by Lindsey Beetem ’13
This Thursday (February 28th) at 5:00 PM in the President’s Room of Doane Library, visiting artist Johanna Drucker will present on the digital humanities projects of UCLA as part of Denison’s Franklin Fund Lecture Series. Drucker will also offer a gallery talk on Friday (March 1st) at 1:30 PM at Denison Museum to discuss the current exhibition “Druckworks: 40 Years of Books and Projects by Johanna Drucker”.
Being the featured artist of the Museum’s exhibition this semester, these events provide an opportunity to not only meet Drucker, but to learn about some of the themes that appear in her works, such as the relationship between digital and print media. I believe this to be a reoccurring idea with some of the prints we have on display here at the Museum. While many of the books and images are created by hand, her work “Stochastic Poetics” combines both print and digital mediums by being constructed digitally (instead of by hand) and then printed into a physical copy. The various typed letters cascade and interweave across the pages, allowing the words and phrases to haphazardly come together to create some kind of meaning (or perhaps suggesting that we can create meaning out of anything if we wish to find it). I believe the beauty of this piece is enhanced by the use of the digital text; the typed letters suggest uniformity and consistency, but Drucker’s varied and erratic placement of the text provides a contrast to these conventions by displaying the creative possibility of the digital-written word.
This interplay between digital and print media is an important discussion when considering our increased use and reference of the virtual world and Drucker’s visit is sure to lead an interesting reflection on this theme. While you can see excerpts of “Stochastic Poetics” at the Museum, the full text is also available online in its original digital form (http://www.johannadrucker.com/). Be sure to make the lecture and gallery talk with Johanna Drucker this Thursday and Friday!
Johanna Drucker’s visit is co-sponsored by Denison Museum, Denison Libraries, and Creativity & Courage: Denison’s 2012-13 Spectrum Series.
For more information regarding the Museum’s upcoming programs visit http://denisonmuseum.org/programs/