I knew Arthur Klepchukov as more of a visual artist—a pretty good one at that—at Berkeley. He had poetic leanings and a lot of raw talent that I liked.nhe was a member of the Tainwreck Union when we were just starting out, and I have some cool pictures of him reading at Nabolom in Berkeley from those times somewhere in the archives, but I'm not looking them. Up because Athur has got something cool he's done, and I'd like to tell you about it.
Blinks of Awe is an iPad only release of poems in a new format you've never seen before. He self-published it, and it's the first of its kind I've seen so far. I've been dreaming of doing a project like this for a very long time, and Arthur totally beat mew to the punch. It's a full on interactive experience with poetry. Or, at least it's a valiant reach for one. He's a pioneer, and pioneers aren't going to be perfect right out the gate. But if you're up for something totally different, Blinks of Awe is built for you.
It's basically a book of concrete poetry with a video greeting from the author and recordings of him reading his poetry on every page, The design and photography and art are all his, so there is a great flow between the pages, chapters, and just the intercourse between the words, images, and sounds. The whole time I was experiencing his poetry (I say "experiencing" because "readings" would short change what's happening in Blinks of Awe. It's much more than that.
It's hard to be too critical about this piece. Its price tag is only $5, so for that amount of money just to check out the frontlines of where poetry and literature and even non-fiction books are going, it's more than worth it. But it's hard to judge his poetry by itself because it isn't. Are we going to start judging poetry like we do films and plays, where every job is criticized on its own merit? Should I take the sound production on its own and talk about that? We get a lot of new questions from work like this, which might be why Klepchukov made it in the first place.
This an exciting new direction for creative projects. It makes me think that books will be constructed more like movies are, where every person has their own task, and there is a director who brings them together. Questions about authorship are going to spring up like crazy if things keep going like this. We'll be talking about creative teams rather than authors on their own. I always liked collaborative projects. I can't wait to make one of these.