The Visual Poetry of Anatol Knotek
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by Maru Pabón
Anatol Knotek is a Viennese visual poet and artist who explores the tangibility of language in fascinating ways. In his pieces, a word or phrase is performed by the arrangement of its constituting characters, or by how the language is physically framed. As letters fall, bleed, pixelate, or burst into flames, the visual and the textual seem to fight for the right to create meaning. But, as Knotek seems well aware, meaning is fluid and cannot be pinned down by either of these mediums. The encounter of word with image is much more interesting, since it opens up complex possibilities for conceptualization.
Knotek also shares a concern with the digital; many of his pieces have become works of GIF art in which language is erased or animated through the movement of multiple frames.