Friday, 7 June 2013


Hypergraphy, referred to as super-writing developed by the Lettrist movement in France. It includes mixed media and is considered to be a 'post-writing' that uses cinema and painting as form for its content. It is a method of visual writing and it is not to be confused with the Hypergraph used in mathematics. Using the concepts of Hypermedia and Hypertext, Hypergraphy has refreshing relevance in our new media and digital literary creativity. Think about "Mashable"and Soft-Cinema outcomes for new media and what that means in a Social Media context - as we become immersed in our interactive virtual lives using images, sound, text, and graphics to collectively stimulate our senses. Information has become ephemerally weaved within our personal social loci. How we communicate when planning an official creative project now includes interaction from multiple sources of creativity.

Once upon a time Television brought in viewer feedback by either "live" talk back or shows dedicated to viewers sending in letters, emails or leaving recorded phone messages. Even TeleText in a fashion used the artform of Hypergraphy, not in the most creative sense but premises were still apparent. These days you may create a show that has a trailer on a video streaming channel which allows for viewers to leave comments, these comments may be track backed to other social media sites, the channel may be bookmarked or syndicated via its feed to other sites or individual/collective social profiles. The video itself may contain interactive links or be able to be embedded into another site. The comments may be video comments or links to other relevant pages. However, something is still preventing this landscape of Hypergraphy from becoming spectacular. It comes down to things like Font licenses, and Copyright unfortunately but the seeds of imagination are still there.

Hypergraphy has become a common place process for people sharing and expressing creative information Online but has its roots in other media broadcast such as cinema, and further back in Woodcut illustrations, such as what was produced by the likes of Alfred Jarry, and in a more contemporary sense Basquiat.

Image from Foreign Movies.

An example of Hypergraphy can be found in Peter Greenaway's film Prospero's Books, where painting, calligraphy and cinema are blended to adapt William Shakespeare's play The Tempest.

Image from The 47th.

Another example is from the film Stranger Than Fiction directed by Marc Forster where Hypergraphy is used to explain formulas adhered to by the leading character in his daily life. This formula is communicated by a novelist who is in concurrently writing his life through-out the film as he lives it.

A more arbitrary example of Hypergraphy that gives me a tickle, from one of my favourite mad-cap 1960's movies What's New Pussycat, is an animation by Richard Williams to fumble out the message in Woody Allen's scrambled script, not that Woody's script was initially a scrambled piece but apparently a lot of liberty and improvisation was taken from it, changing the end film radically from what was initially penned on paper, as seen below.

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