“4 Square” by Jody Zellen

Screen capture from "4 Square" by Jody Zellen. Grey background with black text on the screen. Text: "SHOULD TELL YOU / I will try your other number again / go study and learn about the world / from one little day to a long year / go study and learn about the world / from one little day to a long year / I will try your other number again / well that is not what I have found / for each man will go down the same / land for you to move to / for you to be at one with the land / each day I think of you / point after all that / our show must go on / need to get in line / why did you do this / follow what you say"
Open “4 Square” by Jody Zellen

This free app art poem captures Zellen’s approach wonderfully. Each of the four squares respond to touch and can be tapped to change within each category or dragged to reposition with the others. Each category is representative of the materials she traditionally works with:

  • color,
  • drawings,
  • art based on tracings of newspaper and other materials, and
  • language derived from newspapers, books, and other sources.

The language square seems to generate a new three-line stanza that could be read by itself as a single poem, sequentially as a longer (seemingly infinite) work, as a generative poem which can be apprehended as a template and dataset, or as an element in a larger combinatorial work when juxtaposed with the other three squares.

Designed for the iOS environment, its simple interface and minimalist design offer readers a path for individual meditation about one’s place in urban environments. Non-locative and individual, it is the perfect poetic and artistic counterpoint to Foursquare.

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