• Interdisciplinary Practices

    Posted Posted by Guest Writer in WBN News & Events     Comments 2 comments

    One of the greatest pleasures, I believe, an artist receives is a feeling of inspiration via another person’s work. Be it a silent film featuring robots and proletariats, a painting that plays with color for sound, or a book featuring precepts of reincarnation, works of art that truly touch fellow creative types can leave their marks in good ways. As writers, it is essential to absorb/experience as much alternate media as possible.

    Incorporation and interdisciplinary practices are great sources for enrichment. Think of Pablo Picasso being struck by Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity, then forging ahead with his contemporaries and formulating Cubism. In that one movement, he took theories of advanced (for his day) physics and modified the way he thought about painting as an art and a medium. With Cubism, he tried to defy Einstein’s laws on reality, presenting faces both in profile and portrait simultaneously. In more general terms: an entirely different field apart from painting greatly influenced the future of painting.

    Another great example, especially for writers, is the interplay between film and fiction. Fiction first influenced film via plays. Film then took off and became tremendously popular. This popularity was then reabsorbed by generations of emerging writers, and suddenly the third person dramatic perspective becomes reinforced in fiction. It’s these circles that so intrigue me. As a fellow writer, I can’t help but respect my influences, both literary and other. How much more important, then, for writers to aspire to influence other mediums in return.

    What are your thoughts, guys? Any particular works outside of literature that have really influenced your work? Is there a future for writing in the interplay between artistic mediums? The abundance of cheap media (i.e. digital cameras and recorders, Photoshop type applications, blog sites, etc.) can help this process. How about films featuring words? Photoslides that tell a sequential story about a poem featuring pictures of bird wings? The sky’s the limit, I hope. We can all dwell by the pink in rose under the cloud atlas of the metropolis.


    Christopher Savage is a writer living in Austin. He writes poetry, short stories, non-fiction, film scripts, comic books, and one long novel, among other things. He is the founder of the Boho Coco literary zine and blog and is currently attending UT Austin as a Sociology major, English minor. He is survived by his cat Cashew.

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    Laura Roberts

    Man, if you DON’T have inspiration outside of literature (as a writer), you’re doing something wrong! Isn’t that why so many people tell creative people to “fill the well” or take themselves on “artist dates”? Artists should always be interested in as many areas of creativity and self-expression as possible, otherwise their work will become stagnant. I think this is probably why my brain freezes when someone asks me “What’s your favorite movie/band/artist?” There are just too many influences to name! A partial list of the artists who’ve influenced me (as opposed to their works) would have to include Ani… Read more »

    Jess Stoner

    Hi Christopher! I love this topic because I am obsessed with intersections: photography and W. G. Sebald’s books and ekphrasis (Anselm Keifer’s paintings & Paul Celan’s poems) to name a few. Chris Marker’s La Jette is an astounding film–and what’s kind of accidentally amazing is how when you have the English subtitles on the screen (in the original there’s no text), you’re hearing the narration in French, and watching the images, it’s like a clusterfuck of intimidating perfection. I also went to the School of the Art Institute for my MFA and had critiques where painters and filmmakers and fabric… Read more »

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