Castro’s Pixel Party – Informative Visual Poetics

Over 70 images line the left-hand side of E.M. de Melo e Castro’s Algorritmos page in the Digital PO.EX file library. These images of digital poetry use visual space to convey emotion, experience, and pain through a digital medium.

To me, the Algorritmos look like kinetic typography frozen in time: a still shot. Titled “insigno panoramic (39),” this .jpg boasts thick dark lines criss-crossing and intersecting and perpendiculars over a series of text. Others, such as “[Dropwise] (43)” or “[Shadow] (46)” use circular shading strokes to convey their message.

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The images seem to grow more wild and abstract as I move through the catalog. Many of the .jpgs in the latter series look like black & white marbled paper; and beyond that the images take on characteristics of mathematical proofs.

What is most alluring is the use of pixels in place of text. de Melo a Castro “used image editor software” which means his visual poetry is archived as .jpg’s as opposed to text files. Álvaro Seiça writes, “The infopoems’ visual animations acknowledge pixel as the primary unit of meaning, in the perspective of an infopoetic language.”

Focusing on the pixel as the medium for exchange of art allows for the continuous creation and destruction of poetic intent. By its very nature, virtual images are as fleeting or as constant as its creator or its medium can withstand. It is important to note here, too, that I was unable to download the images hosted by po-ex.net. Each .jpg is received as a transparent .gif meaning that, in transferring the work, pixels are lost.

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