Introducing a transmedia print experiment:
Lightness & Darkness is a multidisciplinary print project created by us, writer/artist/publishers Taleen Kalenderian and Nicki Yowell. The crux of L & D is dualities and the relationship between them: light and dark, black and white, word and image, the tangible and the abstract.
And this January, we introduce this concept in the form of a printed book which features poetry, prose, essays, photography, illustration, music and film. Did we leave anything out?
L & D is a platform for authors to explore what it means to be a writer in the foreground. But it’s also an outlet for our many artistic and talented collaborators including writer and Green Lantern Press publisher Caroline Picard, comic artist Grant Reynolds, illustrator Hannah K. Lee, vocal-electronic duo Thee Source ov Fawnation, DUM DUM Zine editor and writer Liska Jacobs, and L.A. directors Susan Yi and Jacob Halajian, along with many others. Without them, this project would not be happening!
L & D was a long time coming. We always knew something was missing from our past projects. Writing and working alone just couldn’t cut it any more. And the often-stratified nature of the many art worlds--literature, visual art, spoken word, photography, film, music--compelled us to bridge the gaps. Reeling from a geographic separation, we came back together in the summer of 2011. It didn’t take long for us to find the perfect name for our penultimate project. We were compelled to push our own abilities, our visions, to include both extremes in our work. Although the idea came from our personalities and an inside joke involving our grad school student I.D.s, we translated it into a universal axiom, Lightness & Darkness.
Taleen Kalenderian & Nicki Yowell
This concept grew legs during Nicki’s trip to L.A. last fall. We teamed up in Taleen’s hometown to write prose poetry, which culminated in the first incarnation of the project. While there, we collaborated with Olympia, Washington’s vocal-electronic duo Thee Source ov Fawnation, who played improvised music while recording our words being read aloud for the first time. The result is a sonic-literary experiment fusing both written and musical art forms, reshaping the way both mediums are experienced. This facet of the project invites the reader-listener to experience the work via album recording, activating the text with voice and musical elements.
Sonic literary album insert
From there, we’ve added a host of essays and literary work, including a personal written and photographic exploration of place, namely L.A. vs. the Midwest. Along the way, L & D has evolved with each new collaborator and piece we’ve been fortunate enough to acquire. Grant contributed a beautiful logo for the book. Liska used a seminal Eudora Welty quote as a catalyst for a new poem. We’re also incorporating short films from a host of directors such as Susan Yi and Jacob Halajian that will be visual representations of our audio tracks. Perhaps what’s most compelling about our results is the breadth of creation L & D has helped to spawn.
The end product, to be released in its entirety in late January 2012, comprises of our book and all of its component parts including illustrations and prose within the pages, poster inserts and a recording of our work with Thee Source ov Fawnation. But the release party will be a piece in itself, a reflection of L & D’s inherent performative, communal and social aspects. It will be a real-life exploration of duality, happening in locations at both of the ultimate polarities in Chicago, the North and South side. Did you really expect us to only do one side?
So, with all of those components, L & D will be our first transmedia project, an experiment in all sensory and intellectual representations of art. We hope you’re looking forward to it.
Thanks for your support!
Yowell & Taleen Kalenderian
Lightness & Darkness
Special thanks to our videographer/editor Jason Elewski! Check out his work here: http://vimeo.com/user1558148
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