construct in dots

Both Girls’ Day Out and The Mandrake Vehicles used motion and removal of words to varying effects.

The poem Shards with Girls’ Day Out took words from news articles. The motions of the letters during the page transitions could be thought of as mimicking the moving of the words from their original sources. Where I thought the effectiveness of the motion broke down was in the way the letters deformed into other shapes, collapsed into each other, and split into other letters. If the letters weren’t going to be reused, why move any given letter to a certain part of the screen? What did give me a sense of meaningful motion was the static spacing of the words on each page, where my eyes fell down the page from one segment to another. The use made of the digital medium was to allow these different layouts to occur in the same space – a different page of text, but the same page on the screen.

The most interesting motion of The Mandrake Vehicles occurred as the letters pooled into words below the poems – a very few words received colored animation as they formed, before settling into plain text. “Cartoon” formed toon eyes in the O’s, “flame” burned red, and “damned” emitted purple vapors. The animations brought to mind less serious online documents while the poems themselves seemed serious. Calling the secondary poems “embedded all along” within the original text also seemed to me a play at seriousness that reveals itself to be playful. With no rule for what letters to remove, finding any given poem inside the text would be computationally expensive. The reader could not hope to find the “secret” poems for themselves. For the reader, it would be more as if the secondary poems were created from the first than that they were revealed from inside it. To present as if the poems were a “secret” to be revealed is a performance by the author which creates a story for the reader to “get.” The explanation of the work is a part of the experience of the work.

-Kevin O’Leary

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~ by k2theiso on January 24, 2011.

One Response to “construct in dots”

  1. I think this post would have been more effective if I spent more time on each point.

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