This work is published as a video documentation of a simultaneously analog and digital poem— an instance of extreme inscription as described by Matthew Kirschenbaum. Written on a semiconductor alloy with “a focus GA ion beam” at font sizes much smaller than a pixel, requiring an electron microscope with magnification “ranges from 400x all the way to 10000x.” The naked eye cannot read this poem unaided, so the video takes us through an edited journey into the poem’s text reminiscent of Prezi, but much cooler in its materiality.
The text itself is a series of anagrams based on an excerpt from the technical manual for the ion beam. Note how Husárová’s use of line breaks focuses our attention on the poetic qualities of the original text, and how each increased level of magnification leads to more highly compressed texts. Her juxtaposition of ancient and contemporary technologies— poetry, alphabet, particle beams, electron microscopy, superconductors, and software— make an intriguing statement on writing in this digital age.
Read this work closely to discover what it is.