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PoetryFilm Archive: “Letter” by Eduardo Kac

KAC letter still

 

“Letter”, Eduardo Kac, 1996

A navigational poem that presents the viewer with the image of a three-dimensional spiral jetting off the center of a two-dimensional spiral. Both spirals are made exclusively of text. The reader is able to grab and spin this cosmic verbal image in all directions. Thus, reading becomes a process of probing the virtual object from all possible angles. The reader is also able to fly through and around the object, thus expanding reading possibilities. In “Letter” a spiraling cone made of words can be interpreted as both converging to or diverging from the flat one. Together they may evoke the creation or destruction of a star. All texts are created as if they were fragments of letters written to the same person. However, in order to convey a particular emotional sphere, the author conflated the subject positions of grandmother, mother, and daughter into one addressee. It is not possible to distinguish to whom each fragment is addressed. The poem makes reference to moments of death and birth in the poet’s family. Letter is presented here as video documentation of an interactive reading experience. – EK

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