Is it me, or is spam email the latest avant-garde art form? I ask because an unsolicited email landed in my inbox this morning with the above title and the following text.
in as great purse great needed bought the
word alone and deal great and great me
others alone person luncheon porter the word the slipped alone dollars and great has in me in as much also much very tact alone in later top as after deal great later person only motor main word needed others needed my and had me and as had also had and after has porter main had the in had porter purse great purse word me tact had after going word had clothes going on luncheon porter purse person had bought luncheon person luncheon much the person has my only
It’s as intriguingly poetic as anything Hugo Ball and his chums came up with, not least because it doesn’t seem to be demanding anything of the reader – except, perhaps, bemusement. Read out loud (yes, I did) it has a powerful rhythm and the recurring words – alone, person, purse, luncheon – suggest a theme of corporate alienation. It set me wondering: did a computer churn this out, or did someone actually sit down and write it? If the latter, does that make it art?
More pertinently, why shouldn’t anonymous email be used for the propagation of art? Who wouldn’t be delighted to turn up a poetic gem in the slag heap of fake viagra offers and shares in the Lebanese president’s will? Poets of the world, to your keyboards! A legion of alienated office workers is waiting to be enraptured!