new-york

Ricci Albenda

Andrew Kreps Gallery

The loose-knit French literary/mathematical collective OULIPO (l’Ouvroir de la littérature potentielle, or Workshop of Potential Literature) applied a variety of constraints to the composition of poetry, drama, and fiction in an effort to investigate the outer limits of language. Among the bizarre products of their rigorous approach are cofounder Raymond Queneau’s book Cent mille milliards de poèmes (1961)—which contains ten pages each split into fourteen strips, one for each line of text, that allow the reader (in theory at least) to construct the hundred trillion poems of the title—and Georges Perec’s La disparition (1969), a full-length detective novel written without the use of the letter e.

There’s something of the same amiably nerdish, rule-driven experimental spirit to Ricci Albenda’s COLOR-I-ME-TRY “alphabetic colorization system,” a mapping of the alphabet onto the natural spectrum

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