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Michael Winkler (Lima, Ohio, 1952 – ) is a poet/artist. He makes book art and net art combining mathematics, linguistics, poetry, and visual art.



His most often used format is a circle of 26 points, each point representing a letter of the alphabet, running in abc sequence. Winkler creates designs inside these circles by forming lines which spell the words by connecting the letters. Much of his early work consisted of sentences made of such glyphs. More recently, he has created installations in which the circles, letters, and lines are made of different materials. Some use either lighted components or make use of lighting in the exhibition space.

In Signalglyph--Winkler's 2005 Sci-Fi Net Art project co-presented by and the North American Center for Interdisciplinary Poetics (housed at SUNY/Buffalo), and subsequently published in RAMPIKE Magazine, Vol. 14, #2, 2006--the artist writes:

"the letter-sequences which form our written words are not visual images--they are a form of abstract symbolization which has no visual meaning. Written words are not images because the visual characteristics of their form are irrelevant; if that were not true, the same word would have an entirely different meaning depending on whether it was hand printed, written in script, typed in uppercase or lowercase, written in Braille, or spelled verbally. The form of the letters is irrelevant to the transmission of a word's meaning because the visual characteristics of a letter do not define its identity--a letter's identity is defined by its role in the patterning of lexical sequences. Although written language is not visually expressive, its patterning is capable of triggering meaningful imagery; consequently, in some sense, it would have to be in sync with our mechanism of comprehending imagery."

Winkler says, "you cannot describe boats as fish simply because they are both conveyed via the medium of water".

He has participated in group exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston,[1] the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2007)[2] and the Kassel Art Museum in Germany (2007). An exhibition entitled "Word as Image" was mounted by the Milwaukee Art Museum in 1990.

His work is held in the Artist's Book Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.[2]

He has been included in the book Imagining Language published by M.I.T Press in 1998--Ed: Rasula & McCaffery.

Selected Exhibitions

  • Regular Words

March 5 - 27, 1981, Marymoor Art Center, Seattle, WA

  • Word Art/Art Words

September 1-30, 1984, Kunstraum, Kunoldstrasse 34, Kassel, Germany

  • Word Works

March, 1986, University of Maryland, Baltimore

  • Michael Winkler

November 2 - 23, 1988, Kansas City Art Institute, Photo/Video Gallery

  • Michael Winkler - Word-Images:1982-2004

September 20 - December 10, 2004, Van-Pelt Dietrich Library Center, University of Pennsylvania

  • Dance Read Art Words...DRAW - Patterning within language as the basis of an audience-interactive installation/performance with The Portland Ballet

February 24, 2006, Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine.

  • Alignments

May 15 - 26, 2006, Galleria AT (Academy of Fine Arts) Poznan, Poland


External links



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