heARTbeat: Annie Voight Cuts Words From Paper

ColumnPoets don’t draw. They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up again, but differently. -Jean Cocteau

Oakland, California artist, Annie Voight says she watches too much TV, but from her work, one could assume she is indeed, a reader. Her letters cut from paper belie her love of the written word.

She laments the loss of tangible handwriting:

Handwritten records are fragments of individual histories. In the penmanship, word choice, and spelling the author is often revealed in spite of him/herself. A letter is physical confirmation of who we were at the moment it was written, or all we have left of a person or a time.

She explains her process:

I have been working with cut out correspondence for the past four years. I meticulously recreate notes and letters that I have found, written, or received by enlarging the documents onto a new piece of paper and intricately dissecting the negative spaces with an Exact-o knife.

The handwriting and the lines support the structure of the cut paper, keeping it strong and sculptural, despite its apparent fragility. In these paper cutouts, I focus on the text, structure, and emotion of the letter in an elaborate investigation into the properties of writing and expression.

Penmanship, word choice, and spelling all contribute to possible narratives about who that person is and what they are like. My recreating the letters is an extended concentration on peoples’ inner lives and the ways they express their thoughts through writing.

In a time of ubiquitous communication through mediums that evolve at light speed, these meticulous renderings of words, thoughts and type evolve a language that at one time most of us spoke fluently.  Annie Voight painstakingly reminds us of our not-so-distant past, while inventing an art inviting us to the present.

Inspired by my friend Beaker on Stumbleupon.

Eco, trends, art, creativity and how they tumble through social media to shape culture fascinate EcoSalon columnist Dominique Pacheco. Her trends blog, mixingreality, speaks to these topics daily, and here at EcoSalon, she takes a weekly look at the intersection of eco and art. We call it heARTbeat.

Dominique Pacheco

Dominique Pacheco is the author of EcoSalon's weekly heARTbeat column.