Onrust (Restlessness)

Creative Work
Year: 
2010
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The hyperlinked title on the homepage of the author activates a Flash movie showing handwriting appearing against a greyish background - not only the writing, but also the empty screen is reminiscent of paper. The most important difference with Oosterhoffs paper work is the fact that this digital work is time-based, and plays like a movie. The text is not a finished object, it is actually being written as we watch it, or so it seems. There are no images in the work and no hyperlinks. The digital or internet context is thus not activated in any way, and the ‘permeability’ (Tabbi 2004: 215) of reading in an electronic environment is thus reduced as much as possible.

One by one the lines of the poem appear, and we witness the letters traced on the ‘paper’ in the natural rhythm of the writing hand. When there is a verse of four lines (sometimes two), it disappears, and after a short pause, a new verse commences.

 

Like all Oosterhoff's works, this is a minimal piece, where all we see is the writing of the verselines, in realtime. This rhythm provokes exactly what the title says: unrest. What we end up reading is a dialogue about 'they' (cows?) that are 'still restless back there'.
The fact that the work is in the author's hand creates a tension between the iterability of the electronic work and the singularity of the moment of writing the piece. Thus questions on reproduction, presence and subjectivity are foregrounded.

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yra van dijk