CARTOUCHE! BY DYLAN KING & MICHELLE MOLONEY KING

I love art, abstract, conceptual…and the poetry that is related to it. My little one oftens sits with me in my studio while I prep for an art exhibition or poetry submission or watches as I layout a book for publishing. And so I was expecting him to ask to be included, Beir Bua Press has used some of his drawings/asemic mark making for the background of covers…but I was not expecting him to straight-out demand his own name on the cover. And so I complied…please welcome Cartouche! The name was inspired by a conversation about cover design with Harry Gilonis, so thank you very much, Harry!

Cartouche definationThe In Egyptian hieroglyphs, a cartouche is an oval with a line at one end tangent to the oval, indicating that the text enclosed is a royal name. And how perfect is that for two Kings!

Praise for the Work

“Beginning in 1972 the British-born artist Harold Cohen began developing AARON, a computer programme that was designed to produce art autonomously. AARON, programmed with a basic set of rules and forms, began to create abstract drawings that became increasingly complex throughout the 1970’s. Although seemingly without “mind”, AARON began to develop an expressive language of abstract image. In Cartouche!, poet and artist Michelle Moloney King innovates on Cohen’s basic concept by responding to the abstract visual poems created by an organic computer with pristine genetic programming, in this case the mind of her four-year-old son, Dylan. Recognising that a child’s drawings and keyboard smatterings are expressions from the mindkitty of primitive ancestral consciousness, Michelle Moloney King answers them through surrealist automatic poems. The result is a dialogue that initiates a primal ekphrastic poetics, represents a new asemic conversation – shows us how to learn from the childmind, how to speak, how to think anew.”

– John W. Sexton

Preview

Introduction

A collaboration between a mother and son, this all started during the first lockdown, poetry became my escape from the strange new world. And an outlet from cooking, cleaning, playing. And now, my toddler is four and copies me. He writes concrete poems, his scribbles asemic poems. My poems in this collection are ekphrastic poems, I play with meaning, I am obsessed with verbs and moving through a landscape I am still catching up to understand but I am always hopeful.

The invisible skills of critical thinking and inference. The brain doesn’t like that space between familiar and strange; it itches, rumbles, it forges new connections, and demands the brain work to expand via critical thinking and inference to a new understanding. Lazy brain! Cave man brain!  Brain likes to predict within its comfort zone but experimental poetry, like visual poetry, can encourage critical thinking and inference, that provocation – that’s art! 

Writing that is mark-making acts as a pictorial element representing an external object while also inferring meaning.  The work is linguistic and at the same time uses visual signifiers which generates confusion about the prevalent symbol system used. The necessary method of understanding is consequently rendered uncertain: are these works to be viewed like a picture, or decoded from left to right, top to bottom? Is this code? What is the semantic statement of the text? 

The cover is a copper weaving I made with copper, cotton and plastic yarn. What I love about book cover design is that anytime I play with art making I document my process as if a sociologist or ethnoautobiography and I then use pictures at each stage for visual poems (to be then used as covers!) This tapestry was left to tarnish for 200 hundred years ( as I am interested in creating a new art history for a colonised Ireland I love the concept that I made this art a fado fado and someone in 2022 dug it up from the bog. My rusting process is a chemical process but the intention of an alternative history of indigenous tapestry art is still there) I also removed the plastic yarn as the yellow was too much and then added Irish wool. See here for finished look here. And details on our book here – Beir Bua Press.

Preview

Introduction

A collaboration between a mother and son, this all started during the first lockdown, poetry became my escape from the strange new world. And an outlet from cooking, cleaning, playing. And now, my toddler is four and copies me. He writes concrete poems, his scribbles asemic poems. My poems in this collection are ekphrastic poems, I play with meaning, I am obsessed with verbs and moving through a landscape I am still catching up to understand but I am always hopeful.

The invisible skills of critical thinking and inference. The brain doesn’t like that space between familiar and strange; it itches, rumbles, it forges new connections, and demands the brain work to expand via critical thinking and inference to a new understanding. Lazy brain! Cave man brain!  Brain likes to predict within its comfort zone but experimental poetry, like visual poetry, can encourage critical thinking and inference, that provocation – that’s art! 

Writing that is mark-making acts as a pictorial element representing an external object while also inferring meaning.  The work is linguistic and at the same time uses visual signifiers which generates confusion about the prevalent symbol system used. The necessary method of understanding is consequently rendered uncertain: are these works to be viewed like a picture, or decoded from left to right, top to bottom? Is this code? What is the semantic statement of the text? 

The Fire of Poetics

The red-eyed tree frog
Fixing at linguistic Senna
As a matrix matting or
Lingual laxative their
Poet made from the dried pods of an interpreting tropical tree.
That is the wildfire of
Thrumming thoughts
Which a tigress sentence can permeate to slow the pouncing paws and reveal
The semantic of self.