Nadezhda Kalechenkova WANDERLUST If I had no need of money, I’d go on a road trip. Take a car, get on the road and just keep rolling the wheels until the engine gave up on me and my crazy flight and overheated and refused to go a mile more. And while it was cooling, I’d get out and look around and see something I’d never seen before, something that perhaps no one had paid attention to until that moment, and that little something – a carsick child catching his breath by the roadside while his mom pats his back, or a plant growing dangerously close to the blacktop, or an opening in the bushes that could be the beginning of a forest path, its destination unknown – that little detail would have its own story where there used to be nothing. It would be something that no one I knew had ever noticed or paid any attention to. And I would think, How far can one human being go? How many miles will pass me by before my car breaks down and my body rebels and my mind collapses on me? How soon will the road run out and there are no discoveries left to make, just the same old loop? The thing about roads is, most of them are interconnected. It’s a network, not unlike the Internet, and you can go to the same place in a number of ways, all of them different. In a way, the road itself never really ends – the only thing that does is you, and the roads not yet travelled. The question, then, is What ends first? And maybe, How soon should I give up? Neither are questions I have answers for.
Natalia Schipakina Enter aBlast off
This work is based on the lyrics of the songs written by Sergio Pizzorno, one of the frontmen of aBritish band Kasabian. The name is what one of the band’s singles Velociraptor (2012) starts with. The songs were picked randomly, from all the six albums the band released. The focus was on the expressiveness of the word combinations in lyrics, the rhythm, the alliterations in words used. Once the word combinations were picked, they were organized in a text which was bigger than the space it was placed so that the reader doesn’t see some words and expressions. It is not evident whether the large or small parts are emitted so that the text visually seems infinite on the sides. At the same time it ends with one word on the last line which questions its size.
The last couple of formal visual features of the text that draw attention of the viewer and reader is connected with the band’s work on their album designs. Kasabian always contributed their vision greatly on the artwork of each of their album even if the design was done by artists they invited. The concept of an artwork aimed to broadcast the main ideas of the songs and what the band wanted to say by the record.
In Blast Off the visual features of two last albums were used: the color of the background space and the font Helvetica. These two elements were explained by Kasabian’s Art director Aitor Throup as very simple, laconic, although revealing things. The font was used in the 48:13 album as something minimalistic, but hence direct as the music and the title of the record (48:13 is a duration of the songs on the album) themselves.
The color was something from 48:13 and Kasabian’s sixth and latest album, For Crying Out Loud. 48:13 looked as simple as possible: the numbers were put in Helvetica on a neon-pink background. That looked rebellious and memorable: “Pink is the antithesis in color standards” – said Aitor Throup describing the artwork. However, in the design for the last album’s booklet, Throup used pink color again for lyrics page, but this time it was a pastel pink, without any notions of kitsch or dare. This color was used in the Blast Off as a signification of the connection of the two artwork concepts and the homage at the same time.
Going back to the text of the work, it places some questions before the reader: what the sizes of the text are, how many words are unseen and whether they are adding some new context to the other expressions readable, if there is a narrative to it and whether those chosen word combinations are revealing something about the author or about the band’s work. The answer to the last one is connected with the method of making the text of the piece presented. Citation of the expressions from the lyrics is taking them out of the context of each song while creating a new kind of narrative or, at least, expressiveness. This juxtaposition of the word combinations may seem random and probably, it’s the best approach to see them, but anyway it comprises the original text which leaves the music behind completely. That brings the text some of its original features – to verbalize ideas and to be read, and it’s created by breaking the its connection with music. caption
Ekaterina Poliakova Ode to Happy Life The concrete poem is structured as a buiding in the dark. It is divided into small bits of yellowish. In their structure and color, these parts form windows, and as for their meaning, each of them presents an activity taking place in a window. The poem itself has a linear structure, and the whole building can be easily read as a normal text (from top left to bottom right). The cohesion is achieved by the following means: every first word of a following window is the last word of the previous window. For example, in the lines “ordering pizza for / dinner together with / family laughing at” the words “dinner” and “family” in a way belong to two windows at the same time. Thus, while each part defines a separate action taking place in a separate room, they are closely connected and together form an ode to the happy life. The ending of the poem, however, breaks the structure of the building: “making happy the / one who’s not” are the last windows which are followed by the final word “here” at the very bottom. This “here” is the artist, standing alone in the dark street and wishing for a happy life with cuddles, family jokes, a dog, and a pizza.