© Copyright Alan Prohm 2004 – All Rights Reserved

Visual Poetics: Meaning Space from Mallarmé to Metalheart, Stanford, Comparative Literature, 2004. Develops a reception theory of visual poetries in terms of the perceptual and cognitive resources at their disposal, in particular spatiality as a body-based semantics. Covering visual poetry and graphic design from 1897 to 2001 (US & European; print, digital, and architectural), it investigates the expanding role of 3-D space, and of embodied visual ‘reading’, in the experience of this work. Combines methodologies from literary theory, art history, aesthetics, semiotics, psychology of perception, and cognitive linguistics.

Attention Tracking - composite of 7 viewingsAttention Tracking and Analysis:

The theoretical core of my disseration was a methodological innovation to study questions of reader response to visual texts empirically. With the generous supervision of Dr. Barbara Tversky (Stanford Psychology), I developed an empirical testing procedure that allowed me to incorporate statistical data into literary analyses of visual textual experience.

ATTENTION TRACKING: Some Empiricism for a Visual Poetics

Alan Prohm



Dissertation: Visual Poetry and Spatial Meaning from Mallarmé to Metalheart


Further developments. Since publication, the arc of this research has continued approximately as follows, extending this visual poetics towards a poetics beyond medial boundaries:

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(background: “Chapman Brothers” Warren Neidich 2008, from the wrong rainbow series.)