Thursday, October 11, 2018

Tip of the Knife, Issue 31


bárbara mesquita
Diana Magallón and Jeff Crouch
Mark Young
Sacha Archer
Stephen Nelson
Volodymyr Bilyk
Bill DiMichele


bárbara mesquita

There have been generations of architects in my family creating monuments around Pennsylvania.  When I was 16 my mother, my uncle and my great uncle came to me with the Plan- I become one of them.  Unfortunately for us all I was uber right brained and had no interest in becoming someone that functions in the real world.  Flash forward, 2018.  We have a son and he becomes- you guessed it- an architect.  He loves it, and judging by these sketches, these glorious diaphanous illustrations so does bárbara. 

These are cut-outs of architectural drawings, drafts. 

oust 7

oust 8

oust 9

oust 10

oust 11

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Diana Magallón and Jeff Crouch

The alphabets presented here are incredibly tight; glyphs are like subatomic particles being crushed into a neutron star.  Diana and Jeff have taken their letters, their words, and sharpened them into a shining scimitar.  And this is truly a Byzantine arrangement.



Mark Young

Mark’s work is vast, saying more than it says.  I find myself scrolling back and forth to make sense of his world, his color saturation, his construction and altered design.  He lets everything in, he invites contradictions, he finds beauty everywhere.  And he can, obviously, create bad-ass poems that stun the view and embrace the entire world.     

a school post

In Paris, a bearded man is a fashion statement



the shopping concertina


Sacha Archer

Sacha takes elements of Nature and creates for them an anthropomorphic sovereignty that demands our attention; mass, shadows, organic curves.  The message- pure reality.  What we are seeing here is the Existentialism of Nature, the Mysticism of the World.

These pieces follow lines of thought from certain of my own past projects to what seem to me their logical conclusions.  Photographing natural specimens such as bark, mushrooms and leaves, the specimens are let stand as pre-letter forms/ glyphs.  The materiality of language, its source, location and vast array of possible textures of communication are central here.

The Nature of Language - Birch Bark

The Nature of Language - Leaf

The Nature of Language - Log

The Nature of Language - Mushrooms

The Nature of Language - Stalk & Pods

The Nature of Language - Stalk

The Nature of Language - Wood

Stephen Nelson

Steven presents us with subsets of major series; in one section the pieces are tied together by anti-text.  There’s a series of smeared sidewalk writing looking all Hell like a child’s hop scotch game.  Another group is not only made of works from his notebook, but the notebook itself.  Unique.  Interesting.


Volodymyr Bilyk

His alphabet is fascinating, both in meaning and shape; I let it enter me, open me, there’s a spot in my pineal gland just for this kind of knowledge, this kind of intellect.  When I examine these glyphs, I feel the burning of pre-sand Middle East, of bright yellow dunes, of stone temples.   This work is definitely worth translating and reading.  

These poems were translated into ineligible glyphs via early tactile alphabet Moon Type and subsequently reformatted so that it would look like Sumerian tablets. 

Moon Type is a fascinating alphabet because it looks so familiar and yet it retains this indelible alien feel. 

While some of the letter shapes remain partially recognizable there is this stream of unknowable blaring at you and blocking out the comprehension.

It is not exactly asemic - it can be transcribed back into eligible text - but in the same time - it can stand on its own as dissociated entity.

Bill DiMichele


X is us, 2 arms, 2 legs, standing against the shallow knowledge of our times.  We strain to hold our gravestones over our heads knowing we’ll be crushed to death if we tire.  On our headstones are the eulogies that sum up our X-  our life, our mystery, our everlasting selves.

Tip of the Knife, Issue 32, Tik/TOK:

Next issue will have a special theme- tik/TOK.

All work needs to have time (TOK) as its essence.

Pieces must be accompanied by explanatory text.  No work will be accepted without it.  

Send submissions to by 12/1/18.