In 2016, I picked up a collection of writing and art by the dadaist, Elsa Von Freytag-Lorenhaven, also known as the Baroness.* I pored over this book, laughing at the way she took William Carlos Williams to task (old observations minted wisdom). She was the ultimate beat/punk artist, scoffing at bourgeois society. Reading her poems, I thought to myself—they are like ecliptic telegrams to the world. At the time I was collecting poetic material from my journals, arranging, rearranging and collaging in news from the days before and around. Meanwhile I felt desperate—as did many others—about the political situation unfolding in the country. Trump had not yet been elected, but the hate on mainstream media was shocking. Then he won the election—how horrifying. Greed, wealth, ignorance and hate arm-in-arm. While I’m nowhere near as anti-establishment or as abrasive as the Baroness, I did pick up on her rhythms and started translating my poems into ecliptic digital messages that I called “digigrams”.
* Body Sweats: The Uncensored Writings of Elsa Von Freytag-Loringhoven. Edited by Irene Gammel and Suzanne Zelazo, MIT Press, 2011.