Sunday, March 06, 2005

Unavoidable Messages

Somewhere on the non-Long-Island part of Long Island (that is, in one of the boroughs of New York City--and probably always in Queens), I've seen these message boxes above the flow of traffic when they are sending out strings of almost meaningless text ("test text," I presume). Somewhere on such a stretch of road, Roy Arenella caught this message:

Roy Arenella, "Words over All, as Beautiful as the Sky"
(5 Feb 2005)

What we might learn from it is that clear patterns may themselves be meaningless. But Roy thinks of Walt Whitman comparing the beauty of language (words) to the beauty of the clear sky. Roy explains himself:

Though the sky in this picture is more rainy than beautiful, Whitman's message here is unclouded. Henri Michaux, under another sky, writes: "The handcuffs of words are on for good. They are everywhere: Language forming, limiting, grouping. Establishing a society, a nation, locking it up. Everything placed under arrest, each word with its own way of appropriating the world."

This photocard from Roy is his 48th mailing of the year, and he has appropriately (or appropriatingly) rubberstamped within the boundaries of his pseudo-cancellation mark a couple of small clouds.

un violon d'ingres

No comments: