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Discontinuous Visuality - Brakhage's 'just seeing', and background temporality in contemporary poetics

Mooney, Stephen (2009) Discontinuous Visuality - Brakhage's 'just seeing', and background temporality in contemporary poetics Jacket2 (37).

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Stan Brakhage, as one of the foremost avant-garde filmmakers of the 20th Century (indeed right up to his death in 2003), has offered viewers of his films an expanded sense of what the camera can achieve. His influential development of theories of ‘hypnogogic vision’ and ‘moving visual thinking’ complicate the ways in which viewers of his films experience the visual. What is presented on the screen often reflects a discontinuous sense of the camera as eye. What is seen on the screen, and what can be seen, is not presented to us as a cohesive, non-negotiable actuality, but rather as a complex unearthing of cinematic techniques that relate to the physical aspects of seeing, and that engage with the viewer’s own sense of the visual. This paper seeks to show ways in which Stan Brakhage’s ‘just seeing’, and his achievements in cinematic technique in this area, are useful, in an expository way, in the contextualisation of some of the poetic techniques and strategies used in contemporary poetry in relation to the formulation, and manifestation, of complex temporal structures that invoke a sense of ‘Background Temporality’, or sense of temporal engagement that informs the poetry, and the performance of the poetry, at a given time, in a given place, to a given reader or audience. I will demonstrate, in relation to avant-garde and contemporary strategies of representation, such as those adopted in Brakhage’s cinema, how these poetries can engage with forms of discontinuous visuality, visuality that is fractured and multiply activated, particularly in terms of its temporal operation. Specifically I will look at some examples from the poetry of Lee Harwood, Bruce Andrews and Joan Retallack.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Literature
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Date : 2009
Copyright Disclaimer : © Jacket magazine and Stephen Mooney, 2009
Uncontrolled Keywords : temporality, visuality, stan brakhage, joan retallack, bruce andrews, lee harwood, poetry, innovative poetry, experimental postry
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 15:30
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 12:42

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