Before the advent of video camera, there was no "written" record for sign language till about 1913 (The Preservation of Sign Language). It's not writing in the traditional sense, but it's more like an equivalent to recorder.
Before the emergence of ASL writing in the early 21st century, video was used as a "written" record.
As a literary media arche-creator (more than being an artist) inspried by Derridean deconstruction, I explored and deconstructed a concept of the meaning of video. I employed different techniques and approaches with "video writing" rather than image-making.
The 52-second video poem and translation "Virtue of Hakuin: a poem" (2006) by Jolanta Lapiak myself, has a multi-faceted layers of exploration and inspection on different topics from translation to writing.
The video primarily focuses on the idea of interpretation, the concept of lines, and a meaning of writing, reading, and speaking. My work also inspects a medium of video as a form of writing rather than hearing way of motion image.
Through this work, my experience of the process involves expressing, editing, and finalizing in a sense of writing rather than making a video in a traditional sense.
The video "Virtue of Hakuin" is a visual poem with the text of American Sign Language, translated and adapted from Hakuin's original Virtue. It focues on the art/science of translation and interpretation of another work.
The practice of interpretation between written English and "spoken" Ameslan, for they two are different languages, is part of our daily life as Deaf bilinguals.
This media poem Virtue of Hakuin is part of the body of my Painting, Poetry, Performativity trio in independent parallel to traditional san-chueh, the Chinese three perfections: poetry, painting and calligraphy. It was the first experimental idea of the coined terms "Ameslan/ASL calligraphy" and "verbal drawing" as part of performativity.
The rest of potential interpretations of this poem is left to viewers or readers. The words in the titles of books can be playfully linked to other meanings of the symbols.
You may also be interested in Lone Poetry: one-of-a-kind video ASL text poetry.