A New Use for Censorship

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Filed under: Canright Blog

A New Use for Censorship

Austin Kleon (whose name rhymes with neon) describes himself as “a writer who draws.” He has gained popularity with what he calls “Blackout Poetry.” He censors the words he doesn’t need, creating something new out of something old. I was introduced to Kleon’s work through a challenge posted on SoulPancake describing the process. I was immediately intrigued and inspired.

I decided this would be perfect fodder for one of our company’s Inspiration Meetings. I brought in a stack of random newspapers, gave a brief description of the process, and handed out Sharpies to our team. Below is the one I created during the meeting:

Kleon also posts “de-signs” on his blog. “De-signs” are the product of a similar process. He takes photos of signs, and uses an iPhone app to erase letters and words that he deems unnecessary.

I find this sort of manipulation is a great way to discover a new way of looking at things.

Austin Kleon has recently released a collection of his Blackout Poetry, available here.