While oulipean videos come in as many shapes and sizes as oulipo itself, we have here a few examples of the way video can be used within oulipo. Some of the videos display constraints in different media, while others are themselves constrained in interesting ways. The first three videos here actually describe the “history” of oulipo while also bringing oulipean textual moments to the screen.
“A Documentary Saga of the Oulipo, Part I”
“A Documentary Saga of the Oulipo, Part II”
“A Documentary Saga of the Oulipo, Part III”
Described as “a coleopterous lipogram in a, i, o and u” by the author, we would probably more clearly define it as univocal lipogram in e. Combining text read by a computer-voice, nature programming, and the constrained poem, this video is a good example of oulipo, even if the video itself isn’t particularly constrained.
“Deer Grazing Poems”
A young woman and her friends decided to read the same poem in 400 different ways, videotaping each of the different ways to read the poem. Below are two of the first examples of this project, which, though interesting, was never finished. The author notes on her website that she is no longer capable of keeping up the process, and so the 400 ways of reading a poem ended much sooner. Still, these provide interesting ways to eat up chunks of your afternoon, and some of the readings are pretty funny.
This video brings together Rene Magritte, Georges Perec, and an oulipean approach to filming a subject. While the constraint used here is easy to detect, the creators of the text manage to use it in interesting ways. This is perhaps the only truly constrained video we are displaying here.
“letter + google image search = video entertainment” (2005)
Andrew Silva, who was at the University of Iowa for a time, produced a series of experimental videos of varying kinds. One of the most oulipean was this one, where a spam letter is read by a computer while showing images taken from google image search that persist for the voice’s speaking of each word. All the images were found using the words in the spam letter, and the very first image given by the search was the one chosen to “represent” that word.