A new mixed media genre would encompass embedding text (poetry, prose) into a visual (or patterned) environment. This would all be formulated (created) using a computer. The reason it is a novel approach is because concrete/visual poetry was, at least historically, created using typewriters. We are now in an age in which the creative process begins and ends with the computer. In a previous post, I argued that the computer is opening up radically new alternatives for writing and narrative. Thus, the ascendancy of the electronic millennium may, in fact, save literature from becoming an irrelevant art form, a sorry atavism from the industrial age.
Luckily over the last few decades, our tools have been vastly improved. We must remember the world of the typewriter was predominantly a black and white (textual) world. The typewriter is a limiting technology compared to the relative versatility/elasticity of the computer; it is incapable of reproducing color or graphics in a split-second. Thus, the concrete poets of the 1950s were constrained by the technology of their time. Inasmuch as their innovations were radical—and they were quite radical—they were working with what amounts to Stone Age implements.
I believe we are in a state of flux. There is a vacuum to be filled by (textual) innovation. The conceptual poets have pointed us in a direction that is certainly fruitful. But they seem to be more concerned with appropriation rather than creation. I advocate appropriation, certainly, and even plagiarism. Art is a never-ending cycle of recycling the recycled. The problem is that appropriation for appropriation sake is a spiritual dead-end. Art must move us in some fundamental way. Out of appropriation must come creation.