Guesswork (Raden) by Bart Van der Straeten

An interesting, high-concept videopoem, and the first I’ve seen to credit the typeface designer. Let me quote the description from Vimeo in full:

Guesswork. Variation 8 (Belgium, 2011) – short version (3 minutes)
film by Jan Peeters
text by Bart Van der Straeten
typeface: Jean-Luc by Atelier Carvalho Bernau,

In “Guesswork” poetry and film literally come together. A super 8 reel with worn and withered documentary footage is overlaid with the text from the Dutch poem Raden (meaning ‘guesswork’) by Belgian writer and critic Bart Van der Straeten (°1979), forming a filmic-typographic collage.

The condensed verses are unravelled word by word, inciting a tentative reading. They describe the existential and uncomfortable feeling of instability one can have with the public space of the city one dwells in.

Although the word and image layers are in disjunction, involuntarily the found footage of Parisian monuments starts connecting with the text, stressing a distant and impersonal relationship with the surrounding urban environment.

Jan Peeters has also uploaded a version in Dutch, which is almost two minutes longer:


  1. Reply
    Erica Goss 10 August, 2012

    I like how this one slows the reading down so the viewer can absorb the visuals.

  2. Reply
    Jan Peeters 11 August, 2012

    Thank you, Erica. I’m indeed focussing upon how reading works in combination with moving images. To take things to the extreme, here you can find another, earlier experiment with the same material, deconstructing the reading even more: (only in Dutch, unfortuneately). This one becomes highly conceptual though …

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