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Text Off the Page

Text that appears in places other than on a piece of paper basically makes me wet my pants.  Maybe it’s because I look at paper all day long, so then when I find people writing on un-paper, or un-screen, to limit it even more, my eyeballs start salivating at the thought of a new surface.

Karen Reimer was one of the first people I came across, a number of years ago, who was involved with text on fabric.

Here’s a receipt she embroidered:

She embroidered lots of awesome found objects:  a torn open Equal packet, a house blueprint, a page of a newspaper.

Then I think she got tired of being the person who embroidered things that normally appeared on paper and started making stuff like this:

This stuff felt exciting because it seemed destructive, a little more savage, less refined.

But now she’s quilting prime numbers:

I like numbers, too, but I think I need a new obsession.

Does anyone else have this penchant?  On what other surfaces do you have a hankering to see text?

There’s of course this:

Joseph Kosuth
Joseph Kosuth

and this:

Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

What else? Why?

11 thoughts on “Text Off the Page

  1. that embroidered receipt is awesome. we still used those kind of receipts at the store i run.

    one text not on paper trend i’m glad to see disappearing is the “words on rocks” thing. that was really cheesy. gawd i hope that wasn’t just this horrible place where i live… i just had this frightening thought that the rest of the world was not tainted by these things. little pebbles with words like “breathe” painted on them.

    i’ve always liked the idea of writing things on bodies.

  2. You run a children’s bookstore, right? I’ve been selling children’s books for 4 years. Well, now I also sell adult books, but kids books are one of my specialties in the store. What’s your store called?

    Oh, those rocks! I HATE those rocks. I remember one year, for my mom’s birthday, all she wanted was a black flat rock that was engraved, “CREATE.” ugh.

    Yeah, there’s that Shelley Jackson project, Skin, where she’s tattooed 2095 people with a single word of a story. Do you know others?

    1. Skin is an incredible project. Someone should do it again, but this time it should be a scarification project.

      I love Shelly Jackson’s work. Was lucky to hear read and meet her at the &Now Conference.

  3. yeah, we’re called Tree House Books, a small little joint that my mother-in-law owns. it’s been around for 31 years, but may be on its last legs.

    those rocks are like those horrible bumper stickers that try to be life-affirming.

    my wife and i considered applying for Skin… i know there was some photographer who did nude portraits with text written on the bodies… and there have been a few magazine covers where they’ve done something similar.

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