I spent the weekend pondering a quote by experimental filmmaker Hollis Frampton.
"Language and image, each trespassing in the other's house, secrete disquieting disjunctions, conundrums, circularities. We are accustomed to the poetic strategy, within language, of bracketing a noun within the genus of yet another noun, which may come from an alien phylum, a foreign kingdom. Translation of that strategy into the economy of images yields artifacts....savagely grotesque, arch, silly....that seem to flee the rigors of self-reference; contradictory images, far from coalescing in a dialectical encounter, annihilate one another in a gesture that sweeps language clean of specification and seems on the point of suggesting a raw map of the preconscious work -- the material action-- of language.
It is as though the formation of the meaningful had some ultimate chemical origin, 'parts of speech' combine into propositional molecules through electrovalent attraction, or, where that attraction is lacking, remain in solution as free radicals. If art has had a scientific mission, we find it in the exposure of such mechanisms, in a nonlinear display of the occasions of meaning. For meaning is not, for image or word, in things; it is in people."
Man, I hope never start talking like that. Being able to talk like that would be keen, but actually talking like that in an everyday conversation would hurt my soul.
In the end, it's a fancy way of saying art and meaning center on people and not formula. Strict adherence to formula is art trying to impose meaning onto people. That's interesting, because wikipedia lists that Hollis guy (the other one) as a structural filmmaker (different, apparently, than the structure talked about in storytelling.)
Still the "...we find it in the exposure of such mechanisms, in a nonlinear display of the occasions of meaning..." has a lot of, well, meaning, for me.
Writer of speculative fiction. Current work in progress is an untitled dark fantasy novella.