Arion Resigns by Matt Mullins

American poet and electronic literature expert Matt Mullins, who has previously made some compelling videopoems on his own, collaborated with filmmaker Marc Neys (A.K.A. Swoon) for this one, as he notes in the Vimeo description:

A film by Swoon. A collaboration with Matt Mullins. Matt Mullins put together a recitation and score for a piece he’d written loosely based around the myth of Arion—a minor Greek god of music and poetry—that plays out in the context [of] corporate America. He pulled aspects of this myth into the score sonically, worked his recitation into it, and sent it off to Swoon, who came back with a visually compelling counterpoint that enhanced the poem’s subtext.

(Update, 28 March) Marc has blogged some fairly extensive process notes, including this:

I loved how he constructed a track around his poem. A scape full of (birdlike) noises that invited me to dive in.
The video is a splitscreen-storyline where I play out a female and male character (Thanks Rebekah, aka Softly Galoshes)
I took words from the poem and paired them with illustrations from other words from the poem. Those pairs blip throughout the video…
We wrote back and forth about certain visual decisions I made;

Matt: “I like what she represents and I like her demeanor and the things she does. I’m just wondering if a man giving off a similar insomniac/doubt vibe might be bring out more of the poem’s layers. His facing us would still give a counterpoint to the man’s back in the window while also adding a kind of visual echo of the narrator. But I don’t know, there are things about the woman I like as well. What do you think?”

Me: “I specifically picked out a female face to open up that perspective. To avoid people relating the narrator to the face…”
Things like that.

I believe the idea, the poem, the track work pretty well together. We were happy enough with it to set up a few more collabs. I’ve sent Matt a bunch of unfinished video’s, raw editings, visual ideas,… to play around with. More to follow this one soon, I guess.

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