The Standard Corpus of Present Day English Language Usage arranged by word length and alphabetized within word length
Gerald Ferguson. Halifax, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, second edition, 1978.
ca. 150 leaves. Text in English.
Gerald Ferguson (1937-2009) first published The Standard Corpus of Present Day English Language Usage arranged by word length and alphabetized within word length in a small edition of 300 copies in 1970. It represents the culmination of a series of conceptual artworks exploring the alphabet, which began in 1968, shortly after he joined the faculty of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. This series includes Ferguson’s famous typewritten Alphabet Pages and stenciled Period or Dot Paintings. Together with the Corpus, they form an integral part of the canon of Canadian systemic and process art.
In 1972, Ferguson scored a reading of the Corpus in 20 units for a chorus of 26 voices. First performed at NSCAD, Choral Reading was presented again in 1977 at the Art Gallery of Ontario. It exists today as a sound recording. Ferguson considered the Corpus one of his most important works, once describing it as “a variable serial sculpture through time.” In addition to being a pivotal work of conceptual art, it stands alongside the most important achievements of concrete poetry in Canada. EF
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