“Blah blahblahblahblah blahblahblahblah.”
A font is the vehicle of ideological legibility. Politics to Come is a serif font designed by Paul Chan that refines contemporary modes of expression in standard English. Chan's typeface retains the formal qualities of its serif forebears, like Times New Roman and Cambria: each glyph bears delicate finials and fine links to bond each component. Yet the font diverges uniquely in that almost every key-stroke yields the character "blah".
In a nod to
Bruce Nauman's neon fornications of word, form, and idea, Chan's font
pronounces the fissures between what we write and what we mean. To this end,
Chan has sewn a costume for language. His font is a semiotic whirlpool, and you
can write your own book for the Library of Babel, your own contribution to
semantic infinity. Using the font is an art performance on its own; the process
of reading and writing both take on psychosocial significance. When reading a
text set to Politics to Come, the stroke of each letter transforms
the most rending rhetorical styles into the soft drone of a Woolfian interior
monologue. Caustic goes serene in the next empire of political thought. Chan
has found a way to homogenize the dialectic differences of our generation, and
it is perfect for mobilizing movements of change.
Works on any platform that uses fonts. The future is now.
This work is part of the series Files, available exclusively on Badlands’s website. Artists in the 21st century have a multitude of technological options for creating artworks. Using a computer, artists now print paintings, extrude sculptures from plastic compounds, even automate entire performances from a laptop. But whatever the form the work finally takes, it was first and foremost a file—a computer file that the artist created in order to control and direct the devices at her disposal. Artists using technology are all, in this regard, filemakers.
A file is the work before the work. It is the “score” that directs the printer, or projector, or speaker to create the form of expression we experience. And as such, artist files hold immense value and potential in contemporary culture. They are works in their own right that illuminate the sensibilities and ideas of some of the most compelling artists working today.
Each file is created by the artist and is saved as a document derived from the originating software that the artist used to create the file and subsequent work. As an essential element of the final work, the file is unique in how it manifests the “spirit” of what the work ends up becoming.
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