Thursday, June 22, 2006

Texts within Texts

As part of my ongoing studies for the PhD, I've been looking at the application of multimedia to my work, whilst placing the text at the forefront of my considerations. That is, looking at how multimedia can fundamentally change the reading or interaction with a text in ways which draw from linguistic play such as that of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry, etc. I'm keen for my studies not to lose sight of textual inquiry, and for my use of any technology to be necessary for such inquiry.

Johanna Drucker has been of interest recently, particularly considering her work
Narratology, in which subtexts contained within narrative are exposed, running through the course of the work. Although Tom Phillip's A Humament has been cited to death practically everywhere, there are similarities in these works, with regard to investigating how erasing or condensing, reworking a text can produce entirely new texts from within. Drucker's text is perhaps of greater interest to me, since it comes from rewriting through her own work (itself a writing through of source texts) whereas Phillip's work erases and decorates and otherwise unchanged text.

It's worth taking a look at a very interesting piece of work in progress by Brian Kim Stafans in relation to such notions. Stefan's Ouija Poems are made up of texts whose slight horizontal movement allows for the vertical juxtaposition of letters to introduce new vertical texts within the original. A link to an example of this, as well as the methodology, can be found here. With this in mind, I've been looking at developing a series of Flash text-over-image pieces, in which alternative texts within the body text can be revealed with a click. I am also trying to shuffle texts, so that there are multiple readings which can be manipulated on-screen.

The example below is pretty much what I'm looking for. I need to clean it up (the text jerks slightly when it moves) but I'm happy with the rest. I have decided to lay the text over visual borders, for additional play with context. It's interesting to me how a clear idea of how this piece is realised has affected the writing process (writing each text with shuffling and erasue in mind, taking photographs which need to act as contextual frames for the texts). This version below just has the text for now. Play with the colours in the corner, and shuffle the text using the circle button...


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