Catalogue of Works on Videotape

ALL are in color, unless otherwise noted. NTSC 3/4” U-Matic or NTSC VHS 1/2” cassettes can be supplied from, and should be returned to, the artist at the above address. Fees are negotiable. All public performances should be reported to ASCAP or its European affiliates. A single asterisk (*) identifies tapes that have a hi-fi stereo soundtrack; those with a double asterisk (**) would benefit from large-screen projection TV; those with a triple asterisk (***) are also available in the historic 1/2” reel to reel. The works fall into distinct groups:

  1. Tapes whose screen content is exclusively linguistic: Kinetic Writings (1989, 22’) consists of mute language realizations, of both poems and fictions, that exploit capabilities unique to video. Video Strings (*, 1989, 29:42) offers seemingly endless streams of overlapping words, enhanced in different ways, with one example in German. Stringsieben (1989, 12’) has a different, more spectacular continuous realization of the continuous German text. Turfs/Grounds/Lawns (*, 1989, 23’) has successions of four-word poems, eight-word poems and sixteen-word poems, sometimes accompanied by aural realizations of the same texts. Partitions (*, 1986, 27:40) offers long words in which shorter words are embedded, in increasingly complex configurations. Onomatopoeia (*, **, 1989, 23:00) displays on screen in increasingly complicated visual arrays the text of RK’s sampler-produced audio composition of words whose sound represents their meaning. Two versions of Kaddish (*, 1991, 23:00) displays on screen a nonsynchonous English translation of the soundtrack of the Hebrew prayer for the dead, spoken in various styles and accents reflective the Diaspora.
  2. Video fantasias of audiotracks produced at sophisticated electronic music studios: AMERICAS’ GAME (**, 2001, 60’), of and about the sound of baseball as a reflection of life in the Americas; INVOCATIONS (**, 1988, 61’), of and about the sound of the language of prayer. [This is available with six different openings: (a) English; (b) Latin; (c), German; (d) HebrewAssyriac; (e) Italian-Yugoslav-Greek; (f) Swedish-Danish.] The Gospels Abridged (*, **, 1988, 61’) has parts of the four opening books of the New Testament heard as a continuous fugue. Die Evangelien (*, **, 1989, 58’) is the same, wholly in German. Seductions (**, 1988, 25:30) has sixteen complimentary stories, interwoven one sentence at a time, all spoken by RK, his voice amplified in various ways. Relationships (**, 1988, 31:45) is an elaborate intimate memoir. Two Erotic Videotapes (1988, 56:10) offers different video syntheses of the two preceding audiotapes. Two Sacred Texts (**, 1988, 12’) has differing video accompaniments to two audiotapes: Praying to the Lord and The Eight Nights of Hanukah. Eight different realizations to the former alone (*) are also available towards an eight-monitor installation. The images in these recent tapes were produced at the Experimental TV Center, Owego, NY, and edited at Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT. The Eight Nights Of Hanukah has that compositional alone, accompanied by computer-generated variations on the Star of David.
  3. Recent departures: Home Movies Reconsidered: My First Twenty-Seven Years (1987, 46’) is an edited critical interpretaton of 8 mm film taken between 1937 and 1967. (Presently silent, it functions best as the basis of a live performance.) Americas’ Game (1988, 60’) has representational imagery accompanying a soundtrack of and about sounds, including language, unique to baseball.
  4. Early works, mostly to texts that preceded involvement with video: Three Prose Pieces (***, 1975, 20’) has imagery indigenous to video, as produced during a residency at Synapse, Syracuse University: (a) Excelsior (1975, 1:05) switches rapidly between two voices and two shapes seducing each other, the spoken words eroticizing the abstract imagery. (b) Plateaux (1975, 3:55) relates the stases of a love affair in one-word paragraphs, the screen showing an evolving moire pattern whose languid circularity complements the circularity of the verbal narrative. (c) Recyclings (1975, 14:05) is an incremental sequence of nonsyntactic prose texts (drawn from a 1974 RK book of that title, reissued in 1984) that are read by several nonsynchronous, identical voices (all RK’s). The image consists only of pairs of lips (likewise RK’s), moving synchronously with audible speech, the differences in hue indicating the age of the image. The first section has one voice and one pair of lips; the last (and sixth) section has six voices and six pairs of lips, each generation of lips-voices reading the same nonsyntactic text nonsynchronously. Openings & Closings (***, 1975, 56:10), also produced during the Synapse residency, draws upon a book of that title, published in the same year, in which single-sentence stories are alternately the openings and the closings of hypothetical longer fictions. The author is seated in a chair reading the Openings in color and the Closings in black-white, with each new image as different as can be from the one(s) before, ideally realizing visually the leaps in time and space that characterize the boosts text. Literary Video (1977) has four bits of alternative literary recital: (a) A bearded mouth reading the title piece, a 1976 manifesto about video is a propitious medium for literary ideas (b/w, 5:’45). (b) Milestones in a Life (1977) with dark male eyes that hardly blink, while the soundtrack broadcasts a story about a bourgeois life that is told in terms of numbers followed by single-word paragraphs (b/w, 14:10). (c) Dialogues (1977) with three, dramatically different exchanges of the words Yes and No, in which only a hirsute Adam’s apple is visible (b/w, :30, :35, :40). (d) Plateaux (1977) with only the side of a face that is reciting a story whose single-word paragraphs relate the evolution of an affair (b/w, 3:32). Declaration Of Independence (1979, 9:20) has four pairs of superimposed bearded lips, each visibly different in size, reading RK’s contemporary “Declaration of Independence,” roughly simultaneously, from beginning to end. From time to time an explanatory gloss, in capital letters larger than those of televised movie subtitles, crawls along the bottom of the screen. Epiphanies (1980, 31:00, b/w) nas single-sentence stories, produced entirely on a character-generator, that are the epiphanies, which is to say resonant moments that illuminate the entire (but here nonexistent) story. Early Literary Videotapes is a single 120’ NTSC VHS with copies of Literary Video, Three Prose Pieces, Openings & Closings, Declaration of Independence and Epiphanies. Video Writing (1987, 53:40) is an informal retrospective about this early work and the environment behind its production, narrated by RK and directed by Robert Boynton Weyr.

Also available are videotape copies of RK works originally produced in other media: Epiphanies (1980, 44:20) documents the initial performance of the theatrical version of the single-sentence texts mentioned before, now directed by Suzanne Bennett with four readers at the University of North Dakota, March, 1980. Epiphanies (1981, 48:45) documents a different performance, this with several readers declaiming perhaps three times as many stories, directed by E. St. John Villard at Vassar College, October, 1981. Epiphanies (1982, 29:35) copies a film whose visual track contains clips of various lengths that have this same epiphany quality. On the soundtrack are voices reading stories that, typically, have no connection, other than similar form, to the visual track. Epiphanies (1983, 19:50) copies a film that no longer exists, broadcast over German television, with a wholly German soundtrack and sections different from those in the English film noted above. Broadcast rights for German-language television must be obtained from SFB. Five Versions Of Epiphanies (1988, 32’) has excerpts from the four previous ‘tapes, as well as the video version, mentioned before, for character-generator. Ein Verlorenes Berlin (1983, 21’) copies an imaginative film documentary about Berlints Great Jewish Cemetery as the principal surviving relic of “A Lost Berlin.’ The visual track has current scenes from the Cemetery; the soundtrack has the voices of Berliners remembering, in German, the cemetery and its relation to the Berlin they knew. A Berlin Lost (1985), which won a prize at the Ann Arbor Film Festival (and later toured with it), has the same footage, to the same length, now with ex-Berliners speaking English with different testimony. Ett Forlorat Berlin (19814) has a soundtrack of Swedish-speaking Berliners with yet other testimony. Berlin Perdu (1986) is the same footage with a fresh French soundtrack. El Berlin Perdido (1987) is Spanish; Berlin Sche-Einena Jother (1988) is Hebrew. Various combinations of two Berlin films on 3/4” tape, or even more films on 1/2” VHS tape, can be made for appropriate reasons. Constructivist Fictions/Openings & Closings (198~4) copies two early b/w films of texts of RK books with the same titles.

If any sponsors wish to audit copies, inquire about fees, sponsor future video work or ask any other questions, please write me at the address at the top of this page. The date of this catalogue is September 1994. Thank you for your interest.