In this collaborative poem Geniwate takes a relatively simple interface and page space designed by Stefans and makes it powerfully political. The audio recording of a reporter telling the story of surviving an RPG attack in Iraq, along with a photograph with a large drop of blood on the lens, make for a chilling backdrop for the poem. With this frame of reference set, the poem is presented as a stack of words at the base of five columns, which the reader can position by placing the mouse on the base of a column until it reaches the desired height on the screen. It takes some time to place and read the words on each column (which are readable both vertically and horizontally), which allows the looping audio clip and changing hues on the image clip to sink in for a visceral experience.
This collaborative work is built using Geniwate’s (Australian writer Jenny Weight’s nom d’ordinateur) “concatenation engine” and Stephans’ images and text. This “page space” is a computational upgrade to the cut-up, because in addition to randomly joining lines of verse, it cuts them further and places them in different positions of the page, creating multiple lines and readings of the same text. The gorgeous oversaturated images of urban and natural landscapes serve as a backdrop for an explosion of letters in different font sizes and lines of free verse, all of which serve as links to the next piece of the concatenation. The sound clips are nowhere nearly as pleasant as Brian Eno’s “Burning Airlines Give You So Much More,” which has a line that inspired the title of this poem, and perhaps some of its postcard-like visual design and conceptual language choices, such as the frequent use of “you,” “she,” and references to writing.
Open “Rice” by geniwate