There's a nodule in the mind that's like the mythical circle of trees with doors in them that stands in the middle of secret part of the forest. It's a junction point. Poets arrive there the moment they have that thought: what would poetry be like in sign language? What is the visual counterpart to rhyme and to form?
Most go through the door that says "Wish I had Time For That". But there are other doors there. A door that leads to visual poetry directly, a door that leads there through the land of concrete poetry, a door that leads to the haptic arts in general, a door that leads to performance art, a door that leads to learning sign language, a door that leads to the problems and joys of translation.
The name of this nodule is Awareness of the Physicality of Language. The realization that language is a physical thing as well as an intangible idea is the first step down the road to, and of, concrete poetry. If it is physical, it can be manipulated, reshaped, reformed, turned inside-out, measured, tested, bent, broken, put back together again, investigated, and, because it is real. it can be photographed or filmed in the process. Evidence of a thing that is alive and shares the double-nature all humans share: it is simultaneously both itself and symbol for itself.
Jolanta A. Lapiak calls these pieces "Photospeaking
and/or Photowriting", and Photocalligraphy. The pieces depict a trace of a text translated into Ameslan (or ASL), they capture the movement of language into a digital image. They are about the thing-ness of language, the physicality of the said, about what meaning looks like.
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Jolanta Lapiak is an Ameslan literary and media artist, narrator, and poet in video, performance art, photography, digital art and text. She is also a presenter and instructor.
Born and raised multiculturally, the nomad had lived in multiple cities in Canada and U.S., Austria, and Poland. In addition, she often travels aboard. Jolanta has presented, exhibited, and performed nationally and internationally.
Besides being a native Signer since birth, her first fundamental language hypothetically was mathematics in her childhood before she received formal education through ASL/Ameslan and written English in her preteen. Her first childhood reading materials were mathematics workbooks; at age two, her father taught her how to read time with the red clock; she learned numbers and mathematics through playing deck cards, and so forth.
Jolanta received a MFA in Media Arts from NSCAD University, Halifax, N.S. in 2007, along with a BFA with Distinction in Media Arts & Digital Technologies from Alberta College of Art & Design (ACAD) in Calgary, 2005. She also earned a BA with Distinction from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.
For more of the work of Jolanta A. Lapiak, please see: