Word and Image

The following are some notes for guest lecture for UOW subject “Word and Image”, September 16 2015.

Well-known works of experimental film and sound art:

  • Michael Snow, So is This – film consisting entirely of words on screen, one word at a time. Temporal spacing of words creates drama and “characterisation”.
  • Hollis Frampton, Zorn’s Lemma – “found typography” alphabet progressively replaced by moving image substitutions. Duration more than an hour! A form of brain training?
  • Paul Sharits, Word Movie – simultaneous heard-words, and seen-words. How do we process this information?
  • Alvin Lucier, I am sitting in a room – words begin as information, progressively decay to reveal the resonant frequency of the room (music?).
  • John Smith, The Girl Chewing Gum – β€œIn The Girl Chewing Gum a commanding voice over appears to direct the action in a busy London street. As the instructions become more absurd and fantasised, we realise that the supposed director (not the shot) is fictional; he only describes – not prescribes – the events that take place before him. (quote from A.L. Rees, A Directory of British Film & Video Artists, 1995)

Text-dependent artworks:

Book on text and art:

Some of my own projects which use words:

  • Bilateral Petersham – blog which embodies the experiences of 2 months of being “artist in residence in my own suburb” – approx 80,000 words. Presented in gallery exhibition as long bench with pages printed out, visitors assemble own book.
  • Yeomans Project – project investigating agriculture in Australia. Blog stories from experiences 2011-13 edited and published as a newspaper. Prints in gallery contain text as mneumonic/didactic devices.
  • SHELVE – made out of wood, hand cut with jigsaw.
  • Environmental Audit – words in conversations with museum staff and visitors become content for blog storytelling. Complex relationships mapped out in diagrammatic form, as prints and on blackboards.
  • Event for Touristic Sites – national stereotypes stencilled onto white t-shirts. Interactions with tourists in touristic sites. Tourists choose a shirt and pose for a photo. Discussions with participants about ‘veracity’ of the various stereotypes.
  • Various one-off prints using text:
    Bundanon Print (The Feral Amongst Us); The Underground; Adelaide Garbage Map.

….
also – Gysin and Burroughs’ cut ups; Lauren Brown’s listening lists; Adrien Piper’s text-cards for social events; Carolee Schneeman’s Interior Scroll; FLUXUS artists’ use of the “event-score”…

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