Tuesday, May 28, 2013
direct link: Three Poets, Three Chapbooks, Three Visions
Simply cannot believe that this video is finally live! Wow, what I've been through with buggy FCP X! The video is simply done: Lisa Young reads two poems from her forthcoming chapbook; I read a prose poem; and Pat Connors reads two poems. Then animated blurbs on our chapbooks with the cover photos. And finally the three chapbooks with the website of the publisher, LyricalMyrical Press. And credits, thanking Luciano Iacobelli, the publisher. I only played a wee bit with colour (Lisa and Pat are, um, rather bright and I'm more black and white) and some, uh, sidelights. :) ::laughing delightedly:: Enjoy a lovely poetry reading in the comfort of where you are. And, if you're in, or near, Toronto on June 13th, come to Q Space at 382 College for the launch!
Also, I put the launch date and so on in a few YouTube "Annotated Notes." Quite fun, I tell you. But I can remove them after June 13th, and then the video will remain to float around YouTube in the years to come, itself launched. :)
Friday, November 30, 2012
Ink Ocean: http://youtu.be/w4Xs2dIt2m4
On Nov 25, 2012, I performed my prose poem 'Ink Ocean,' on the Gulf Oil Spill, as one of the featured poets at Nik Beat's HOWL@QSpace in Toronto. I had memorized the prose poem. The image of the ink drawing, from which the poem emerged, only appears in the still for the video (I've included an image at the end of this post for you). I'm actually quite happy with the performance itself - passionate, intense, and yet clear enunciation.
Ink Ocean is about the oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 when nearly 5 million barrels, or 210 million gallons, of crude oil were spilled into the sea due to an explosion of an off-shore drilling rig. It remains the largest marine spill in the history of the petroleum industry.
Over 5 months, hydro-carbon eating bacteria devoured 200,000 tons of oil and natural gas in the Gulf, and then stopped. Despite the massive cleaning efforts by the oil industry and governments, and the efforts of the bacteria, as of 2012, 40% of the spill remains in the waters.
This prose poem began as writing in an ink drawing. It took 6 - 8 months to finish, and was revised in preparation for this reading. It is an experimental poem structually. A poem of utterance, of cross-currents and paradoxes. It is composed of many voices, and perspective shifts.
There are two parts. The first is on the oil spill, and the second is about love in a world bordering on oblivion, a world that's half spirit. We are in the 6th Mass Extinction on the earth. This is the backdrop.
The poem starts out in the Gulf and moves with the Gulf Stream to the Atlantic Ocean where it becomes a love poem. Can we love in a world inviting extinction? Yes, of course we can, and must.
With thanks to Nik Beat, Q Space and Luciano Iacobelli. It was a great evening.
Ink Ocean, 2010, 13" x 16", India ink on archival paper. My prose poem on the Gulf Oil Spill, Ink Ocean, emerged from this drawing. The poem was revised in 2012.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
direct link: PL: P(ink) L(ady)
PL: P(ink) L(ady)
once, the sakura tree
like split cherries
a pulp of wounds
I, fleshy stone fruit
soft under his fists
brazen, the road
where I walk
brazen, my ripe cherry
A creative treatment on the theme of violence against women. The ending is meant to be positive - she's no longer hiding, is defiantly living from her source of nectar.
Shot with an iPhone4, and edited in FCE. The text had a lot of treatment, and took as long to create as the film itself. Normally I don't like text in videopoems, unless the text is a pictorial element in the composition.
The track, Chinese Sunrise, by bjarneo on SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/bjarneo/bjarne-o-chinese-sunrise
Monday, October 17, 2011
direct link: Shadow Cave. [The video is subtitled, so you can read along if you like, or have Google automatically translate the text into one of 25 languages. The option appears after you press play. If the cc in the play bar is red, the subtitle track is on; if black, it's not. Mouse click to toggle. Click on this image to see the steps to opening the subtitle/caption file:
This videopoem is a postmodern fairy tale. Sort of Jungian. Integrating the shadow into the self. I re-wrote a piece I'd written many years ago of an inner journey though a land of strange figures representing repressed selves.
And I did everything in this video. What a lot of work! Shot the clips with a tripod. Edited the footage so many times that it's like a Samurai sword, beaten, and wrapped onto itself, over and over again. At one point I so overloaded my video editing software that it crashed every few minutes. But I pushed it, until the effects I was seeking emerged.
That she becomes quite pixelated in it is fine - it's all reflection, image, celluloid, burned light, a digitally composed moving image.
As an artist, I cannot help but think of the screen as a canvas, and so I expect that some of the all-over appearance is influenced by Color Field Painting, like a Larry Poons, has an abstract art quality to it. Meaning, while there were probably 50 cuts, I didn't do any zooming or duplicating or other fascinating video possibilities.
Also the tribal influence is strong. That's my childhood in an African jungle in Zambia, it comes out from time to time. This is the first video that I've attempted to create a sound track for. I used rattles, a singing bowl, a bell, two different drums. Since it's all quite primitive, the story, the dance, even the reading has a colloquial quality to it, I wasn't too worried about melody. My postmodern fairytale needed a strange and primitive soundscape, which it certainly has. ::smiles::
The dance footage was shot for my forthcoming videopoem, a triptych, Tangled Garden. (Which I have been working on for 5 months and hopefully will one day finish.) But, see, I had this abstract pastel clip that emerged from another project... oh, background, I thought, so went looking among my clips for something that might work with it. That's how it goes...
Friday, October 14, 2011
A hundred and forty suns from Jonathan Blair on Vimeo.
Brilliant! From start to finish. I watched in delighted awe. The animation, the lights, the sound. I feel shaken out of my realism and like I've been to a hallucinatory summer cottage.
Let me describe my viewing.
The clicking rainbow lights flash on and in the male animated character's body upon waking, the fast cuts match the sound track of a kind of scurrying, insect-like scurrying on a hard floor. As the character rises and walks the dark room turns into machines, cog wheels, factories. Caught in the factory, in a time-marshalled setting, a vision seems to grow out of the man that is a pulsing red blob that perhaps represents anger. He begins to go crazy in the factory which seems more and more a nightmarish prison. Then it is as if the sun itself draws near as psychedelic visions take over. His body begins to dissolve into the lights. After the Kafkaesque beginning with insect-like noises that become a mechanical factory of looped wheels and cogs, the organic sound of drumming as the light increases is warm, comforting. And the light is shining, shining into the perception of the animated character who responds with joy, and into the screen where we as viewers feel that pleasure. Ultimately this film imparts joy, beauty, forgiveness, transcendence, the pulse of life renewed anew.
A brilliant little animated film, A hundred and forty suns, was a group effort. It was produced at Duncan of Jordanston College of Art and Design at the University of Dundee in 2009. The film was inspired by a poem by Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930), a Russian futurist: An Extraordinary Adventure which Befell Vladimir Mayakovsky in a summer cottage, and especially by this line:
"A hundred and forty suns in one sunset blazed,
and summer rolled into July;"
Thanks are given to a dozen people, as well as the all the students and staff in DoJ Animation.