Project 4- Intermedia Haiku "Middle English: a Primer"

You can view the project Here . If prompted, allow the ActiveX plugin to run.



I struggled with brainstorming ideas for this project because I wasn’t sure how to incorporate sound, words, and images in ways that were not redundant. I ended up with the idea of using homonyms to create a piece that expressed the characteristics of each of these forms of communication (seeing images, reading words, and listening to sounds) in a humorous manner. Each segment of the piece uses a pair of words which sound the same when pronounced: soul/sole, heart/hart, and time/thyme. One, however, is an abstract concept while the other is a concrete object. I wanted to express the dissonance and confusion in communication by playing with the way each medium interpreted the word pair.

The computerized, instructive voice introduces a word, but the text displayed onscreen suggests that the voice refers to the concept, while the image is representative of the object. This finds fault in communication through sound. Even when the voice tries to clarify by stating the origin of the word and using it in a sentence, the actual subject of its attention remains elusive. If the audio were paired solely with the imagery or with the text its meaning would be clear, but the inclusion of both highlights the ambiguity of the language. Without the sound, the image and text would contradict each other but would not possess the same connection of their pronunciations.

The music I chose is appropriately mechanical but dissonantly playful. I wanted to suggest cosmic indifference on the part of the speaker, but also wanted to imply that the entire project is intended to be an educational program created either by the speaker or by some other entity. The bloops and bleeps punctuate moments, presenting them as truth though they are in fact entirely inconclusive. In this way, the relationsihp of the different elements in time forces viewers to connect the images and words and to consider how much is really being communicated.