Cutting words 

He walks into a local Borders or Barnes & Noble and buys some great books. He takes them home and slices them with a band saw or cuts craters into them with a 6-inch grinder. Then he returns to the store and places them back on the shelves. At 23, Miroslav Cukovic is one of the city's most intriguing young artists because his work really pushes for immediate engagement with the public. That's the reason he was asked to be the first artist featured in "Work in Progress," an occasional series appearing in Metro Times' arts section, calling for more interactivity with Detroit's créatifs by showing off art.

For this project, Cukovic thumbed through the pages of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, cutting out random phrases that create unintentional juxtapositions. "This all started because I was reading 30 books at a time, unable to finish any of them. That got me thinking — is it necessary to read all of a book? I began reading only the middle column of words from each page and it progressed from there." His efforts call to mind Dadaist Tristan Tzara's poems pulled from a hat, painter and poet Brion Gysin's newspaper cut-up technique (William Burroughs was a fan of this one) and even the chance operations performed by '60s artists John Cage and Dick Higgins.

For this page, Cukovic insists his poetry should be collaboration between Metro Times Art Director Sean Bieri and you guys — our readers. "Tell the art director, if he wants, he can flip some of the poems on their sides. That way, people have to physically maneuver the newspaper and interact with it in order to read them." Go ahead and try it, or not.

Send comments to rmazzei@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation