Word Clouds and Slogan #4 (Douglas Coupland at the VAG)

word cloud 1word cloud description

 Word Clouds, another room in the VAG of Douglas Coupland’s text-based art. We all are familiar with Word Clouds and many of us use them in the ‘content’ area of our blogs, but it’s fascinating to view Coupland’s early 20th century concept of this as a computer’s dream.

word cloud 2

There is something random and incongruous here, reminding me of Dadaist poetry. These works are framed behind glass so what looks like reflections on their surfaces actually are reflections….another level of seeing. The fact that they are framed behind glass as traditional works of art adds to the incongruity. A preciously framed computer’s dream!

Slogan #4:

Slogans 4Do I? Do You? Can we ever go back? Honestly?

Please see my first post in this series for full explanation of all posts. Also see my first ‘Slogans’ post for details on this section.

Credits: thank you to Douglas Coupland and the Vancouver Art Gallery for images and wall descriptions.

All photos by clinock.

Footnote: to save you looking it up…Shinhatsubai (新発売) is a marketing ploy widely used in Japan that is slowly spreading internationally.
In a nutshell, ShinHatsubai can be interpreted as “New out” and is used to denote the latest and greatest generation of some product or other. From cars to computers the Japanese media feeds the consumerism that has become the norm in Japanese society where the vast majority of people feel compelled to have the latest thing.

Thank you to: http://michaelkishi.wordpress.com/ for this information.

11 thoughts on “Word Clouds and Slogan #4 (Douglas Coupland at the VAG)

  1. It really looks like Paul van Ostaijen’s work, a reminder for `Bezette Stad´ and brings the same sort of unrest and worrisome emotions. (To me, that is.)


    1. I see what you mean Ina. I didn’t know his work so looked it up and yes, it does resemble Coupland’s ‘Word Clouds’. Because I can’t read the language I’m unable to share your feelings of “unrest and worrisome emotions” but did enjoy how he visually plays with the design of the words. Thank you for the connection.


      1. I still remember and unfortunately that old self is very much active today creating a little split personality! ‘Connect – Disconnect – Connect – Disconnect …’ I guess we were the ‘un’lucky generation caught in the middle. Lucky because we lived both, unlucky for the same reason. Vicious circle!


    1. No, definitely NOT “unfortunately!”, that “old self (of yours) is very much active today creating” such beauty in so many ways, “split personality” or not. And much, much more “connect” than “disconnect.” I am fascinated by being “caught in the middle” and being able to use both brains to create a meaningful dialogue…’ain’t life interesting my friend?


  2. These Word Clouds really workout your mind. Full of incongruity, continually throwing you off balance……playing with your brain. Can easily see the Dadaist connection.
    John you are drip feeding us with Coupland’s work and I think it is a very good way to penetrate his deeper meaning. Excellent!


    1. I love “drip feeding us with Coupland’s work”…I’m happy you are enjoying this “workout” at the VAG gym Robert, a few more to come so don’t take off those sweat pants yet 😉


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