Poetry & Art: George Albon & Erik Waterkotte

George Albon’s Brief Capital of Disturbances has been blessed with some multidisciplinary offspring. Composer Mischa Salkind-Pearl has used it as a text in his piece “American Temple” (See the Omnidawn entry of April 6, 2009), and now artist Erik Waterkotte has created a suite of original prints based on passages from the book. The suite, called Re-encounters and Reconnaissance,comprises seven images (unique print, mixed media, and collage) that offer a Dantesque vision of technology and the anonymous.

Directing the Disaster

Double Illumination…A Sign on Fire

The last thing the sun’s rays shone on tonight was already yellow and bright, a <—> sign coated with reflecting gloss at the T-juncture. In the dull matte of the surrounding woods and roadway this double illumination pierced the late afternoon, a sign on fire.

To Grant a Lacking Status from Those about to Disappear

With a mark to grant you a lacking status. From things about to disappear. The testimony pre-exists the subject. Left-right separation pushing a program. I have letters in a name because I continue. 

Not to Protect Phenomena, but to Mislay Them

White sky. And an even whiter stroke of it, moving across an upper distance. 

Not to save phenomena, but to mislay them.

This to Parallel a Sudden Imitation…

Initial sounds of flick and flip move to another place. This to parallel a sudden imitation. Your eyes wide in me. In the flight, trailer across the territories, a kinship with the final curt alert. 

From the other side of the island…

I started to the landing from the other side of the island. That side seemed to incline upward for its entire length. With environmental reclamation all the bluegum eucalyptus had been cut down, opening the path to bake the sun.

Repeating, Repeating the radius of it all…

A man with what seems to be AIDS dementia, on upper Market, leaning on a balustrade, repeating and repeating, and repeating, the radius of it all


Erik Waterkotte is Assistant Professor of the Department of Art at Minnesota State University. His work has been exhibited widely in solo and group shows throughout the U.S., Europe, and farther afield (Shanxi, China; Novosibirski, Siberia). His work, Waterkotte says, “examines the fabrication and deterioration of events portrayed by the media. With recent events I have become compelled by the imagery of disaster; broken architectures, voids of space and atmosphere distort a once decipherable place. By examining the layers of the media screen the printed image becomes evidence as well as projection.” For more work by Erik Waterkotte, and check out his page at MNartists, a project of the McKnight Foundation and the Walker Art Center.