Awaiting each new issue of the simply remarkable Triple Canopy is a pleasure matched only by each issue's arrival; that the content of each issue is unfurled over time, and does not come in one fell-swoop of intimidating new material to set oneself upon, only further adds to this pleasure, and lends the online magazine an inclusive quality rare to such monumental publications.
Issue 8 began its unfurling some short time ago, and is still in the process of revealing new stories, articles, and multimedia works. This makes it an ideal time to join in the process of reading Triple Canopy: the completed earlier issues – that is, those that are no longer "unfurling" new material – do come across as more forbidding, if only as a result of the breadth and extensiveness of each new issue's content: making one's way through Triple Canopy – "unfinished" or "finished" – is never less than a thrilling experience. It is the first online magazine that I read with the regularity of such print publications as The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, Harper's, and other such formidable institutions that demand – with each new issue – a complete perusal.
Issue 8, entitled "Hue and Cry," has several wonderful articles, each of which is presented in an interface that nearly mimics print publications: the pieces are presented in a digestible multi-page format, each page bearing no more content than one would come across in, say, an issue of NOON, and considerably less content than one comes across in, as far as I'm aware, any other online publication. This is not solely for readability purposes: the pieces are curated so that each page makes a certain sense as a complete and coherent entity, and few pages would not stand up on their own as complete works in and off themselves; the cumulative effect is generally entirely satisfying, and adds greatly and thoughtfully to the essence and intent of each piece. This is one of Triple Canopy's great innovations: understanding the capacity of the webpage to be both thrillingly cohesive and formidably overwhelming, Triple Canopy curates each page to take advantage of the former possibility while avoiding the potential for the latter. A comprehension of how people read and view webpages permeates each work.
The articles that stand out most to me in Issue 8, thus far, are Joe Milutis' multimedia "R, Adieu," in which the use of various pronunciations of the letter r – trilled perhaps foremost among them – are explored in a variety of media, from a video of Charo announcing herself to a room by her inimitable r roll to the trills of Jaap Blonk to Hugo Ball's variously referential yelps, howls, and shouts to Charles Bernstein's "zaumish" rs. Throughout these examples are analyses and brief histories of various r sounds and their sundry usages in sound poetry. It is novel and exciting and thoroughly enjoyable.
A similarly "investigative" piece is "Thirty-Six Shades of Prussian Blue," by novelist Joshua Cohen, whose exitedly-anticipated Witz is ever-nearing its publication date. The work collects quotations on the color from such varied figures as Marcel Duchamp, the American Heritage Dictionary, and On the Action of the Rays of the Solar Spectrum on Vegetable Colours, and on some new Photographic Processes – among a thoroughly enjoyable and informative many others – and collides them in alternately literal and intuitive arrangements. It, too, is a terrifically engaging read, one I plan on returning to often.
It cannot be stressed enough that this issue, as with all other Triple Canopys, demands to be read, listened to, and viewed in its entirety, if not, certainly, all at once. Victoria Miguel's Internet play De Tribus Impostoribus is a marvel, entirely unlike anything else I've heard; and Lucy Ives' prose poem collage "Everglade" is lovely and wholly enveloping. They are the two outliers of the issue, in a sense: both seem holistic and hermetic, unique unto themselves, whereas each of the others relies on external or referential material. Each work is mesmerizing and unlike anything else currently being produced or published; a solid day could be spent making one's merry way through Hue and Cry, but perhaps it's best to extend the experiece as long as one can, and to return often.