Poemedia2.0: The Digitally Poetic Design of Aaron Angello and Erin Costello
Matt Diss • February 19, 2015 • Art •
Digital poetry, a literary, multimedia, interactive experience, is an artistic novelty shrouded in immense mysticism and is highly scrutinized in the world of traditional literature. While poets and artists question the ingenuity of this modern, digital form, and debate its necessity and specific terminology, artists like Erin Costello and Aaron Angello are progressing the medium of digital poetry into its own unique literary design, utilizing multimedia and page written prose to display its value and distinction as a form of meaningful, artistic expression.
My introduction into the digitally poetic world started on a Friday night, when I became hell-bent on finding something interesting to indulge in at my first moment of a work-free weekend.
As I began to sift through the plethora of local community event calendars to find something of allure, I stumbled upon an art installation titled, Poemedia 2.0; A Literary Interactive Multimedia Environment, hosted at the ATLAS Black Box Theatre.
Seeing as the event was free and open to the public, and seemingly met the requirements for my weekend fascinations, I immediately suggested the idea to some friends, who were easily persuaded to come along with the help of some lofty forms of hyperbolic convincing. While the online description was rather vague, and my knowledge of “A Literary Interactive Multimedia Environment” was brief, to say the least, I still found the title and overall aesthetic enticing enough to make the short walk two blocks from my condo to the Colorado University campus.
As my friends and I arrived at the location where my intuition had apparently decided the art installment would be, it became obvious we were lost without directions- wandering around the arts department, asking every freshman undergrad where the most elusive ATLAS Center was located.
After forty-five minutes of intense meandering, just as our excitement began to dwindle, and hopes began to fade, we found what we had been looking for in the basement of a massive university building.
As we approached the outer doors of the installment, we were greeted by an apathetic, aromatic art student, who appeared as if he would have rather preferred a night out-on-the-town, than to work the door for a Friday night art project.
Initially, I felt that I may not have made the best plans for our evening, especially considering the lack of immediate enthusiasm, and the arduously long journey we endured to arrive. But when we entered the exhibit we became entangled in a world of creative confusion and enthralling inspiration. We were fully immersed in the world of digital poetry.
Various forms of multimedia swirled amidst the space, with fervent expression, but controlled intentions.
Randomly arranged and hanging from the ceiling, were at least one hundred 8.5 x 11” pieces of cardstock with poetry printed on both sides.
Projected images and a cacophony of natural and recorded noises and voices pierced through the subtle awe of the written word, producing an intensified, bewildering effect on the human senses.
Adding an even greater appeal, and inducing an ingenious connection with the work, human participants read poetry of their own from a dark, inconspicuous nook in the space, which presented yet another unique perspective to the almost overwhelming environment of organized chaos.
I couldn’t help but revel in such intricate beauty. I was splendidly fascinated, and immediately realized the intimacy of the experience. These thoughts would not fall into the crevice of the unreflected.
As my friends and I left Poemedia 2.0, it was obvious that the art installment, and our introduction to the digitally poetic realm, was certainly worth our adventure.
The experience had left us all in a stupefied state, leveled by intense contemplation and overactive senses. We were in shock. But a good shock, that had opened the doors of our perceptions, and challenged our views of the literary arts.
When I finally found time to delve into my own thoughts about the installation, I immediately felt gratitude for the prominent and astoundingly amazing artistic abilities of Costello and Angello. They challenged my perspectives on literature, poetry and the arts by spurring new ideas, which evoked tremendous emotion, and established a creative insight into what a “digital” literary form could embody.
I couldn’t help but admire such innovation. And while Costello and Angello wade in an artistic facet that is under great review and dismissal from some, they have managed to give digital poetry a dimension that tests the boundaries of conventional poetry, providing new meaning to the “screen” as a viable medium of expression and utilizing a projected image onto page printed prose, furthering an even more interesting twist on seemingly “digital” presentation.
The installment also provided more than simply its artistic prowess. Poemedia 2.0 brought into fruition the idea that shared human intentions, in a shared human space, creates a collective human body.
And within this all-encompassing entity, we find that poetic fluidity is innate, and part of our natural human condition. It flows endlessly from within and becomes not only part of our deepest inner being, but also an integral piece of our larger external body, in which, we share and perceive our social lives and navigate in a world filled with technological advancement.
While we can hinge many great influential thoughts on this string of artistic intelligence alone, still, there is a greater underlying message; a message that instills in all of us the thought that our most creative literary ideas stem not from a momentary miracle, but rather a creative force that lay untouched, unharnessed, ready to engage and interact in ANY way we choose to express it.
I can solemnly say that, as an artist, writer and proponent to the advancement of artistic knowledge, I have become profoundly inspired by the work of Angello and Costello. Despite the philosophical debate on the artistic progression of digital poetry, I, like other influenced artists, feel inspiration in this unique facet, and see its integration into the literary world as a necessary artistic component, as it may become a wondrously useful tool in the expanse of the human knowledge of self, community and the arts at large.
It would be my greatest hope that we may all give digital poetry a deeper look, to open doors to a world of innovative and insightful knowledge, and to find further meaning through our incredible abilities to find direction through our art.
If you would like to see the final compilation video of Poemedia by Erin Costello and Aaron Angello, check out the link below!Poemedia