The spread of printing, the Semiotics of Newspapers, Walter Benjamin, Dada and politics

1st June 2015:

During the end of May and the beginning of June I realised that the printing bug had spread.

People get hooked on it, from the simple foam impressions to linocut and collograph. I thought about the spread of the printing activity, the spread of printed word, and the way the internet is being seen as a similar phenomenon.

I was thinking about the images that were printed and the images printed in the newspapers I was receiving.

As I  have mentioned in earlier posts, I had requested papers from friends and colleagues who lived abroad or were travelling as well as buying UK editions of international papers.

My colleagues from MAFAD have been especially helpful with an exchange system in place… ‘Banbury Cakes’ a traditional delicacy in exchange for newspapers.

Jason has already had his

On 15 Jun 2015, at 05:14, Jason M  wrote:
Thank you for the cakes, Hwang postcard and cheque,Rhiannon!

It might have taken a while but the sheer suspense made it all worth while!

Hope all is Hunky Dory in Banbury


People were going on holiday, pilots were sending me papers from the planes they were flying. I was buying them compulsively when I saw any.

The images differ from country to country, in terms of layout, ( Landscape/ portrait, colour ( US and UK and Mexico),drawn ( China Today) and content ( very different in the Middle East from Europe, US and China)

Thinking about printing text and image, layout and the semiotics involved

I’ve just found this: Semiotics of Newspapers which will be interesting reading.

I should insert some images from newspapers here

I’d also been thinking about Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction and what Benjamin says about Dadaism, anti-art, non-marketability, capitalism and consumerism and participation. Also about the influence of anti-war and Dada. and the use of newspaper cut-ups e.g.

Tristan Tzara’s The Recipe for a Poem.  

How to Make a Dadaist Poem
(method of Tristan Tzara)
To make a Dadaist poem:

Take a newspaper.
Take a pair of scissors.
Choose an article as long as you are planning to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Then cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them in a bag.
Shake it gently.
Then take out the scraps one after the other in the order in which they left the bag.
Copy conscientiously.
The poem will be like you.
And here are you a writer, infinitely original and endowed with a sensibility that is charming though beyond the understanding of the vulgar.
–Tristan Tzara

I had started to think this maybe something that I could adapt for an event at the Reading Room.

Referencing Dada but not overtly. About how Dadaism was relevant to theReading Room , its geographical location and the contemporary political context. 

 I was thinking too about Benjamin’s thoughts on film from the earlier post of my notes.

“Given the circumstances, the film industry has every interest in arousing the participation of the masses by means of illusionary presentations and suggestive speculations.”

‘The fact that the work of art can now be reproduced by technological means alters the relationship of the Masses to art’

‘That is what constitutes their hidden political significance. They already call for a specific type of reception. Free-floating contemplation is no longer an appropriate reaction here. They unsettle the viewer: he feels obliged to find a specific way of approaching them.’

‘different techniques to slow motion and closer “bring out wholly new structural formations” slow motion gliding, floating, supernatural’

(Andre Breton says that the main value of a work of art is its capacity to reflect the future.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s