From kinetic text to various other approaches to text on screen, the written word, the logos, its straight lines and curves, often has a central role in the work of some videopoets. Brevity is also often a hallmark of potent videopoetry. For this post I’d like to offer up a triptych: three pieces, each under a minute, that eschew voice over and instead take individually unique approaches to the use of text on screen.
Mixed Media Editor
Fist First: Nance Van Winckel
Artist’s Statement: For this digital collage work I like to photograph buildings just before they’re demolished and something else takes their place. I’m drawn to decrepit murals and graffitied storefronts. Digitally, I make all manner of alterations: often lifting out a small detail, changing the colors, and usually adding some of my own text. Entering the conversation already going on with the graffers is always my aim, and the sense of a building’s immanent demise only makes, for me, the conversation more poignant. I hope that my work is also a way of repurposing the old facades or hanging on to some aspect of them a little longer. A larger selection may be viewed: here
Bio: Nance Van Winckel’s newest books are Ever Yrs., a novel in scrapbook form (Twisted Road, 2014), Book of No Ledge, a poetically altered encyclopedia (Pleiades Press, 2016), and Our Foreigner (winner of the Pacific Coast Poetry Series, Beyond Baroque Books, Jan. 2017). She’s received two NEA Poetry Fellowships and exhibited her collages in Northwest Arts Center, the Robert Graves Gallery, and other places. Nance lives in Spokane and is on the faculties of Eastern Wash. University’s Inland Northwest Center for Writers and Vermont College of Fine Arts’ low-residency MFA in Writing Program.
Lately Everything Is: Marilyn McCabe
Artist statement: As I believe poetry is as much about silence as words, videopoetry too benefits from what is left unsaid, undepicted, or only suggested.
Bio: Marilyn McCabe’s latest book of poems, Glass Factory, was published by The Word Works in Spring 2016. Her poem “On Hearing the Call to Prayer Over the Marcellus Shale on Easter Morning” was awarded A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Orlando Prize. Her book of poetry Perpetual Motion was published by The Word Works in 2012 as the winner of the Hilary Tham Capitol Collection contest. A grant from the New York State Council on the Arts resulted in videopoem “At Freeman’s Farm,” which was published on The Continental Review and Motion Poems. She blogs about writing and reading at marilynonaroll.wordpress.com.
447: Intellect – N: Jane Glennie
Artist’s Statement: I loved to play Scrabble on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and was intrigued by the dialogue it gave me: ‘the computer is thinking’ as I waited for it to play its move. (In reality a cover-up for its processing power of a mere 48k RAM.) I am interested in the differences and comparisons in processing ability between a computer and a brain. The text of this piece comes from Roget’s Thesaurus. It spells out the opening sections of “Class Four INTELLECT, Division (I): Formation of Ideas, Subsection 447. Intellect”. The soundtrack is a merger of an analogue tape recording of a Sinclair ZX Spectrum loading software with the audio from a classic Spectrum game. Typographer Zuzana Licko says “We read best what we read most” – if I watch this film enough times, I can begin to decipher the words it contains. Am I ‘improving’ my own processing power?
Bio: Born in Rustington, West Sussex. Trained as a typographer by the University of Reading, England, Jane Glennie practiced for many years as a jobbing freelance designer. Moving closer and closer towards contemporary art she took her Masters degree in Art & Space at Kingston University, London, with Distinction. She creates installations incorporating film and publications. Her film work is frequently within the poetry film genre, and her work has been shown by PoetryFilm at the Hackney Picturehouse and Reykjavik, Iceland; in Art Language Location in Cambridge, England; and on Visual Container TV as part of the 29th Festival Les Instants Vidéo, La Friche La Belle De Mai, Marseille, France.