In Guesswork poetry and film literally come together. A super 8 reel with worn and withered documentary footage is overlaid with the text from the Dutch poem 'raden' (meaning ‘guesswork’) by Belgian writer and critic Bart Van der Straeten (°1979), forming a filmic-typographic collage. The condensed verses are unravelled word by word, inciting a tentative reading. They describe the existential and uncomfortable feeling of instability one can have with the public space of the city one dwells in. Although the word and image layers are in disjunction, involuntarily the found footage of Parisian monuments starts connecting with the text, stressing a distant and impersonal relationship with the surrounding urban environment.
The conception of and research behind Guesswork. Variation 8 is discussed in the chapter with reading film experiments in my doctoral thesis Leesfilm. Oefeningen in intermedialiteit, pp. 208-233.
original title (Dutch): Raden. Variatie 8
concept & editing: Jan Peeters
writer/poet: Bart Van der Straeten
year of production: 2011
country of production: Belgium
original language: Dutch
language translated version: English
typeface: Jean-Luc by Atelier Carvalho Bernau,
format: dv (digitized super 8)
aspect ratio: 4:3 (1.33 : 1)
colour: colour
sound: stereo
runtime: 4 min 49 s
→ "Young Vagrants IV", 12 May 2011, in Art Cinema OFFoff, Ghent, Belgium.
→ "Guesswork. Variation 8" during the international exhibition for experimental film 'Experimentación Mediática', 26 August - 1 September 2011, in Galería Candela, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
→ "Raden. Variatie 8", during 'OFFoff Cinema presents', 27 March 2012 in Timelab, Ghent, Belgium.
→ "Raden. Variatie 8", during ‘Young Vagrants V', 29 March 2012 in Art Cinema OFFoff, Ghent, Belgium.
→ "Raden. Variatie 8", during 'Blue in the face', a BL!NDMAN-production by Eric Sleichm, 28 April 2012 in Cultuurcentrum Sint-Niklaas, Belgium.
→ "Raden. Variatie 8", during ‘CinemAHA’, 9-19 August 2012, Assenede, Belgium.
→ published online by 'Moving Poems. The best poetry videos on the web', 10 August 2012.
→ "Guesswork. Variation 8", during ‘Co-Kisser Poetry-Film Festival’, Saturday 6 October 2012, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minnesota, USA.
→ "Guesswork. Variation 8", at TreviglioPoesia Festival, selected as finalist for the videopoetry competition "La parola immaginata", Friday 24 May - Thursday 2 June 2013, Treviglio, Italy.
→ West Wednesdays, guerilla video projection of "Raden. Variatie 8" in the public space organized by the Cliques et Claques intervention team and Kulter, 8 March 2017, Amsterdam-West, the Netherlands.

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