Isabel Lederman

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Quick Facts
Los Angeles
Birth year
Lives in
Works in
University of the Arts Philadelphia, 2015, MFA
University of California Santa Cruz, 2012, BA

My artistic concerns constantly question what is a book, how does one read, and how does one retain information. I am a poet and language is my material. My work examines language within a visual art practice. My artistic process is a meditation on poetry, integrating language, time and memory into visual forms of reading. Though language is never fully transparent, my work investigates how poetry can approximate consciousness by evoking the disappearance and re-emergence of memory. My poetry shifts between genres, using realistic, suggestive and technical language to create poems about the act of thinking. The use of poetry in my artwork has led me to my explorations of how we experience reading artists’ books and broadsides. Digital technology is changing the ways in which we read and reflect upon information. I am interested in the changes of how we read due to the amount of text that is accessed on computer screens and mobile devices. The Internet allows language to be easily deleted, challenging the attention of readership. A gallery setting and a private encounter of a poetry chapbook require certain expectations due to already preconceived notions of prior experience. My work challenges the preconceived notions of what is a book as well as how does one create a visual experience of reading in a gallery setting. I want to challenge readers and viewers by bringing text to the forefront as both material and process. Writing techniques that I experiment with are: détournement, semiotic hypertext, and critical distraction. My interest in the active role of a reader has also informed the way in which I utilize visual imagery in my work. The projections of digital poems in my installations employs semiotic hypertext and rhythm as a way to experience a visual reading of text in a virtual field. The text is typed out and then dissolves leaving a mark on the screen while the next line appears. Similar to the way in which we scroll through text on a computer screen, the digital poems emphasizes the loss of language and how digital technology is changing the way in which we display and reflect upon language.

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