Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Video in the House of the Word (The Huffington Post Interview with Mark Amerika)

From Video in the House of the Word: How e-Lit Intersects With Cinema, the just published interview with me on The Huffington Post conducted by artist and writer Illya Szilak:
For writers of electronic literature, the relationship between text and image remains just as fluid as it was for their forebears, the experimental filmmakers.

In the extreme, filmmakers like Stan Brakhage utterly reject text, imagining a world before "in the beginning was the word," an ecstatic visual experience beyond language. Others, like Frampton, suggest that text is useful for exactly that purpose that famed Soviet director, Sergei Eisenstein decried it, for necessitating "fanciful montage structures, arousing (the) fearsome eventuality of meaningless and reactionary decadence." In other words, by reinserting text into film and manipulating the interplay of language, sound and image, the "natural" unity of images and language, familiar to audiences since the "talkie," can be undercut, and the mechanism of cinematic seduction and mesmerization revealed.

It is this subversive potential of text in film which Mark Amerika, one of the pioneers of electronic writing, utilizes in his work. In 2000, his Internet site GRAMMATRON, which combines grainy moving image with text, hypertext and ambient soundtrack, was included in the Whitney Biennial.
After reading the interview, you would be well advised to check out Szilak's new work of transmedia narrative, Queerskins.

Keywords: Cinema, electronic literature, e-lit, Mark Amerika, Stan Brakhage, Hollis Frampton, hypertext, ambient, electronic writing