Poet: Matt Mullins

Arion Resigns by Matt Mullins

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American poet and electronic literature expert Matt Mullins, who has previously made some compelling videopoems on his own, collaborated with filmmaker Marc Neys (A.K.A. Swoon) for this one, as he notes in the Vimeo description:

A film by Swoon. A collaboration with Matt Mullins. Matt Mullins put together a recitation and score for a piece he’d written loosely based around the myth of Arion—a minor Greek god of music and poetry—that plays out in the context [of] corporate America. He pulled aspects of this myth into the score sonically, worked his recitation into it, and sent it off to Swoon, who came back with a visually compelling counterpoint that enhanced the poem’s subtext.

(Update, 28 March) Marc has blogged some fairly extensive process notes, including this:

I loved how he constructed a track around his poem. A scape full of (birdlike) noises that invited me to dive in.
The video is a splitscreen-storyline where I play out a female and male character (Thanks Rebekah, aka Softly Galoshes)
I took words from the poem and paired them with illustrations from other words from the poem. Those pairs blip throughout the video…
We wrote back and forth about certain visual decisions I made;

Matt: “I like what she represents and I like her demeanor and the things she does. I’m just wondering if a man giving off a similar insomniac/doubt vibe might be bring out more of the poem’s layers. His facing us would still give a counterpoint to the man’s back in the window while also adding a kind of visual echo of the narrator. But I don’t know, there are things about the woman I like as well. What do you think?”

Me: “I specifically picked out a female face to open up that perspective. To avoid people relating the narrator to the face…”
Things like that.

I believe the idea, the poem, the track work pretty well together. We were happy enough with it to set up a few more collabs. I’ve sent Matt a bunch of unfinished video’s, raw editings, visual ideas,… to play around with. More to follow this one soon, I guess.

Our Bodies (A Sinner’s Prayer) by Matt Mullins

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Brilliant video remix of an Oral Roberts sermon by Matt Mullins. (For the text, see the description at Vimeo.)

How to Time an Engine by Matt Mullins

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A remix of 1940s footage, both professional and amateur, by R.W. Perkins for a piece by Matt Mullins from his book Three Ways Of The Saw. The recitation is by Mullins.

I Will Make an Exquisite Corpse by Matt Mullins

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A terrific new video from Matt Mullins. I’ll just quote his emailed description of how this came about:

This evolved from a video loop that is one facet of a piece of electronic/interactive literature currently under development (also titled “I Will Make an Exquisite Corpse”). This piece of e-lit will be the third installment in a triptych of pieces I’m creating for lit-digital.com. (The first two are already up there.) The poem and this particular video both play off the concept of the surrealist exquisite corpse [see the Wikipedia article —ed.]. As such, I’m working with the notion of three sections/elements that flow together while remaining singular/disconnected. The poem strives to do this on the page with three sections that stand alone while also flowing together to create a larger whole. Those who want to see the poem in its original form can find it here: http://killauthor.com/issueeight/matt-mullins-2/

The poem and video mean that title line in two ways (i.e., the speaker of the poem is about to create, before your eyes, the surrealist idea of an exquisite corpse; and, the speaker, treading the self-destructive path of the poem, is telling the reader “I know where I’m headed and I’m gonna look damn good dead”).

The motionpoem seeks to do the same through repetition/evolution of its primary elements and its three image specific sections. It’s all footage I shot myself, with the exception of two stills I found online (the anatomy mannequin and the doll’s leg). I did my visual and audio edits/effects/etc in iMovie and Garage Band.

Highway Coda by Matt Mullins

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This piece began life as “a multi-faceted, collaborative project consisting of a prose poem, an experimental film, a musical composition, and an interactive interface” — see the lit-digital site for more. Matt Mullins specializes in what he calls script poems, and this semester will be teaching a creative writing course on “Book Trailers and Visual Adaptations of Literature” at Ball State University.

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