Posts in Category: Concrete and visual poetry

Confused Rain by Nam June Paik

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nam june paik’s confused rain (1967) was the chaotic distribution of the letters C-O-N-F-U-S-E on a sheet of paper.

clint enns’ confused rain (2008) is a posthumous collaboration with nam june paik that expands paik’s work into a computer program that produces an animation of the letters C-O-N-F-U-S-E falling like rain drops.

this was written in visual basic.

For more on the Korean-American artist Nam June Paik, see the Wikipedia, which says he was “considered to be the first video artist.” For more on Clint Enns, see his Vimeo page.

One Hand Clapping by Brenda Clews

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Toronto-based painter and poet Brenda Clews has recently begun to explore videopoetry, with some very interesting results. Concrete or visual poetry often strikes me as more art than poem, but I like what this one says about rain — and about poetry. The words are right at hand, but remain out of reach. (If you have the bandwidth for it, this is available in HD, as well — click through to view it on YouTube.)

Another exciting thing about this production is the double-blind collaborative way it came about, alluded to in the title and explained in the credits at the end:

Brenda created a short film
for unheard music

Gabriel created music
for an unseen film

Gabriel is the avant garde musician Gabriel G, a.k.a. Alphacore.

See Brenda’s lengthy description and analysis of the piece at her blog, Rubies in Crystal.

In-di-vi-sível (Indivisible) by Márcio-André

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Footage of a performance by Brazilian sound-poet Márcio-André. Brazil has had a thriving avant-garde poetry culture for decades, so I thought it only fitting to pay tribute to it here on Moving Poems at the end of a week featuring Brazilian videopoetry.

Many of Márcio-André’s projects don’t require a grasp of Portuguese to appreciate, being more sound than poetry. One that I found especially intriguing is his online Dot-Matrix Symphony. The instructions say (I think) to push play and then pause for all nine videos, then when they’ve all downloaded, start them going as close to simultaneously as possible.

2 poemas para baños (two poems for bathrooms) by Julián Herbert

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Video documentation of a typographic installation in public restrooms by the Mexican poet Julián Herbert. The music is “Mind map”, by Jar G. This project forms part of the activities of a collective for visual and kinetic poetry known as El Taller de la Caballeriza.

The first poem says, “To translate is to {invent the light/arrange the voice} on the other side of the mirror.”

Front Towards Enemy by Eric Gamalinda

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Avant-garde videopoem by Eric Gamalinda, “constructed out of images shot randomly around new york city.”

En blanco (In white) by Gabriel Vallecillo

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Poem and film by Gabriel Vallecillo, a young Honduran poet and filmmaker “currently exploring VJing poetry and applying poetry to Live Cinema performances,” according to his Vimeo profile. About the video, he says on its YouTube page: “Explora la ausencia del ser humano en este mundo hiperreal blanqueado” (It explores the absence of the human being in this hyper-real, bleached-out world).

sonriendo en blanco
sangrando en blanco
memorizando en blanco
gritando en blanco
amando
smiling in white
bleeding in white
memorizing in white
screaming in white
loving
tocando en blanco
tecleando en blanco
rezando
creyendo
dios!!
desconectando
apagando
en blanco
touching in white
fingering in white
praying
believing
god!!
disconnecting
switching off
in white

Cinco Poemas Concretos (Five Concrete Poems) from Brazil

Curiously, a lack of Portuguese doesn’t seem much of a barrier to appreciating these fun word-art pieces. Brazilians invented concrete poetry, so it only seems fair to represent them here. The YouTube description says (I think): Audiovisual adaptations of the concrete poems “Cinco” by José Lino Grunewald (1964), “Velocidade” by Ronald Azeredo (1957), “Cidade” by Augusto de Campos (1963), “Pêndulo” by E.M. de Melo e Castro (1961/62), and “O Organismo” by Décio Pignatari (1960). Director: Christian Caselli.