Namesake (Film-Poem)

<a href=""><img src="" alt="Namesake (Film-Poem)" class="alignnone" style="width: 100%; max-width: 800px; min-width: 280px; border=0;" /><br />Click to watch video</a>

About the Poem

I essentially wrote this poem for a dare. Click here to read the text of the poem, and more about how it came to be.

Process Notes

Having already enhanced this ekphrastic poem with imagery, I decided that a film-poem seemed like an obvious next step. Visually, the film follows the poem’s concerns about different kinds of reality — personal, virtual, and historical — by playing with dimensionality.

It gave me the opportunity to try out parallax 2.5d animation using all open-source tools (Gimp and Blender), which I found both painstaking and enjoyable. I also mocked up flat animations in HTML and Javascript — such as the opening search scene and ending Matrix-style text, using screen capture to convert it to video. Valerie Kampmeier wrote and performed the score, inspired by courtly dances and the D-minor feel of a dial-up modem sequence.

A Poem for my Nemesis

Henry, Prince of Wales by Robert PeakeWell, not quite. For all I know, we may be related.

But imagine my frustration at being beat in search engine results for my own name by someone who has been dead for almost 400 years. I decided to channel that frustration into a tribute in the form of a digital experiment.

What follows is the poem I wrote for Robert Peake the Elder, an English painter in the court of King James I. I have added links on various phrases in the poem to images of portraits that inspired the text. I have also included audio of me reading the poem, and a gallery of images at the bottom of the page. [Update 3/2/15: We have now produced a film-poem based on this poem as well.]
Continue reading…

What’s in a Name?

Last night, I was ego surfing, and decided to check my Google rank for the keyword “Robert.” That’s right, just “Robert.” I have been in the top ten off and on, but last night this site actually came up higher than the blog of Robert Scoble.

I think this means I was momentarily famous. Strangely enough, I didn’t feel any different than before. By this morning, the effect wore off. I am now back under Scoble. Such are my thrills of late.

I also started up a stub page on Wikipedia for my googleganger, Robert Peake the Elder. Some art historian with a lot of spare time later went to town. Unfortunately, the Peake side of my family tree ends with my love-em-and-leave-em great-grandfather Peake. So, short of DNA testing (or some evidence that this painter had a double-jointed thumb), I’ll never know if we are related.