Profile: George Aguilar and Video Poetry
"This poet's prayer was answered by the invention of the lens, which gave us a new gift for self knowledge. Might the cameras of the world provide transformative experiences? Could television possibly become the ultimate metaphysical guru?"
Video poet George Aguilar has taken James Broughton's words to heart--and is working hard to make television "the ultimate metaphysical guru." His mission: to bring video poetry to the masses.
And just what is video poetry?
"Video poetry is a mixed-media format in which poem, image and sound interact symbiotically," says Aguilar. "At its best, the video poem fuses poem and image--just as a song fuses melody and lyrics."
Not surprisingly, then, many video poems resemble music videos. In fact, Aguilar considers many of the more creative musicians and music video directors great video poetry producers.
"But video poetry can make use of the technology and the media in a much more powerful way than standard music videos can," insists Aguilar. "A video poem lends itself to many images and visual styles--the artistry comes in creating these compact images."
As the director of the San Francisco-based Poetry Film Workshop, Aguilar has implemented an aggressive and ambitious effort to promote and market this unique art form.
Part Poet, Part Videomaker
After graduating in 1989 from the University of California at San Diego with a degree in film and video, Aguilar headed home for San Francisco to set up shop as an independent producer.
"One day I came upon video poetry by accident," remembers Aguilar. "I saw this sign that said 'Poetry Film Workshop.' I looked inside and saw this little old man with a cane and a cap in a rat's nest of an office. He showed me the first poetry film I ever saw."
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