TAO
Overview
“Tao” is a short cinematographic Flash poem, created by Alan Sondheim and Reiner Strasser that combines film, poetry and limited interactivity with haunting, melodic music to create a surreal yet soothing meditative experience.
Textual Features: Tao consists of three main elements:
  • Two screens playing the same 38 seconds of film.
  • A short poem.
  • An audio track.
Media Features:
  • The view is from the window of a moving vehicle
  • Animated element of a large, amorphous, disk-like shape
  • As the film plays, a red line scrolls beneath the screens.
  • The three lines of a short poem are slowly revealed.
  • The separate elements of film and text are united by the work’s soundtrack, which consists of ashakuhachi (Japanese flute) and faint, ghostly singing.
Reading Experience
The experience is cast from one main screen. The reader does not need to lead himself through the clip. No decisions to be taken. There are no much suspense. The videos played on each small screen are almost identical. In this piece the inclusion of the two screens side-by-side makes time pass by very fast as the reader tries to make comparisons and conclusions. The ability to flip each screen back and forth is one of the only two choices that the reader can take. The other choice is replay or rewind. The separate elements of film and text are united by the work’s soundtrack, which consists of playing the flute.
Analysis/Interpretation
  • Tao or Dao is a Chinese religious concept that means way, path, doctrine, principle.
  • Words such as "star," "earth," are key terms in understanding the poem.
  • The creation of the universe or the death of our planet?
  • Direction change option.
  • Chaos and violence in text of the poem.