The Puzzle Box complete - and some experimental videos
I have now finished revising The Puzzle Box, as follows:
1. A new interface/front cover
2. One new Help Card animation and a couple of minor amendments to other animations
3. More sparing use of the box-icon within the chapters: it now only appears at those points where the box is mentioned in the narrative, and where readers will find something new if they click to open it
4. The page-background for Chapter Three has been redesigned
5. The text has been thoroughly proof-read and various minor amendments have been made
6. On the back of this (show me the money!), a print version is now available via www.lulu.com and will soon be available from Amazon
(If you don't see the new interface, with lots of pictures on it, when you get to the Puzzle Box index-page, click CTRL + Refresh to update.)
Some recommended videos:
Recently, largely under the tutelage of the film-maker Michael Szpakowski (http://www.somedancersandmusicians.com/vlog/ScenesOfProvincialLife.cgi), I've been looking at a lot of experimental videos, and I've been really surprised and excited by some of the work. Below is a selection of some personal favourites, and it seems to me that one of the most noteworthy things about them is how different they are from each other in terms of their style:
OK Charlie by Brian Gibson - http://lucidunison.com/baio/okcharlie_web.mov: A portrait of the video artist Doron Golan by his fellow-artist Brian Gibson. Golan chinks his coffee-cup and says "OK Charlie"; the sequence is looped; and suddenly we're listening to a tune. Manages to be fingerclickin' funky and toe-curlingly clever at the same time.
Journey by Robert Croma - http://robertcroma.com/2008/09/24/the-journey/: Commuters on a tube train: profiles, the backs of heads, shoulders, sliding doors. About halfway through this video there's an extremely subtle transition from observational realism to something symbolic and metaphysical, leading up to a magical moment at the end.
Her Morning Elegance by Oren Lavie - http://www.myspace.com/orenlavie: A video, co-directed by singer-songwriter Oren Lavie, to go with his song of the same name. The song is pretty good, but the video is really lovely, a supremely inventive piece of stop-motion animation featuring a girl on a bed and a lot of pillows and laundry.
The 9th Allegro by Doron Golan - http://www.the9th.com/04/the9th_allegro/allegro9.mov: All of Doran Golan's videos are worth seeing, but this is one of the most outstanding, and contains many of his most important themes: a sense of place, a sense of character, a sense of culture and history, a really complex, stereotype-free attitude towards politically explosive material, and above all tremendous qualities of composition, structure and control.
Inaugurationanimation by Pall Thayer - http://www.vimeo.com/2917641: Television coverage of the US Presidential Inauguration, slowed down and processed until it acquires a rich painterly texture. Redolent not just of American history and American politics, but the history of American art too. The slowness of the action seems to bring out the patrician, studied aspect of the ceremony: the intensely aspirational quality, the feeling that individuals can make a difference, that the human spirit is inherently noble, and that the world can be made a better place if we just make a sufficient effort - along with the intense theatricality, the self-regard, the sense that these gestures are being made with the whole world for an audience, and that if you can just get the gestures right it almost doesn't matter what you actually do.
U cant hold me down by Donna Kuhn -http://digitalaardvarks.blogspot.com/2009/02/u-cant-hold-me-down.html: The dancer and artist Donna Kuhn has gradually been evolving her own completely individual style of experimental video, and this is one of the best examples. Glimpses of dance, glimpses of sea-shore, and glimpses of Donna's spiky, Klee-style drawings combine into something mysterious, tense, sad and poetic.