Posts in Category: Videopoems

Accumulate by eddie d

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Last week we saw eddie d’s genius for poetic remix in a short videopoem from the videotape era, “Poem #7.” Here’s a longer and more ingenious example of that technique from 2014.

In an age when even smartphones produce HD video, eddie d collects old SD dvds and instruction videos to search for material to use for his works. This Lo-Fi approach has resulted in a video poem which stars one man and his numbers. The poem might be about the financial crises, terrorists, or bankers, or just about everyday problems we all have to endure. The question that remains is: How much more? 5?
One thing is certain: as always with eddie d videos, the work is short enough to fit in anyone’s pocket.

Intertwined by Eleni Cay

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Both poem and concept are credited to the Slovakian poet Eleni Cay; animation and score are the work of beyon wren moor of the ecofeminist film and theater production company LoveHoldLetGo (which has apparently let go of its former domain, loveholdletgo.com). The YouTube description also notes that “Intertwined was shortlisted for the Elbow Room Prize 2015 and for the Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film Competition 2015.”

Who Keeps Observance in the Fever Room by Jane Draycott

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This is part of a series called Beginning to See the Light by Corinne Silva. The text is by Jane Draycott, “a UK-based poet with a particular interest in sound art and collaborative work.” As the Poetry Society (U.K.) webpage explains,

The Poetry Society and Jaybird Live Literature commissioned six poets to create new pieces to celebrate National Poetry Day 2015, the theme of which was ‘light’. The poems followed the path of light over one October day. Artist and filmmaker Corinne Silva then made filmpoems of six of the poems, which you can watch on Vimeo or YouTube.

I see these as more in the video art tradition than previous poetry films sponsored by the Society; some of the imagery reoccurs from film to film, and watching them in order does give an interesting impression of the passing of time. But the juxtaposition of footage and text most often feels arbitrary, so for me they don’t really work as videopoems or filmpoems. Still, kudos for the Poetry Society for continuing to push the envelope and sponsor interesting multimedia poetry projects.

Time’s Up by Holly Corfield Carr

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Bristol-based writer and artist Holly Corfield Carr made this brief but effective videopoem in 2014 as a promo for a live event called MINE, which she describes on Vimeo as

A poetic excavation of second-best diamonds

MINE journeys into the extraordinary underworld of an 18th-century grotto, a cave blistered with crystals and coral collected from slavers’ ports, to tell a story of dolour and dolerite amongst the city’s dealt dirt.

An audience of six descend with writer Holly Corfield Carr to play cards, trade voices and dig up a murder mystery, a disastrous meeting, a comedy, a spiralling inferno.

MINE was part of a 9-day arts festival held in September, 2014 for the Bristol Biennial. As for the videopoem, Carr writes:

To transfer some time back to you, I’ve piled it all up into a rushed sort of stalagmite. There’s about two million years here. So we’re even.

Peyton Place: A Haiku Soap Opera by David Trinidad

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Writer and filmmaker John Bresland, the former video editor for TriQuarterly, made this videopoem for David Trinidad’s haiku collection using clips from the soap opera that prompted the haiku. It appeared in the November 2015 issue of Blackbird, accompanied by a commentary by Gregory Donovan which is essential reading if, like me, you’re too young to remember Peyton Place, “the very first American prime-time soap opera.” It was, he says, “one of the first televised programs in the U.S. to deal frankly with sexual themes, which revealed the hypocrisy and masked immorality beneath the misleadingly peaceful façade of small-town American life.”

In David Trinidad’s Peyton Place: A Haiku Soap Opera (Turtle Point Press, 2013) he has whipped up a haiku concoction to respond, with an energy both antic and erotic, to each of the over 500 episodes of the complete run of the television program. Reading this series of poems, carefully constructed within the confines of a taut form yet unleashing a sardonic and often laugh-generating appreciation of the oddities of a now-dated television drama, one is struck by an experience on the page that brings the television series back into the mind’s eye with a pointed mix of humor, pathos, and social critique.

Meanwhile, the imaginative adaptation by John Bresland, collected, edited and enhanced into an equally layered, genre-challenging video essay, employs actual clips from the television program with the texts of Trinidad’s poems superimposed and narrated. Bresland builds upon Trinidad’s frank exploration of the many dimensions of “the male gaze” and further examines the looking generated not only by the camera’s eye, but also by our own changed vision of a set of cultural moments and icons that time and history have inescapably altered. Bresland’s video piece provides its own unique experience that arises from the atmosphere generated by Trinidad’s book while also plunging us into an even more pointed sense of the absurdities and strange possibilities of realization available in the now transformed and reconstituted images of what was once, and is now again, Peyton Place.

Read the rest.

Shop by Lucy English

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The latest addition to UK poet (and Liberated Words festival co-creator) Lucy English’s Book of Hours project comes from the U.S. artist (and Moving Poems Magazine columnist) Cheryl Gross. Her usual “Dr. Seuss on crack” approach to animation makes a great fit for the poem’s wry take on motherhood, I thought.

Incidentally, I believe that the call for filmmakers to contribute to the project is still open, if anyone’s interested.

The Hero is Light by Matt Mullins

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Usually, the American poet and electronic literature expert Matt Mullins makes his own poetry films, but for this one he teamed up with Spanish director Eduardo Yagüe, providing only the poem, voice and music. The poem is dedicated to the Soviet artist Eva Levina Rozengolts (1898-1975), a drawing of whose appears in the credits. According to the Museum of Russian Art website,

Eva Levina-Rozengolts was one of the few Soviet artists who managed to creatively transform and express the trauma of Stalinist repression in a striking visual language.

Trained in the celebrated VkHuTeMas, the hotbed of early Soviet avant-garde, Eva Rozengolts worked as a textile designer and later a copyist at the Soviet Artists’ Union production studios. She was arrested in 1949 and sentenced to ten years of exile in the depth of Siberia where she lived in a settlement on the Yenisei river, in the Krasnoyarsk region. She was assigned to work as a woodcutter, wall painter, and later medical assistant. After returning from exile, she regained her creativity, undeterred by age and failing health. In fact, it was after her return from Siberia, that her talent came into its own. Unknown to the broad public, her work stirred the attention of the new generation of unofficial artists that emerged after Stalin’s death. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Eva Levina-Rozengolts became recognized as one of the outstanding figures of the ‘lost’ artistic generation of the Stalin era.

Yagüe shot the film in Stockholm with actress Carolina Rosa.

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