Rite Words, Rote Order

Date: 2 June 2005 | Season: The Write Stuff

Thursday 2 June 2005, at 7pm
London Corsica Studios

An evening of films that use written or spoken language to verbalise and hypnotise. A selection of works which, to a greater or lesser extent, use words and text to communicate their message or impart their expression. An event to educate, fascinate and possible aggravate. Inform and reform.

From socio-political films by Rhodes and Wieland through to the use of humour by Smith and Snow, and plenty more besides, here are some works that can easily be read (and I mean literally). For slight relief from the pressures of the text, the screening will be divided (but not interrupted) by unusual recordings of aural stimulation (speech / sound art / poetry / etc.) by great writers, advanced artists and crazy crackpots. You Never Heard Such Sounds In Your Life. Expect to be subjected to the sounds of Alvin Lucier, William Burroughs, John Cage, Gertrud Stein, concrete poets, dial-a-poets, Futurists, Dada’s, mothers and children, the obscurely wilful and the wilfully obscure.

“History as she is harped, rite words in rote order.”

Marcel Duchamp, Anaemic Cinema, France, 1925, b/w, silent, 7 min
John Smith, Associations, UK, 1975, colour, sound, 7 min
Martha Haslanger, Syntax, 1974, colour, sound, 13 min
Lis Rhodes, Pictures on Pink Paper, UK, 1982, colour, sound, 35 min
Joyce Wieland, Rat Life and Diet in North America, Canada, 1968, colour, sound, 16 min
Michael Snow, So is This, Canada, 1982, silent, colour, 45 min
Stan Brakhage, First Hymn to the Night – Novalis, USA, 1994, colour, silent, 4 min

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


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.