And the Four Zoa’s clouded rage East & West & North & South
They change their situations, in the Universal Man.
Albion groans, he sees the Elements divide before his face.
(Jerusalem 32.25-7, E178)
This site has grown out of research on the reception of William Blake, how he has been used by artists, writers and other figures in the post-war period). As such, Blake 2.0 is also concerned with the ‘second life’ – virtual and otherwise – of Blake, and this site offers new ways to present information about the artist’s works as well as encouraging innovative thinking about how we can engage with those original illustrations and texts.
Zoamorphosis.com is a magazine-style blog that provides updates on various uses of Blake in the arts, media, popular culture and some areas of scholarship, with news of Blake sightings in the press and elsewhere. In addition, you can follow regular posts on Twitter by going to http://twitter.com/blake2_0.
Why Zoamorphosis? Blake developed a personal mythology which revolved around four beings – his four zoas – who were engaged in conflict and war with each other but, when working in harmony, came together to form the perfect man. One of the exceptional features of Blake’s influence on later figures is that they tend not to approach him with reverential awe but rather engage in happy and fruitful mental fight, rather in the spirit of Blake’s own approach to earlier writers and artists such as Milton and Michelangelo. Zoamorphosis, then, is my name for the process of struggle and creative conflict that takes place between Blake and those who appreciate his art and poetry: without contraries is no progression, as Blake once wrote, and this site is dedicated to tracking down the various mutations and flowerings that have appeared and continue to appear in the twenty-first century.
Jason Whittaker is Head of the School of English and Journalism at the University of Lincoln. He is the author and editor of several books, including Radical Blake: Influence and Afterlife from 1827 (with Shirley Dent, Palgrave 2002), Blake, Modernity and Popular Culture (with Steve Clark, Palgrave 2007), Blake 2.0: William Blake and Twentieth Century Art, Music and Culture (with Steve Clark and Tristanne Connolly, Palgrave 2012) and William Blake and the Digital Humamities (with Roger Whitson, Routledge 2013). He is currently completing a book on the history of the Blake-Parry hymn “Jerusalem” in its first hundred years and has also written extensively on digital media, having been a technology journalist for more than fifteen years. You can catch up with him at https://twitter.com/Blake2_0.