Cameron Ball

Every verbal utterance put forth has both an addresser and addressee.


Rotation: |

X: 178.79

Y: 128.92

Z: 54.10

Print time: 6 hours

Traditionally, language allows us the opportunity to transmit knowledge(Ex: “Meet me after class at Red Square.”) or perform social tasks(Ex: “Thanks, bus driver!”). In both these instances, the addresser and addressee are meant to comprehend each other.

Com(together)/ Prehendere(to catch hold of)

If we were not able to comprehend each other through language, we would arguably not have developed it as a tool. However, we have readily utilized the power of language and its ability to help transmit meaning. Why then, do I feel the need to use the only system of meaning I know in order to create Zaum, beyond meaning? Why do I want to bewilder myself and my audience rather than make it comprehensive?

The lexical framework we use to communicate obeys a deliberately created, confining structure, and does not allow linguistic expression to arise freely. My desire to go beyond meaning stems from a strange nostalgia of the time before I knew words, mixed with a yearning to finally understand how to use language to represent, rather than misrepresent.

Printing poetry was an intense creative process. I went through countless iterations on paper, trying only to decide how to arrange the words 3 dimensionally, not to mention pages upon pages of rejected words. I had wanted to create a mechanism of language, something that generated combinations of words, with my own freely expressive twist. I envisioned a Rube Goldberg poetry machine with shifting sets of type and gears and complication all just to perform a seemingly banal task.

I just did not know how to use the space. I have enough trouble writing on a 2d surface, that when I added another dimension, I really got afraid of the workplane.I jumped from program to program trying to create fonts, getting stuck when I realized I didn’t have the time and expertise to create a font




I spent hours trying to get this one to work….

The result was that I would start using exclusively Tinkercad, shamelessly using the text tool again and again without bringing much variety of custom text into it. It seemed a little sterile, using the prefabricated fonts, but when I tried sculpting individual letters on Adobe Illustrator or Tinkercad, I was glad to have the option to do prefab fonts. The worry of creating a font and doing something groundbreaking with typography was really getting in the way of my creativity. My main challenge was that my entire project has been focused so broadly and on so many facets of experimentation and exploration of language that it is hard to decide which language game to play.

However, I created something that I think will allow me to keep experimenting with the questions I posed throughout this project. The final result is a sculpture, a poem, a scene. I haven’t seen it as an actual object yet, but it is already reminding me of authors to put it into conversation with.

A technical constraint I felt hindered my creation was that I originally planned to create the poem and structure/3d model, and then tweak the lettering so that it looked more similar to one of my inspirations.



This is “Tango with Cows”, a hundred-year-old experimental text by Vasily Kamensky.

I had originally wanted to combine typographic experimentation of a similar vein to this with the idea of a Rube Goldberg language machine, but I was having a lot of trouble getting right effect with the juxtaposition of fonts. My main problem was that I had too many metaphors for what I was trying to do: hypnogonic hallucinations, Kristeva’s “Semiotic,” Barth’s cosmopsis to a lesser extent, Rube Goldberg Language machine, and “Tango with Cows” will not all fit into one poem.