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This review is taken from PN Review 160, Volume 31 Number 2, November - December 2004.

PAPERLESS TIGER papertiger: new world poetry #03, on CD-ROM, edited by Paul Hardacre & Brett Dionysus, published by papertiger media ( $18.00 (Aus)

papertiger is a CD-ROM of poetry and new media work, published annually from Australia. Being on CD-ROM, it offers various extras which no print publication could emulate - liberal use of colour graphics, animated links, sound-effects, and of course the new media pieces - but the emphasis is still very much on poetry, and the main difference between poetry on CD-ROM and poetry on paper is that page-space is not a consideration. There are over 140 poems in this issue. As when browsing the Web, you feel disconcerted at first by the sheer volume of material on offer; but as with the Web, you soon start to skip and skim, and once this mental adjustment has been made the considerable merits of the collection begin to emerge.

The new media work consists of audio, video and Flash pieces, plus one poem accompanied by photographs. The most immediately arresting contributions are from Jason Nelson - technically brilliant interactive Flash animations, accompanied by earsplitting soundtracks. Less attention-grabbing are two videos by Alan Sondheim, one of the most universally admired artists in the new media field. They show a man in long combinations performing contemplative exercises by a lake, while a female voice utters two short parables about a character called Nikuko. Those unfamiliar with Sondheim may be nonplussed; but the idiosyncratic approach and concern with spirituality are typical of his work, and the videos repay close attention.

For me, however, the text poems are the most interesting, ...

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