Geof Huth’s work Endemic Battle Collage is a 1985 experiment with computer animated poems- a precursor to the ones the class has seen this semester. Battle Collage consists of a few smaller poems made in the 1980s, and showed the potential of the personal computer for artists and poets alike, however, to a contemporary audience it seems inhibited by technological constraints. Huth, a concrete and visual poems critic, made Battle Collage to demonstrate his knowledge of poetry, using poems written in apple basic and adding to them both movement and sound.
The poems vary in shape, movements, speed, and sound. Some of the poems move too rapidly for an immediate analysis while others are very simple. The first two are made of shapes and color, the next with variations of the rhyming words sky, glass, and ask. The third poem consists of only the letters in “rain” which fall in the shape of raindrops. Likewise, the next poem simply spells “inch worm,” and the movement of the inch worm is created by typing more I’s and W’s and the proceeding poem also incorporated the elements of sound and movement to create a visual “echo.”
The final poems are very visually substantive, and with gibberish type being transformed into words, then those words being erased and transformed into new arrangements and even new words (and foreign words). Ultimately the video ends with “these programs will repeat themselves until you stop them.” This 8:11 minute video does not repeat, but that statement has been a similar factor in the poems the class has viewed in this semester, that it’s often up to the reader to decide when his or her experience is over. I’d be interested in what others have to say about this work, for instant, does it have strong qualities despite its limitations?