“Self-Portrait with Purple Erogenous Zones” by David Hage and Dan Waber

DAVID HAGE and DAN WABER: “When David and I met, he was a visual artist with a desire to incorporate more text into his work and I was a poet and visual poet with a desire to explore further into the visual arts. Collaboration seemed a natural next step. David and I started sharing existing work with each other and discovered that we were both wildly prolific in our output and that we were both idea factories. Right away we started brainstorming on large projects, but figured it would be wise to do a few smaller collaborations first, to be sure our working temperaments didn’t clash. I had a stack of about a dozen blank books that I’d been given as gifts over the years, and that I knew I was never going to use for anything. They were lovely productions, and it seemed a waste to not put them to some use. One of David’s favorite working techniques is to incorporate found, recycled, abandoned, and discarded materials, so this seemed like a good fit for us both. We got together and each picked one from the stack of blank books. The idea was that David would put art on every page of his book, and I would put words on every page of my book, and then we’d get together and exchange books. Then, David would make art in response to my words, and I’d make words in response to his art, and we’d end up with two finished books. Less than a month later we had over 600 collaborative pieces as a result, and we’d strayed as far from our original notion of David-does-visuals and Dan-does-text as we could go. Our methods included typewriter, pencil, letraset, markers, ink-jet printing, pen and ink, oil pastels, lumber crayon rubbings, and, of course, our mutual favorite ‘and more.’”

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-from Rattle #29, Summer 2008
Tribute to Visual Poetry

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