The Handling of Poetry in Interactive Media: The Case of a CD-Rom Production of Catalan Poetry


Presentation Title:

  • The Handling of Poetry in Interactive Media: The Case of a CD-Rom Production of Catalan Poetry



  • Poster Statement

    One aim of the “Institut Universitari de l’Audiovisual de la Universitat Pompeu Fabra” (IUA-UPF, Barcelona) is the production of interactive multimedia supporting the main research and educational activities and the dissemination of minority cultural knowledge through new digital media. Through these productions we want to bring together the research in multimedia design with its practical application and testing. We study the relations between interface, content and user personal characteristics, and also the possibilities of these interactive interfaces as a new creative and expressive forms. As all other activities in the IUA-UPF, we explore, on the one hand, the new ways that electronic art in general can open and, on the other hand, the application of these media to old artistic forms. Related to this second approach to interactive multimedia, our first production is “Dotze sentits. Poesia catalana d’ avui” (Twelve senses. Today’s Catalan Poetry), a CD-ROM made in collaboration with “Editorial Proa” (a catalan publisher) and “Diputaci de Barcelona” (a public regional institution). It is based on the works, lives and ideas of twelve living catalan poets. The CD-ROM has won the Spain and Portugal Möbius award, and has achieved an increasing success among local audiences, either general or poetry interested. We think this can be a good example of a way to approach poetry, an old and mainly textual or verbal artistic form, to the general public using the new language possibilities that interactive media offer. Through the design of our product we have tried to accomplish two main objectives. First, a user interface as transparent as possible in order to guarantee the fast and easy approach to information by people that are in principle interested only in poetry. Second, to create a surprise effect and promote the desire to exploring the CD-ROM, offering a collection of multimedia possibilities that probably the user never expected. With this aim the CD-ROM contains a set of different and specific multimedia materials: poems performed in video or audio by its authors, manuscript views, text and fonts animation, interactive and video interviews, and poets’ personal photographs, objects, works and hobbies commented by him or herself. We include also a more traditional encyclopedic approach which offers to the specialists a very exhaustive and textual information on biography, bibliography and the contents of articles about each author and contemporary catalan poetry in general. This information can be printed if desired. A third playful approach uses a theater metaphor with animation and audio elements to propose a poetry reading in video with a personalized list of poets. A very engaging and clear graphic design increases the user-friendliness of the interface, minimizing difficulties and reject and making easy the approach of a non initiated person to multimedia products towards this multimedia handling of poetry. As a summary, in this presentation we will discuss our approach to handling a classical art, such as poetry, with multimedia language through the particular case of this production.