Rapid Fire Text

Taking inspiration from poetry, jazz, and graffiti, this rhythmic drawing approach merges the expressive potentials of ink with the written word. Rapid implies speed, quickness of movement and thought. Fire calls to attention the potential power and explosiveness of speech and the written word. Rapid Fire Text acknowledges forces that can manipulate, elevate, sensor, or silence. Harnessing this ancient fluid media (ink), students become familiar with how duration and speed can function as tools for developing their writing, self-representation, and expression within a classroom community.

Though a series of durational works, students practice syncing their physical movement of painting with the pace of their thinking. By the completion of the event, their drawing surface is saturated with layers of calligraphic text reflecting on issues of personal mental health and community. These surfaces may be excavated for meaning or remain semi-illegible. The materiality and viscerality of ink may be interpreted as expressive marks or it may deliver more nuanced messages as does the written word.

Links to article and online exhibition:

Hybrid Arts Lab: Rapid Fire Text | Urban Arts Space (osu.edu)

Hybrid Arts Lab exhibits explore racial injustice, diversity | College of Arts and Sciences (osu.edu)

Installation view at Hopkins Hall Gallery, OSU. 2020

View of gallery during the improvisation.

Details of the participant’s working space. Materials include Yasutomo Sumi Ink and bamboo brushes.

Two participants working side by side on their own surfaces.

Participants responding to a five minute durational prompt: Recall an event that has changed you in recent months. 

Detail of an improvisational rapid fire text painting in progress. Three-minute prompt: Contemplate on an experience in recent months that has changed you. What surrounds you?

Rapid Fire Text video, evidencing some of the prompts given during the performance. Installed during the exhibition.

Classroom view of Rapid Fire Text at Ohio University. Participants include regional high school seniors. 2018

Rapid Fire Text participants at Ohio University in 2018.

Detail of a Rapid Fire Text work. Ink on multimedia paper.