‘Visually Enhanced Literature’ with Tim Gaze

On Friday 12 September 2014, Tim Gaze spoke about an array of non-verbal visual techniques used in fiction, giving examples ranging from Laurence Sterne, through a number of 20th century experiments, to the abstract comics of the present times. The majority of these examples were created by a single author, rather than an artist or graphic designer collaborating with an author.

Although he has little skill as an illustrator and has an unorthodox style of handwriting, Gaze has developed visual techniques which he can control with a subtlety comparable to the ability to compose a tidy sentence of words.

Ideas from cultural movements such as Lettrisme and the Brazilian Process/Poem, and aesthetics from Asian brush calligraphy traditions, can be applied to fiction.

Even though many visual techniques are enhancements to a verbal narrative, some techniques completely derail any linearity, resulting in a situation similar to ambient music.

According to W. J. T. Mitchell, Western culture is undergoing a pictorial turn. The majority of published fiction does not yet reflect this. It’s time to get cracking!

Gaze’s abstract graphic novel 100 Scenes (Transgressor, 2010/Asemic Editions, 2011) has received positive attention in several parts of the world. In 2013, he co-edited An Anthology of Asemic Handwriting (Uitgeverij, Netherlands), as well as overseeing the highly experimental collaborative graphic novel A Kick in the Eye ( His articles and non-academic essays have been published in translation as far afield as Zeszyty Komiksowe (Poznań, Poland, 2014), revue Toth (Orléans, France, 2009) and Confraria do Vento (on-line, Brazil, 2006). His visual poetry is in The Last Vispo anthology (Fantagraphics, USA, 2012) and an abstract comics sequence in Abstract Comics: The Anthology (Fantagraphics, 2009). Participation in group exhibitions has included räume für notizen (Galerie Wechsel-strom, Vienna, 2014) and Silent Pictures (James Gallery, CUNY, New York, 2009). Michael Farrell’s review of noology (Arrum Press, Finland, 2008) in Jacket compared him to John Cage. His publishing projects include the experimental small press Asemic Editions. In addition to all of these activities, Tim is an experienced performer of spoken word, recently turning his hand (or should that be mouth) to sound poetry.

Tim Gaze

Tim Gaze

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.