computer, the certainty of what I might call voice — or vision, or touch. And of course mind. There’s a lot of design, and the drawings demand close attention, but most of the time resist you, especially if you look with a reader’s eye, or expect “art” (the graphic) to evoke or create the sublime. Copithorne isn’t trying to please, but to help each work achieve and please itself. The drawings redefine reading, just as through a versatile use of the machine they redefine drawing, and they do so through great frugality. The words in “Night” (p. 11; 2014) are not “really” words at all, though they struggle (or the reader does) toward intelligibility; the letters are figures against a layered, indeterminate, and almost monochrome ground. It took quite a few visits for me to notice that “Night” is not just black and white (that’s purple, not grey) in its turbulent explosion. It’s not figurative at all, yet its very activity imitates and even constitutes its subject. “Night”’s unobtrusiveness is quite unlike, yet still like, the drawing on page 18 – which might or might not be called “Awake” as its reds oranges and yellows leap to the eye. Apparently purposeless. And at the same time, as Copithorne says on the final page, purposeful, “gnomic gristle.”
SEE LEX IONS is a wild display of words and lettered ingredients that unravel our thinking about how we read and see. Copithorne is a master at creating and finessing alphabetic happenstance. It is a book of words placed alongside exploded fragments and so a visual party ensues. Look for how shapes, sounds, ideas and emotions coalesce on every page. Copithorne is a treasure of possibilities.
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