My internet friend and accomplished visual poet/artist, Satu Kaikkonen, has started a new blog, "Time for a Vispo," where she offers weekly challenges (prompts) for visual poetry (a.k.a. "vispo"). Her inaugural prompt is simply a bar code.
A happy coincidence, that. I've long been fascinated by bar codes. One of my first performance art pieces, "Body Sonnet," worked heavily with the image of the bar code and the concept of scanning information. More recently, I have been active in (as adviser and contributor) a local artists collective called "The Bureau of Artistic Reasources Corporation," or "BAR Corp" for short. The bar code is their/our logo and has made frequent appearances in our now defunct visual poetry project for the comics page of a local newspaper. Below is one of Joe Hassert's contributions to that project:
So, in addition to the already quite strong connection I feel to Satu's work, this synchronicity of image seems charged to me. I pursue my visual art intuitively and avocationally, drawn to it with the love at the root of the word "amateur." I sometimes wonder what it is all for, though. I enjoy it. I am an avid believer in the DIY aesthetic, and I know my psyche needs constant outlets for creative expression. But I sometimes forget to enjoy the journey and get hung up on the destination.
And then something like this happens: A friend I know only through virtual connection and social networking offers an opening move in a game of artists and, in doing so, calls forth a familiar and personally meaningful symbol. I don't know where this is going. I probably can't know. But I deeply, deeply appreciate signs like this along the way that I am on the right (or at least a very productive) path.