Mark Amerika

Mark Amerika

University of Houston-Victoria freshman Anthony Vargas said he was inspired by the clicks, sounds, images and stories of Mark Amerika’s digital art.

“I really liked it; it was fun to listen to,” said Vargas, 18, who is a digital gaming and computer science major. “It makes me want to create something of my own.”

Amerika, who is an artist, poet and writer, was the first presenter in the American Book Review Reading Series on Thursday in the University West Alcorn Auditorium, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.

Amerika, is the author of the novels “The Kafka Chronicles” and “Sexual Blood.”

He showed students his works of Internet art, including “GRAMMATRON” and “FILMTEXT.”

In “GRAMMATRON,” which was released in 1997, readers can navigate through the narrative while digital animations complement the text. In “FILMTEXT,” readers can interact with nine different scenes.

“It transports you to another space,” Amerika said during the reading. He explained his works straddle the literary and artistic often using the Internet as the mediating device to explore new methods of writing.

Amerika said he was in college Aug. 1, 1981, the day MTV launched.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. That is when he decided to create music videos.

He closed his presentation by showing the audience a music video that he and one of his students created called “Digital Afterlife.”

One audience member asked Amerika whether he had fun creating the music video.

“It starts with writing,” he said about how the project began with notes that transformed into lyrics, music and a green screen.

During the audience questions, Vargas asked Amerika whether he was still proud of his work.

“It was a moment in time,” Amerika said about how he was able to experience the transition taking place in the culture and use the environment for his story to take place.

Gabriella Canales reports on education for the Victoria Advocate. She may be reached at gcanales@vicad.com or 361-580-6578.

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Education reporter

Gabriella Canales graduated from the University of Houston-Victoria with a B.A. in English in 2016. Feel free to contact her with ideas because she is eager to tell stories.

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