Glass Half- or This is Not a Pipe

I’m playing again in the world of multimedia — videpoetry, specifically — and am again considering the kind of interaction I want between the poem and the images I am showing. Not be too Glass-y-eyed all the time (Philip, not Ira), but again, something I found in Glass’s Words Without Music was relevant and thought provoking. Glass was talking about working in film. He said he would not spend a lot of time looking at the images. He’d look at them once or twice. He said, “…I depend on the inaccuracy of my memory to create the appropriate distance between the music and the image. I knew…that the image and the music could not be on top of each other, because then there would be no room for the spectators to invent a place for themselves….When you listen to a piece of music and you look at an image at the same time, you are metaphorically making a journey to that image…and it’s in that journey that the spectator forms a relationship to the music and the image….The journey that we make from the armchair to the image is the process by which we make the image and the music our own. Without that, we have no personal connection. The idea of a personal interpretation comes about through traversing that distance.” I knew I didn’t want to err on the side of showing AND telling, but I didn’t really understand why (other than the obvious redundancy). This gives me a way to think about the necessary difference between what the poem is saying and what I’m showing, that difference being a creative space in which the audience can be a part of the conversation.


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