A recent videopoem from the Canadian collective CLS Poésie, with text by Denis Samson and video by Jean Coulombe and Gilbert Sévigny.
Portland, Oregon-based poet Cindy St. Onge‘s latest videopoem is an ambitious departure from her usual remixes. I’ll let her explain:
“Sandra’s Constellation…” is anchored by the poem I wrote after seeing Werner Herzog’s documentary, “Into the Abyss,” specifically, it’s my reaction to the crime scene footage. The poem is my attempt to process the artifacts of Sandra Stotler’s last moments before she was shot twice by Michael Perry, in juxtaposition to the gruesome aftermath of her murder (October, 2001).
The last stanza of the poem essentially describes the beginning of the crime scene tape, captured by Conroe law enforcement, as they walk into her home days after she’d been murdered, and her body discarded in a nearby lake. Thank you to my sister in law, Mary, who portrayed Sandra in this video.
You can read about the Herzog documentary here.
A new author-made poetry film from Erica Goss, who notes on Vimeo that
This is the first video poem from my poetry collection of the same name. Night Court is the winner of the 2016 Lyrebird Award from Glass Lyre Press. I will making more videos in the coming months.
I filmed, recorded and edited the video over a two-week period. I filmed the moon shots, beach and pier scenes, and the memorial wall a couple of years ago while on vacation in Aptos, CA. The rest of the footage I took at my home in Los Gatos, including the special appearance by Nick the cat.
Goss has been such a fixture on the videopoetry scene, first with her column in Connotation Press and then with her leadership of Media Poetry Studio and the 12 Moons series she collaborated on with Marc Neys and Kathy McTavish, it’s hard to believe that this is only her second author-made videopoem. Though given her evident perfectionism, perhaps it isn’t such a surprise after all. I’ll be looking forward to the sequels.
You should know by now there’s no such thing
as clickbait: only the fear of not knowing
where the blood is coming from next & the quiet
just before the stars
are torn out from under you.
In my view, videopoems are multi-sensorial, but instead of merely “fleshing out” the words of the poem itself, the kinesthetic experience of a videopoem can create a space of encounter with language that more closely resembles the actual groping towards meaning and understanding that goes on in our minds on a day to day basis. This groping is always both within and beyond language, and these new poetic forms make that process more transparent even as they seek to complicate it.
Go read the rest.
A short animated poem by Los Angeles-based designer, illustrator and animator Nataly Menjivar, who calls it “A motion poem about loss and disassociation.” Menjivar’s text is voiced by Kailey Stephen-Lane, and the music is by William Basinski.
British composer Axel Kacoutié‘s Poe-like text is brilliantly interpreted in this film-poem, produced by Kacoutié and directed by Émile. The YouTube description reads:
Please do not touch the paintings or other exhibits, and do not cross barriers.
Axel Kacoutié’s film-poem, Upon My Skin, is an electrifying meditation on performance, desire and the ways in which art is consumed. Inspired in part by Władysław Podkowiński’s [Vadeh-swav Pod-ko-vin-ski] painting Frenzy of Exultations, the video does away with the idea of art as the consumption of objects. Instead, art is conceived of as a disorienting experience that moves beyond the confines of the gallery space and into the world, blurring the distinction between art product and reality.
Axel explains: There is a helpless mood of sometimes not knowing what you’re looking at when you are in a gallery, but that wasn’t the case for ‘Axelina’ [Aderonke Oke]. Her confident stillness and her disregard for what is happening in the room makes it so that the observer becomes the observed; we become more interested in how she perceives the audience, rather than how the audience perceives her. We cut to see ‘Her’ [Ally Goldberg] now clothed and free in a real world full of life.
Upon My Skin is otherworldly. It creates a world that is ethereal and ready to disappear at any moment, making Axel’s poetry the only thing that grounds us in corporeal reality. Although Axel explains that his ambitions are still exclusively musical, there can be doubt that the immersive sonic experience that Axel has created is made that much more poignant by the accompanying words. Upon My Skin is a mystifying video that is so obviously about black and white, but in a way that is unexpected. [link added]
An author-made videopoem from Welsh writer and humorist Martin Evans, whose work was brought to my attention by the inclusion of another of his videos, “Numbers“, in the latest issue of Poetry Film Live. He describes this one as
A film-poem to revisit a childhood haunt. Filmed on Whixall, Bettisfield and Fenns mosses on the Welsh/English border.
Scratch the pastoral surface of the countryside nearly anywhere and you’ll find similar stories of violence and loss. A beautifully done evocation.