[FISEA’93] Artist Statement: Eduardo Kac — Adhuc

Artist Statement

My work can be understood in the context of language art and visual poetry, two genres that explore the fusion of word and image. I create what I call “holographic poems,” or “holopoems,” which are essentially computer holograms that address language both as material and subject matter.

I try to create texts which can only signify upon the active perceptual and cognitive engagement of the reader or viewer. This ultimately means that each reader “writes” his or her own texts as he or she looks at the piece. My holopoems don’t rest quietly on the surface. When the viewer starts to look for words and their links, the texts will transform themselves, move in three-dimensional space, change in color and meaning, coalesce and disappear. This viewer-activated choreography is as much a part of the signifying process as the transforming verbal and visual elements themselves.

The temporal and rhythmic structure of my texts play an important role in creating this tension between visual language and verbal images. Most of my pieces deal with time as non-linear (i.e., discontinuous) and reversible (i.e., flowing in both directions), in such a way that the viewer/reader can move up or down, back and forth, from left to right, at any speed, and still be able to establish associations between words present in the ephemeral perceptual field.

The use of computers and holography reflects my desire to create experimental texts that move language, and more specifically, written language, beyond the linearity and rigidity that characterize its printed form. I never adapt existing texts to holography. I try to inves-tigate the possibility of creating works that emerge from a genuine holographic syntax.

  • Eduardo Kac, Artist and writer, Chicago, USA