Posts in Category: Concrete and visual poetry

Mesostic (“Dancer/Suc/Hands…”) by John Cage

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A compelling animation of a visual poem, one of John Cages’s mesostics, by Federica Cristiani. She writes:

In this video I try to create a perfect balance between music and video. The letters appear following the beat of the music. My purpose is to create a perfect synesthesia within sound and typography.

This particular text was also included in a musical composition for solo voice, Sixty-Two Mesostics Re Merce Cunningham.

Words by VIV G

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This kintetic text animation by VIV G (Vivian Giourousis) definitely qualifies as a concrete poem.

The Polish Language by Alice Lyons

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This is just about the most inventive typographic animation I’ve even seen — a gorgeous and moving tribute to the power of Polish poetry by American-Irish poet and artist Alice Lyons and Irish artist Orla Mc Hardy. The film has its own website at thepolishlanguage.com, whence the following description:

The Polish Language is an animated film-poem about the subversive force of art and the renewal of poetry in the whispery language of Polish.

Based on the poem of the same title, the film pays homage to the revitalization of poetry in the Polish language in the 20th century. Using hand-drawn, stop-motion and time-lapse animation techniques, the poem unfolds onscreen, with typography as a key visual element. It visual style is loosely based on underground publications in Poland in the 1970s and 1980s, known as Bibula. A chorus of voices sampling poems in Polish, woven together with original music by sound designer Justin Spooner, combine to create a powerful score in a film of ’emotional depth and technical sophistication’ (Jury, Galway Film Fleadh 2009, award for Best Animation).

The Polish Language is at once a playful and solemn journey into the sensuality, beauty and power of language.

Lyons wrote the poem, while Mc Hardy took the lead on the animation. For full credits and a list of screenings, see the website’s About page. The poets sampled in the soundtrack are Tadeusz Różewicz, Zbigniew Herbert and Wisława Szymborska.

Written in My Dream by William Carlos Williams

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This kinetic text poetry animation by Nikolaus Lesnik uses a reading by Allen Ginsberg.

innocent beat by Martha McCollough

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An interesting kinetic-text animation by Martha McCollough, a painter and animator from Boston, who notes in the description that it it is “Based on a page from my erasure project Grey Vacation. The wrongest thing ever said.”

IO game over by Sergio Garau

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This videopoem by Angelo Saccu, performed by Sergio Garau to music by Antonio Marra, betrays influences from all over: it’s equal parts concert video, sound poem and concrete/kinetic-text poem. I ran the YouTube description through Google Translate:

The violent encounter between political identities, economic, cultural, language here is staged through an ironic game of opposites. The ‘I’, translated into machine language 1 0 (zero), cut into pieces for binary digital misunderstood as grotesque chaos of contradictory slogans of contemporary power, explodes in a syncopated rhythm outside of himself. For tris doubly impossible breaks down the end of his world.

Lenora de Barros: the challenge of working with sound in a society of images

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Lenora de Barros is a genre-crosser, a concrete poet and visual artist also working in film and audio. I was impressed that someone with such a strong background in the visual aspect of poetry would become so seduced by sound.

I searched for an example of her work on YouTube and found Encorpa (Embodies), a video made for an exhibition called The Overexited Body — Art and Sports. Lenora de Barros is credited with the sound on this piece along with Cid Campos. Brazilian filmmaker Grima Grimaldi directs.