Our second video, “The Center” by Annelyse Gelman has us eyeing the eerie potential for non-human entities to replicate or replace human jobs, relationships, and even literature. Like examples of video art that pushed the limits of early green screen technology, “The Center” repurposes face swap and text-to-voice in a savvy, uncanny pairing of poetry and digital media that brings out the specific resonances of the text. Gelman’s project nods to animal experiments involving cages with electrified flooring, centers and peripheries that implicate and confront the viewer: “Are you thinking about your own heartbeat?”
Body With No Windows explores death and embodiment through a collage of faceless sequences from public-domain home video footage of a Pennsylvania family in the 1950s.
In “Body With No Windows” by Annelyse Gelman, “human faces have been elided,” first found and then lost. Here, the tensions between vocal annunciation and the sharp timing of archival clips showcase Gelman’s practiced hand at working in collage. A woman on camera walking alone becomes a mother holding a child’s hand just as suddenly as “the feeling that your body belongs to you” might go away. Gelman’s opening soundscape signals a kind of dread or apprehension. This tone is quickly disrupted by quotidian footage of sunbathers in crabgrass, yard dogs, and tandem swimmers curated from the Prelinger Archives. In a particular fleeting style that intermedia texts seem to capture best, Gelman asks us to recognize the uncanny that we only witness in the daily lives of others, that particular waiting “to be carried from what you cannot remember to what you cannot forsee.”
“A fireman puts out fires. An artist puts out artist statements.” So begins this entertaining poem by Annelyse Gelman, recited as any good ars poetica should be: in clown makeup, auditioning for the part of a poet who shares her name. The Vimeo description reads:
Poem and direction by Annelyse Gelman.
From the collection ‘Everyone I Love is a Stranger to Someone’ (Write Bloody, 2014).
Thanks to Rick “Tricky the Clown” Sahar for help with set and makeup.
The book is due out on April 4. Meanwhile, best of luck to Gelman in getting the part.
A fun, author-made animated poem by Annelyse Gelman, with additional animation by Auden Lincoln-Vogel and voiceover by Genevieve Scanlan. The poem is from the forthcoming collection Everyone I Love is a Stranger to Someone (Write Bloody, April 2014), and the YouTube version of this video has appeared in two online magazines: The Destroyer and Atticus Review, which is where I found it — go there for the complete text of the poem.