W. MARK SUTHERLAND America a videopoem

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America a videopoem

America a videopoem is a contemporary recontextualization of the final scene in Edwin S. Porter’s 1903 silent film The Great Train Robbery. Videopoet and theorist Tom Konyves (Videopoetry: A Manifesto) writes that, America a videopoem emphasizes two different readings of the work. The political reading points to guns in America and, by extension, gun-control laws, the NRA, and public opinion on the topical issue. As such, the title directly references a contemporary debate. Like Duchamp’s title for his urinal, America a videopoem suggests an additional layer of meaning, an addition intended to simultaneously deflect and direct attention to an unexpected meaning. While the instruction between the segments – again – can be seen as an ironic commentary on the 2016 US Presidential election campaign slogan, it also links the repetitive segments, an ambiguity taken up by the “repeated” presentations of an act/scene (itself self-referential in the representation of “shots”). In its conceptual reading, three iterations of a “shot” – a cowboy pointing his gun at the camera, pulling the trigger nine times, 6 shots and 3 “clicks” – questions and (as the Formalists would suggest) “lays bare the device” of the action presented for appreciation. Attention is also, brought to the three constitutive elements, Text, Image and Sound…