“More Real than Now” by Jody Zellen

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Screen capture of "More Real than Now" by Jody Zellen. Legs of people walking are shown in black, while letters (specifically "what is now...stasis...") are in white, and the street / background is gray.
Open “More Real than Now” by Jody Zellen

This video poem is built from a dual juxtaposition of language and image and an image with itself. A steady stream of language scrolls horizontally on the screen in a manner suggestive of a news ticker providing a prose poem that uses grammar and the window size to offer a sense of the line. This creates a disconnection between the line we read now and the one we read a few seconds or a minute from now: it is the same line, but we are witnessing a different portion of it. The way the work handles the images is similar. The window displays a portion of the image, and then moves (or does the image move?) so the reader can see different parts of the photograph. Interestingly enough, a semi-transparent snapshot of the original view moves along with the window, emphasizing the disconnection between the initial and current perception of the piece.

Now read the poem, keeping in mind how it meditates upon the past and present of urban spaces, and our perceptions and changing relations with both.