My friend Austin Kleon has put together a panel for next year’s SXSW Interactive about the relationship between words, pictures, and humor. Sound familiar? The title is Your Caption Here: How To Manipulate Images Without Photoshop, and the panel is full of talented folks: Kleon, who recently published Newspaper Blackout; Jessica Hagy, of Indexed; Maris Kreizman, of Slaughterhouse 90210; Ross Nover, of The System; and myself. It should be great, because each of the panelists’ work comes from a slightly different angle, but each is wonderful in it’s own right. You can vote for the panel here, on the SXSW Panel Picker site. Whether you’ll be at SXSW 2011 or not, please vote!
Tag Archives: Kleon
A couple of years ago, while staring at my magic glow screen, I stumbled upon a cartoonist who was creating experimental poetry by attacking a page of the New York Times with a Sharpie and blacking out all but a few choice words. Little did I know that this magic glow screen was actually called the “internet,” and that this multitalented “writer who draws” would soon be launching an entire book of these winsome poems, created by subtraction rather than addition.
Meet Austin Kleon, whose Newspaper Blackout was published this month by Harper Perennial. The technique of “finding” a hidden text within a text is not new, as Austin will tell you, but his approach is. He has liberated it from the left-field manifestos and postmodern posturing which have usually accompanied it, and has created work which is direct and accessible. These poems are as sweet, poignant, evocative, and funny as anything written by the “traditional” method, and definitely worth reading. One might even find them addictive. At Austin’s prodding I decided to try one of my own, and then I had the pleasure of talking to him about his book. Here’s some of the back-and-forth:
DD: Michelangelo reportedly said that “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” What made you first discover the blackout poem?
AK: A nasty case of writer’s block. I was twenty-two, right out of undergrad, trying desperately to write short stories. (Short stories are what they teach you to write in college, and so I tried to write them.) I’d sit in front of the computer screen, and the Microsoft Word cursor would just blink and blink and blink. Like it was taunting me.
One day, I looked over at our recycle bin stacked full of newspapers, and I thought, I might not have any words, but right there next to me are millions of them. Read full interview