when by Ottar Ormstad

Experimental poetry can sometimes seem excessively cerebral and lacking in emotion, but Norwegian visual poet Ottar Ormstad escapes that trap here with the help of terrific still images and a compelling score. The description from Ormstad’s upload to Vimeo is worth quoting at length:

In the film “when” Ottar Ormstad is transferring his practice as concrete poet to the realm of a programmable networked space, blending his poetry with specially composed modern music and electronic elements. His photographs are presented in combination with words in different languages, most of them presented as “letter-carpets”. Some sentences are from well known songs or films, other letter-combinations are invented by the author.

The film is telling a story about life and death, basically from the standpoint of cars, rotten in a field in Sweden. The narrative is open, and each viewer may experience the film very differently. It is also dependent upon the viewer’s language background, any translation is – intentionally – not given.
This experimental film cannot be translated in a traditional way. The words in different languages are integrated in the poetic expression. Subtitles are irrelevant.

The music and the animation was created in close cooperation with the author.
Music: Hagen & Nilsen from Xploding Plastix
Animation: Ina Pillat
Script, photographs, visual poetry by director & producer: Ottar Ormstad


  1. Reply
    swoon 21 January, 2015

    Can’t seem to watch it Belgium because of its privacy settings, Dave

    • Reply
      Dave Bonta 22 January, 2015

      I can’t watch it here, either. I guess he must’ve changed the settings; it was visible yesterday. Darn! I’ll unpublish, I guess.

    • Reply
      Dave Bonta 23 January, 2015

      OK, sorry for the confusion. It should be visible now. Thanks to Ottar for reverting the settings and letting me embed it here.

  2. Reply
    urdu poetry 22 February, 2019

    very nice

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