Aleph Null documentation
bissett/Andrews collaboration

1. Collaborative Works

Aleph Null chewing on bill bissett's visual poetry

th eye is th wind (slidvid21, 500 screenshots)

video15, 11:40

slidvid27, 61 pics

video 14 (10:48)

slidvid26, 100 pics

slidvid23, 186 pics

video 13 (1:12)

video 12 (3:18)

slidvid22, 45 pics

slidvid22, 33 pics

video15 (30:11)

video 11 (5:28)

video 10 (5:31)

slidvid20, 100 pics

video 9 (2:13)

slidvid19, 60 pics

video 8 (2:31)

slidvid18, 35 pics

slidvid15, 200 pics

slidvid14, 100 pics

slidvid13, 40 pics

slidvid12, 35 pics

video 7 (10:07)

video 6 (6:46)

video 5 (10:27)

video 4 (3:25)

video 3 (1:20)

video 2 (1:42)

video 1 (3:08)

video 0 (3:25)
Aleph Null chewing on bill's konkreet and paintings (newest to oldest).

slidvid11, 56 pics

slidvid10, 90 pics

slidvid9, 110 pics

slidvid5, 33 pics

video 4 (0:31)

video 3 (2:08)

video 2 (4:46)

video 1 (6:02)
Aleph Null chewing on konkreet, paintings, photos, and a bill bissett poem displays word-by-word.
cooking carrot soup

video (3:20)
slidvid2, 38 pics
i was in th bay toronto

video (2:19)
slidvid7, 66 pics
hungr he sd

video (2:18)
slidvid1, 48 pics
yes iuv bin
2 dimensha

video 1 (7:01)
video 2 (6:55),
slidvid8, 142 pics
eeting appuls on
jarvis street

video 1 (3:13)
video 2 (3:19),
slidvid3, 43 pics
ium not a raptor a
terradaktyl a tree

video 1 (4:48)
video 2 (3:25),
slidvid6, 74 pics
polar bears on
yonge street

video (2:18)
slidvid4, 57 pics
Eye of bill "bill boards"

minimum incum 1

minimum incum 2

minimum incum 3

minimum incum 4
The bissett poem is from his book Soul Arrow, blewointment press, 1982. Pics 3 and 4 inspired pics 1 and 2. Pics 3 and 4 were generated by Aleph Null chewing on bill's concrete poetry. Pics 1 and 2 were then produced in Photoshop.

take care uv
th earth 1

take care uv
th earth 2

take care uv
th earth 3

take care uv
th earth 4
The bissett poem is from his book th high green hill, blewointment press, 1972. Pics 3 and 4 (and these: 393, 443, 399, 365, 221) inspired pics 1 and 2. Pics 3 and 4 were generated by Aleph Null chewing on bill's concrete poetry. Pics 1 and 2 were then produced in Photoshop.
Links to bill bissett in Aleph Null
Links in to Aleph Null itself, my JavaScript online interactive graphic synthesizer, using bill's images. This is not a slideshow or a video. This is a never-the-same-twice dynamic generator. Once you're in, click the aleph symbol at top left to toggle display of the controls, if you want to experiment. There's a documentation page for Aleph Null 3.0 which also shows you lots of videos of art made with the program.
 dirtee konkreet nib in aleph null (450 Mb)
 bissett paintings + dirtee konkreet nib in aleph null (550 Mb)
 bissett concrete + paintings + big text filled with personal photos (750 Mb)

3. Prints

Hi-res giclée prints are available. There's a catalog of available prints. The prints are signed by both bill and myself, on the back of the print, and they're facemounted, ready for the wall. Also, if there's an image you like that isn't in the catalog, email me and I'll make a print for you. Some of the available prints were shown at Massy Books in Vancouver in Oct-Nov 2019 in Aleph Null, Graphic Synthesizer.

My work is usually solely for the screen. But one of the new features in Aleph Null is to be able to work at high-res—which works well as long as you feed Aleph Null high-res graphics to chew on; the photos I took of bill's work were high-res enough that making some Aleph Null images specially to be giclée prints made sense. The catalog contains information on the resolution of the image on which the print is based. Some of the prints are of 12000x6750 images; a few are from 1920x1080 images. The really high-res images have more detail, of course.

The experience of the prints is different from experiencing them on a screen. The really high-res prints are of a level of detail that you don't normally see on a screen unless you zoom in. Most screens, at this moment, are around 1920x1080 pixels in resolution (that's called HD), regardless of the physical size of the screen. Several of the prints are 12000x6750 and measure 40"x22.5"; they're quite large, highly detailed images. The 1920x1080 images were printed at 24"x13.5". These are smaller and less detailed, but they still work really well as prints, having been specially chosen as capable of making the leap from screen to print.

The depth of the image is physically perceptible in the prints, especially with the facemounting. The layering of the images in the digital collaging that Aleph Null does is physically perceptible in the prints. Also, the images were selected as ones that are both endlessly readable as texual material and also great to look at as visual compositions. These are images that contain luv chillen of bill bissett pomes. That is, they're new pomes themselves made from bill's visual poetry from the 60's to 2019. They are excitingly contemporary images as products of generative, interactive software that I myself wrote, but they also fully inhabit the period from the sixties to now via their sampling of visual pomes throughout that period, and their synthesis of those images into something new. They take visual poetry in exciting literary and artistic directions and they honour the work of one of our greatest poets.

They're all limited editions of at most 10, but exclusivity is negotiable.

video15, 11:40


opening, 79 pics

statement, pdf

video, 19:30

3. bill bissett Concrete, Paintings, Photos & Links

 Slidvid (217 images): bill bissett concrete poems used in Aleph Null

 Slidvid (104 images): bill bissett personal photos used in Aleph Null

 Slidvid (106 images): bill bissett paintings used in Aleph Null

Links to other sites concerning bill bissett

4. bill bissett/jim andrews: dirtee konkreet

Jack Kerouac: "I know who the great poets are . . . William Bissette of Vancouver. An Indian boy, Bill Bissett, or Bissonette".
Margaret Atwood: "bill bissett is my astral twin."

ill bissett is, yes, a living legend. He's a poet, painter and performer. In Aleph Null, we see photos of some of his paintings, a unique and wide collection of his personal photos, seven bissett poemy poems, and 450+ Mb of bill's astounding concrete poetry, from the 60s to the present, chewed on with religious fervor by Aleph Null.

bill asked me to participate in a show of visual poetry in Toronto he's curating with Hart Broudy called 'concrete is porous'. I suggested we collaborate on something that could go both on my site in Aleph Null and also in the show.

I asked bill for a poemy poem, images of his concrete, images of his paintings, and personal photos. Aleph Null is an online graphic synthesizer I wrote that samples from folders of images, taking parts of the images and compositing them dynamically into real-time animations. bill sent me many newish works of concrete, ones he made with a computer that are in symbol sets such as <{O}> and [O] etc.—these work extrordinarily well with his earlier concrete done with typewriters. His newish work is code-oriented; the symbol-sets are associated with data structures. Whereas the older work's language-shapes tend to be composed of 'cum', 'what', 'ol', 'o', 'e' etc.

Recent work by bill bissett

From th first snow by bill bissett, blewointment press, 1979

I did very little tinting or other color changes of the graphics.The vast majority (95%+) retain their original colors. So the palette is 'small press 60s & 70s', as it were. Or, perhaps, more specifically, the palette is 'bissett blewointment'. bill and I did talk about colour. I showed him some of my experiments in colour tinting some of his konkreet—he preferred the originals—and he was right. The palette isn't high saturation (not that that's how mine were), but it isn't watercolors or pastels, either. It's paper and ink oriented, ink operated. I tried considerable tinting—just to see what happened—but, far more often than not, reality was better. The palette and the textures lend a sense of literary canvas. Not so much painterly canvas as literary canvas, although the 'brushes' can occasionally render the apparently painterly. It's a small press, ink operated canvas. Also, the paper is now about 50 years old, so time has cured the palette; there's a little less saturation, now—although, as noted, it wasn't a highly-saturated palette to begin with. The 'bissett blewointment' palette is a little more complex than the palette of most small publishers at the time—or now—we're talking about one of the great concrete poetry presses, I think. But it's far from full-spectrum colour like you find in magazines today that mix full-color photography with other types of colorful art. 'bissett blewointment' is primarily a matter of paper colour and ink colour; the palette tends to operate in pairs of colours. The most common pair of course is white paper and black ink. Which, given 50 years, is now sometimes cream and black or light coffee and black. Paper colour is usually in the range of white to light brown. Ink colour is predominantly black but can sometimes be red/maroon or blew/purple. Much of the type is photographic of type that was indeed typed with a typewriter. Sometimes the paper is fibrous and dented from the typewriter's keystroke, and the ink bleeds a little beyond its province. Also, I added several pages from bill's artist book Lunaria, which introduces a painterly colour-range and hand-written text.

I created png versions of almost all of the jpg images. Png images have a magical property that jpg images do not: png images can have transparent sections. I deleted the background from most of the images. And created a 'halo' around the text consisting of whatever was already around the text—usually white space. Sometimes brown if the paper was brown. The halo is usually whatever color the paper was. Creating png versions of the pomes and deleting the backgrounds was important to a crucial part of the layering you see. There are a couple of approaches to layering in Aleph Null. The architecture of Aleph Null is fundamentally of multiple HTML5 <canvas> elements stacked on top of one another. Multiple brushes can write into multiple layers; that's mostly for creating background/foreground. But you only need one layer to composit png images into multi-layered beauties because of those transparent areas. This is the second layering technique in Aleph Null. Just copy the whole png into an offscreen compositing graphic; that creates another layer. Think of stacking art on transparent plastic sheets. Whereas if you copy a jpg over a jpg, you're not so much creating layers as opaque blocks. The crucial physical dimensionality of dirtee konkreet is mainly a result of using png images. The ratio of png to jpg is about 5 or 6 to 1. That way, you get 5 or 6 layers before a jpg clears the space to one layer via its total opacity. I also adjusted the width-to-height ratio of some graphics, making some of them more landscapish than portraitish so that the compositing would work well in both landscapish and portraitish environments.

By bill bissett from Fascist Court, blewointment press, 1970. Palimpsesty haloed png.

After lots of exchange with bill in email, which often contained many images bill sent me, I loosed Aleph Null to chew on bill's konkreet and paintings. I then got excited and took 300+ photos of bill's concrete poetry from the 60s to the present at Simon Fraser U's Special Collections, reputed by Jamie Reid to be the best collection anywhere of bill's blewointment press, which he ran in the 60s and 70s. What a day that was. I looked at six horizontal feet of bill's work page by page. It was one of the best art experiences of my life. Danny S. Nelson also sent me 300 Mb of photos he took of bill's work at the UPenn archive. bill also sent me many photos of his paintings and, additionally, many personal photos that go back to the 1950's. All of these are chewed on, one way or another, by Aleph Null, in the collaborative works. There are also slidvids of bill's original images, not chewed on by Aleph Null.

bill's work is in strong relation with the shamanic. You see it in his paintings and drawings, which are often of pairs of spirit beings. The style of the paintings and drawings is strongly influenced by Indigenous traditions. It's also evident in the poetry, both concrete and other. Sometimes the poems on the page are like scores for chanted/sung sound poetry. But, also, the logic of the poetry, even when the poem isn't a score for sound poetry, can be ekstatically palimpsesty, zesty. Everything coming together. Figuratively and literally. Everything folding/unfolding together. Everything spilling into everything. ekstatic yunyun. Famously, the Canadian federal Conservatives complained about bill getting Canada Council funding, on the basis of the sexual content. The concrete and even the other poems are sometimes rather cummy, for instance. But they're positively primal, too. And, as noted, not simply literal but metaphorical. And, politically, they're strongly positive too, it seems to me. I remember bpNichol called bill Canada's best politcal poet while sitting in my yellow Honda Civic around 1986 as we drove to the radio station.

" sweetly play the runnrs uv th palimsesting songs..." Image 452 of 'th eye is th wind'

bill's life and work is in interesting relation with Indigenous peoples. And with gay and other sexualities. He's progressive as an artist and thinker, even while his performances, paintings, and books are, I would say, compellingly shamanistic—and extremely important to many people around the world, especially in Canada. He's been at it forever and has toured from coast to coast countless times, often with Adeena Karasick, selling books and paintings and doing poetry readings for a living for decades. As Jamie Reid remarked, it's impossible to know how many books of poetry he's published with blewointment press and, later, with Talonbooks in Vancouver, who have published him since sometime in the late 70s or early 80s. He has seen more of Canada than most federal politicians, I expect. His work is in popular music via the samplings of his sound poetry in Chemical Brothers hit songs 'We are the Night' and 'I'll See You There'.

bill is sort of Canada's unacknowledged shaman. "the future... i'll see you there."

It's been fascinating, to me, to work with bill on this project. I so wanted to express my respect and admiration for him and his work. It is possible, of course, for Aleph Null, being a graphic synthesizer that cuts things into parts and reassembles them in unexpected ways, to do violence to somebody's work. But it can also create something that's important to bill's work and vision: a kind of ekstatic yunyun. Of form and content, of text and image, of cinema and still, of typewriter and computer, of the past and the present, of multiple juxtaposed pomes, and of the spirits of friends. The visual poetry resonates as contemporary visual art and as texts that are often intriguingly readable on larger monitors. The texts are sometimes bill's texts verbatim; at other times, they're palimpsesty via Aleph Null's sampling and dynamic compositing of multiple layers. Ya want layers of meaning? We got it here deep with dimensionality.

That's part of what "dirty concrete" is about, as I understand it. There's some history to that term. The term itself is in at least one of bill's concrete poems. In part, it's a writerly/designerly thing, it seems to me. Or artist/designer thing. 'Dirty' as in messy, very messy. But messes can have payoffs. They can be semantically dense, palimpsesty, richly ambiguous and readably layered—even nested. Sufficiently complex. Also, they can be gorgeous in ways that edge toward the painterly. Also, they sometimes radiate attitude of some sort, and there can be range and complexity in those attitudes. Not to say that 'not dirty' is merely clean in a vacuous sort of a way. But 'dirty' is obviously not merely an excuse to disregard structure. Art (visual art, poetry or whatever) constantly expands its dimensions, the things that it communicates and the way it can communicate them. New styles. New looks. New feelings. Or sometimes they're old feelings but they hadn't yet found expression in art. Dirtee konkreet is closer not simply to the painterly than much other visual poetry. It's more attuned to depths and dimensions of visual signification, to language beyond the word. bill is a painter as well as a visual poet.

The visual dimensions of quite a lot of visual poetry are primarily literary. For instance, if a writer takes to using two (spatial) dimensions so that the text can spell words vertically as well as horizontally, that's a literary visuality. They don't necessarily care how it looks (and what that means), except that it be readable. They aren't necessarily aware of any meaning other than the literary meaning in the visuality and the context in which it appears. That's probably how many visual poets start out: as poets, first and foremost. They enter into the visual for the literary dimensions and departures it offers. And then, over time, their work comes to inhabit more of the dimensions of the visual (and literary). Not solely the literary but also the visual. Dirty concrete, at least in bill bissett's case, means not only in literary ways but also as visual art. It explores language of the word deeply, but it also explores language beyond the word or letter.

Also of interest are the perspectives on visual poetry from visual art, but perhaps that's for a different essay. Visual poetry, like poetry more generally, tends to exist in a kind of financial but not imaginative art ghetto, like mail art and like net art. Mail art and net art, like visual poetry, almost always have some crucial, passionate involvement in images and the visual. And, like them, they have rarely enjoyed enthusiastic embrace from visual art. Visual poetry, since the emergence of concrete poetry in the fifties, has often been regarded by those in visual art as naive, ill-informed, more superficial in its engagement with ideas, politics—and language—for instance, than conceptual art. All of which seems competitive and superficial from a literary/visual poetry perspective. Concrete goes far beyond shape poems. And visual poetry, a more inclusive term, is much broader still. For all the talk in visual art about the importance of ideas, it sometimes seems that it's the engagement with money that is most important.

Like his perspective on artistic grappling with technology, bill tends not to grapple with these sorts of issues but to move through them.

From RUSH: WHAT FUCKAN THEORY: A STUDY OF LANGUAGE, bill bissett blewointment press, 1972. Photo by Danny Snelson.

Aleph Null feels like a visual language art machine where the letters are circles filled with graphics or language. Or the letters are the shapes other brushes make (polygons, curves, rotating lines, big texts, so far). Never to repeat exactly the same way. New letters that appear only once ever. What we call language is not as stable as you might think. Our very notion of what we call language is changing to include things like DNA and other codes. Language, now, isn't always simply something that humans converse in. Language animates machines/computers, including the DNA architecture of the genome. There's profoundly meaningful languages going on there, even if there is no mind guiding it whatsoever. Not just that the circles or polygons etc contain language. But that the whole architecture/grammar of the machine is set up so that interesting accidents of language and visual composition can and will happen productively even within a 'mess'.

Also, there's a sense that bill's dirty concrete has already somehow been across much of this territory. bill is not a poet-programmer, but his methods and techniques are really resonant. In the below email exchange between us, you see his perspective on changing technologies. He doesn't grapple with them. He simply moves through them.

On Jul 4, 2018, at 9:46 AM, Jim Andrews (Vancouver) wrote:
an audio artist friend of mine made amazing work in the 80s and 90s. he was such an artist with a razor blade. splicing tape. he was an incredible artist of the cut. "the wound", as he called it. and he wrote beautifully, poetically, about the poetics of radio art and recorded sound. about the poetics of the wound, the cut. i learned from him, more than from mcluhan, the value of understanding media.
but when reel-to-reel tape disappeared, his work changed. he wasn't interested in editing in the digital realm as he was in analog. he lost interest in that sort of technique/poetics. his work moved toward a more traditional radio artful art documentary.
is the transition, for you as a concrete poet, from the typewriter to the computer a thing you still grapple with?
your typewriter concrete is pretty great in its visuality. the way the ink spreads, for instance. blewointment is presumably in reference to ink? ink as ointment. healing. blue healing ink ointment. the healing power of poetry. transmitted through ink. the cumminess of your concrete is also involved in the sensuality of the poetry, physically and as 'subject matter'.
creating the sort of concrete you do with a computer is different. how have you found that transition?
your newer work, the stuff produced with a computer, is different from your earlier work not only in that it is produced with a computer, but the symbol set is different and the look is different cuz of these two things.
i like the way the older work and the newer stuff work together in aleph null. bertrand said "btw, those images are very beautiful and so contemporary!" i think that has a lot to do with the way your new work combines with your old work. the way the cum mixes with the <{O}>.
you have adapted to working with a computer. all sorts of artists never really did. it was like it destroyed their territory.
On 7/4/2018 7:07 AM, bill bissett (Toronto) wrote:
dere jim hi what an an amayzing n beautiful n mooving statement yu make heer
4 me iuv nevr had 2 grapple with th transisyun from typwritr 2 compewtr I moovd thru it seeing what it cud n cudint dew similarlee in a previous time zone mooving from gestetner 2 offset n most prob a nu tecknolojee byond software is cumming I did love quark xpress n talonbooks moovd from that 2 word sew changes adaptaysyun yes alwayze yes
blewointment was orig an ointment prescribd 4 crabs in my parents generaysyun
we had kwellada I lovd sew much what yu sd abt blewointment sew much abt ink th gestetnr producksyun evn offset both based on silk skreen ink medieval times yes
we ar a long way from that now fr sure
how blewointment came abt Robbie Sutherland may he b alwayze lovd put his fingr at random in a dicsyunaree n his fingr fell on blue ointment n thats how blewointment was named whn robbie lance Farrell n me wer looking 4 a magazeen we wantid 2 start back in 60 dus aneewun undrstand abt time
lots uv love
n thanks
yr work is amayzing n sew beautiful

The way blewointment got named surprised me, but it also struck me that bill's modus operandi has been modern for a very long time.

In a more recent email from bill, as we were nearing completion of the collaboration, he said

iuv bin proof reeding a lot latelee n thrs constant drilling outside my window 4 ovr a yeer now
sew its wundrful 2 c yr work i bathe in it repleet with relees

At the outset of the collaboration, I'd asked bill for the graphics I mentioned earlier—but I also asked him for a poem cuz the idea was i'd mix all the graphics in with the poem. He chose stars. I rejected it—hardly a good thing to do at the start of a collaboration—because it was cummy. It took me a while to get with the program, at least in that regard. It's actually kind of a sweetly romantic poem, and not without humour—if you can see beyond all that cosmic cum.

When I'd told him I didn't want that poem cuz it is cummy, he'd said don't worry about it. It's about how everything is spilling into everything. He also said that, luckily, he has more poems. He hung in there. It took me a while to see that he chose that poem because of how he sees Aleph Null as spilling everything into everything. Which is a deeper way of viewing Aleph Null than I manage myself most days. A strongly poetical way to view it. I find myself learning even about my own program from bill. It's not a techy point of view. It's bill the poet/shaman finding the primal and cosmic thing about a piece of software. I couldn't ask for (and would hardly ever get) more insight about the program than that.

bill's favorite part of the collaboration was one of the last parts to be created. dirtee konkreet / th eye is th wind is a sequence of 500 screenshots of Aleph Null chewing on bill's dirtee konkreet poetree with Orphic religious fervor. Think Maenads tearing Orpheus limb from limb. Chewing. Digesting. Hallucinating.

Think of this as an alternative realitee to th book. Additionally, think of it as a book, 500 pages long (or shorter). Two different things at once. As a kind of vispo comic book. I subscribe to a group that shares experimental comics among the members. That's been useful during the creation of 'th eye is th wind'.

Now, don't think of it as a book. Think of it as an alternative realitee to a book. It's an online experience through my Slidvid program (slideshow software i wrote). It's an amazing reading experience. Truly. This is one of the most spine-tingling reading experiences on the planet. You need a biggish monitor for it, though. The bigger the better. And you need to use the space key to toggle play/pause so you can actually stop it to do some reading. You might want to also use the arrow keys to advance/go back. And you'll definitely want to go fullscreen. You can watch it without pausing to read, but that is not the deep experience of this piece.

A couple of the 500 screenshots contain the sentence "th eye is th wind", such as screenshot/page 338. Here is the full text of the poem from which the title 'th eye is th wind' is drawn:

speaking pome by bill bissett, from fires in th tempul, blewointment press, 1966. Reprinted in RUSH: what fukan theeree, blewointment press, 1972.

bill named this series 'dirtee konkreet / th eye is th wind', noting that both phrases occur in the series. 'dirtee konkreet' is the name i had in mind for the entire collaboration. Dirtee in the sense of messiness, mixedness, visual density, painterly intensity. But, also 'dirtee' in the sense of the eroticism of this piece. Which is the eroticism of bill's 'dirtee konkreet'. The passion of it. Replete with release.

bill chose the title 'th eye is th wind' interestingly, I feel. In the above poem, from which the title is drawn, we read of an experience of sweeping motion, of weaving, of visual storytelling, of poetic and visible speaking, talking, of animation but also of painterly motion through still composition. In his remarks about the collaboration, bill says " words lines n images infinitlee representing byond representing all th colliding cascading palimsesting ovr n thru time n space images n line n cells tissu brain stuff mooving thru n part uv evreething showing evreething..."

Animation, motion of the wind, the energy of becoming and being. Also, language beyond the word. Also, the weave of the visual and language.

The collaboration between bill and myself, as you see, is extensive—beyond the scope of a single book, for instance. So far, it consists of 22 slideshows/slidvids totaling about 1700 still images, 26+ short videos, and the 3 bill bissett nibs in Aleph Null itself. Imagine several graphic-novel-like-books of pages of these sorts of graphics, along with additional text in captions, as they're called in the comics. 'Captions' are things like (often narrative) texts in the gutter or at the top of a comics panel, or thought bubbles, and so on. The 'panels' in our collab are often segments of circles in shape. Rarely are they rectangular. Sometimes there is just one panel. Sometimes multiple. Sometimes panels are large. Sometimes they are shards. Sometimes they are interpretable as 'panels' in comics. Sometimes not.

The extensive character of the collaborative art-works form a combinatorium in which each of the approximately 230 different bill bissett concrete poems displayed in Aleph Null is probably shown to the reader several times, in different graphics. Sometimes they're fully readable. At other times, they're palimpsesty among other layers. I say "probably" because the graphics are chosen randomly. When it's time to show a new image, if n images have been downloaded, each image has a 1/n chance of being picked. So some graphics may not be shown at all. But let's put it this way. If the bps (brushstrokes per second) is 1, and the underlying image is updated ten times per second, then it's using ten new images per second. There are about 330 total dirtee konkreet images to choose from, as of this writing. Some poems appear multiple times in those images. In any case, it only takes 40 seconds of play to have gone through 445 random images—if you can download them that fast. If not, then Aleph Null simply chooses among the images that are downloaded. My point is it doesn't take an eon before all the images will probably have shown themselves at least once.

In this way, over the course of the collaboration, the 200 bill bissett concrete poems that appear in Aleph Null are explored in interesting ways. Almost all of the bissett pomes appear multiple times among the slidvids and videos we've generated. Poems can appear in different sizes, locations on the screen, amid different layers, sometimes as foreground or background—and they brush against (or become more intimate with) other bissett poems, creating anything from a love chile to a kind of 'call and answer' interpenetration of semiotic or even voiced and possibly chanted spheres.

bill bissett's work is already palimpsesty. In mind and body. That's the main reason why our collaboration is so very on the same page, as it were, though amid different layers, semiotic spheres etc.

From (Th) Gossamer Bed Pan, bill bissett, blewointment press, 1967. Palimpsesty.

At one point late in the collab I thought it was me on form, bill on content. But now I see. bill's forms are 'open' in interesting ways. Some of his poems are already palimpsests, interpenetrating texts. And their designedly dimensional arrangement on the page sometimes encourages multiple interpretations, multiple ways to read them. That's open to further spatial (dimensional and, consequently, semiotic), juxtaposition. Thus, rather than me on form, bill on content, I now see that one of the main reasons the collab really catches fire, is beautifully combustible/burned to ash, is cuz bill's forms work well with Aleph Null's forms. So that we're both on form.

Are we both on content? I'm not sure. The answer depends on your ideas about what content is. I'm inclined to say that bill has got almost all of the content covered; all of the underlying concrete and other poems are bill's creations. My contribution to content tends to be things like those accidental love chiles I mentioned a while ago.

From image 295 of th eye is th wind. Love chile.

The love chiles also include things like the accidental cock sucking in image 324 of 'th eye is th wind'. It's inevitable, given the eroticism of some of bill's konkreet that, on the fly, in dynamic compositing, a little pome porn will pop up. Is that content?

In conversation with P.K. Page, she once called bill "pure poet". That doesn't mean he's pure. It means he's a poet all the way down. His whole life has been spent in pursuit of poetry. It means he lives and breathes it. He pays the price for it. He's a gentle and funny guy, but he couldn't be more serious about poetry. It matters to him like bread. Kerouac got it right. bill is one of the greats. This collaboration with bill has been revelatory, for me. Feeding his concrete poetry to Aleph Null has been like feeding a sci-fi guy some kinda manna. Aleph Null isn't really an AI, but time and again it has surprised me with the visual beauty and intriguing textuality of how it mixes bill's dirtee konkreet.

5. bill bissett — th eye is th wind

ts wundrful 2 c jim andrews work n i bathe in it n his collaboraysyun with my work 2gethr a nu animating literalee realitee repleet with relees its wun uv th best 2 enjoy n dive in2 n relees from cum out dripping with n enjoy collaboraysyun evr in ths field n thers work uv mine n photos n colours uv paintings n pomes from th 60s 2 th present n byond all animating n enhansing in theyr own world outside uv temporal animating flux slowlee undulatinglee sew changing th jestyurs n tropes n 4grounding a line say th eye is th wind from speeking a chant sound pome writtn in th mid bcumming late 60s showing thru dirtee konkreet n vizual poetree writtn in word in th book 2016 sew th barriers 2 n uv chronos dissolv bcoz fr sure th assembling uv evreething is not abt thos kinda not useful parametrs but jim andrews strong n awsum sweep uv his aleph null n his its th work speeding fastr n thn slowing n picking up n alwayze showing n being his brillyant conveying uv all th words lines n images infinitlee representing byond representing all th colliding cascading palimsesting ovr n thru time n space images n line n cells tissu brain stuff mooving thru n part uv evreething showing evreething jim andrews rhythmik artistree th mouth heart wings arms ears hair th fingrs hands touching evreething we ar all part uv th eye is th wind

6. Thanks

Thanks to bill and to the Contemporary Literature Collection, Special Collections and Rare Books, Bennett Library, SFU, Vancouver for letting me photograph and use bill's work. And to Adeena Karasick for suggesting directions of inquiry with the images and for generous feedback. Thanks also to Natalie Funk for design feedback. And to Danny Snelson for the images he photographed of bill's work from UPenn.