“typoem” by Michael Betancourt

Artist’s note: I am a Cuban-American artist who is better known from my work with digital video and Glitch Art. These poems are something new for me. This visual poem is made from collaged typographic fragments (typoem). These poetics are a product of the pandemic. I began exploring an experience I had while driving behind a truck with a big logo painted on the back—large, gothic capitals—that simply refused to resolve into coherent lettering for me. There were letters there and I could recognize that the curves and uprights were text, but it refused to become coherent as lettering. Making typoetry is my attempt to explore that experience, to modulate the recognition of lettering without the need to always or consistently produce letters, words, or lexical statements.

My typoems have been published as books by Red Fox Press, Post–Asemic Press, Timglaset, and a portfolio was published nOIR:Z. They have also appeared in the vispo magazines Die Lerre Mitte, To Call, aurapoesiavisual, and Utsanga.it. The Blasted Tree press just published a broadsheet in the summer of 2023.

Michael Betancourt is a pioneer of “Glitch Art” who began glitching in 1990. He has made visually seductive movies and statics that bring the visionary tradition into the present, setting the stage for the contemporary mania for digital materiality. His diverse practice is unified by a consistent concern for the poetic potential of the overlooked and neglected images made by errors—both physical and virtual eruptions that are commonly ignored and rejected. By emphasizing these origins, his aesthetics encourages the viewer to find poetic meaning in their everyday life.

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