Patterns of Speech

Date: 3 June 2005 | Season: The Write Stuff

Friday 3 June 2005, at 7pm
London Corsica Studios

Four videotapes which each explore variations in spoken language. “Mesostics” are poems in which a string of vertical letters, one from each line, spells a name or word. John Cage’s calm and sage delivery of these phrases sits in stark contrast with the deranged performance by actor Tim Thompson, in Paria, which is based on workshops condicted with prisoners at a correctional facility. Taped by video pioneers the Vasulka’s, these disturbing monologues are further unhinged by their technological distortion of the image. The second half of the programme features tapes by Peter Rose, who has conducted a deep investigation of language and text throughout his work, whilst demonstrating an incisive sense of humour. He often uses invented words, subtitles, sign language and direct address to spin yarns that examine syntax and patterns of speech, while simultaneous exploring the nature of film and video media itself. This is a rare screening of two seminal videotapes that are practically unknown in the UK.

John Cage/Soho TV, 36 Mesostics Re. and not Re. Duchamp, USA, 1978, videotape, 26 min
Woody & Steina Vasulka, Pariah, USA, 1984, videotape, 26 min
Peter Rose, The Pressures of the Text, USA, 1983, videotape, 17 min
Peter Rose, Digital Speech, USA, 1984, videotape, 13 min

Curated by Mark Webber for The Write Stuff Literary Festival at Corsica Studios.