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Newspaper Blackout ~ Austin Kleon

October 1, 2013.Oliver.0 Likes.0 Comments

“A writer who draws”, that’s how Austin Kleon describes himself. He has also been working as librarian, web designer, and advertising copywriter “in previous lives”. Newspaper blackout turned from a pastime during breaks into a poetry movement across the internet and even can be found in bookshelves since 2010.

Most poems are thoughts made visible settling on a blank piece of paper comparable to the process of a painting, covering the white of the canvas and visualizing an idea. Austin’s art however can be compared to the work of a sculptor. Having a block of text in front of him he decides where to remove some bits and pieces in order to shape his textual construct. His tool: a black permanent marker. Austin is discovering by covering, seemingly spotting those messages between the lines when redacting his everyday reading. When he put his first pieces online he surely couldn’t foresee the reach of his remakes. He soon started a Tumblr blog to showcase his “renewspaper snippets” and encouraged others to black out and share their  poetry on the companion site NewspaperBlackout.com.

Cardiography #newspaperblackout by Austin Kleon

Cardiography #newspaperblackout by Austin Kleon

The difference between simple and subtle – minor in tone and texture indeed! I really like the idea of “recycling words” and finding inspiration in the mundane, maybe prolonging the life-cycle of a swift medium which otherwise would not endure another day. Eventually a good reason to collect newspaper again…

“All You Can Do” from NEWSPAPER BLACKOUT by Austin Kleon


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