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Automatic Souls

by Andrew Brenza


Andrew Brenza, Automatic Souls

With two quotes from John Cage (“Nothing more than nothing can be said.”) and Samuel Beckett (“I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”) as starting points Andrew Brenza has created a narrative sequence of visual poems that “reveal the hidden tragedies in our typefaces” (derek beaulieu). Composed entirely from the Bauhaus font Automatic Souls is populated by sad, mechanistic creatures, trapped in a “weaponized meat machine” (Michael Sikkema). Below and sometimes embedded in the visuals is text, captions that suggest “an expression of the delusion of meaning.”

From Brenza’s afterword: “The characters in this world did not ask for their predicaments. They did not ask for the nature of their compositions. Yet they respond to those predicaments given the nature of their compositions. This is how it goes in the half-light of a fading free will.”

Automatic Souls is an important contribution to the development of visual poetry and a chilling reminder of the predicament of the soul as we enter the 2020s.

Perfect bound, A5 format, 72 pages, colour cover, black & white inside. Edition limited to 99 copies. Published by Timglaset books.

Reviewed by Ethan Vilu in NōD Magazine.