Nationality: Australia

Talk About the Apocalypse by Brendan Bonsack

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This new videopoem from Melbourne-based poet and songwriter Brendan Bonsack deploys an expert remix of footage from the Prelinger Archive, with a surprising ending that makes one want to watch it all over again.

accidentals (recalculated) by Ian Gibbins

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Math and poetry merge in this brilliant videopoem by Ian Gibbins. Here’s the Vimeo description:

… the probability that accidents do happen, if you slip and fall, fly too close to the sun, if your car runs off the road, if you cut your finger, miss a secret assignation, catch (or not) a slip of the tongue, when words fail, when all you have left is abstraction, operators, a lasting approximation, a mathematician’s code …

This video was a finalist in the Carbon Culture Review 2016 Poetry Film Contest: carbonculturereview.com/news/2016-poetry-film-contest-winner-and-finalists/

Spree by Ian McBryde

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TV broadcasters’ cliches are literally dismembered in this riveting videopoem by Canadian-Australian poet Ian McBryde and videographer Martin Kelly.

Hybrid by Nigel Wells

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A recent video by Marie Craven extends her experimentation with kinestatic videopoetry in an ekphrastic direction. She described the process in a public Facebook post (links added):

Hybrid: a new collaborative video. The process of making it started with the original art by Marguerite de Mosa. Then came the music by SK123. Then finally the words, written by Nigel Wells in response to an early draft of the video. It’s a change in the order of how I usually put things together for a videopoem, and it was interesting trying things this way. Thanks to the great collaborators, Marguerite, Steve and Nigel, for working with me on this!

Bayside Reporter by Ian Gibbins

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Australian videopoet Ian Gibbins is a retired neuroscientist with three books of poetry under his belt and a penchant for experimental video and electronic music. His Vimeo description for Bayside Reporter reads:

Suspicions of criminal activity along the beachfront… Filmed between St Kilda and Port Melbourne, Victoria. Sounds were recorded beside the Yarra River, on trams between the City and Middle Park, and along the beachfront itself. A version of “Bayside Reporter” was published in Australian Poetry Members Anthology 3, Digital Edition, 2014. Here is the link.

In the Forest by Candida Baker

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I love the abstract imagery in this videopoem by Marie Craven. It’s partly the work of the poet herself, according to Craven’s process notes in a recent blog post, “Mid-year videos 2016“:

Much closer to home, I was delighted when well-known Byron Bay writer, Candida Baker, contacted me recently with some lovely poems she thought might be of interest. She already had high quality voice recordings of her own readings, produced by Sunshine Coast musician and sound artist, Michael Whiticker, and some abstracted landscape photographs to work with as well. An attempt at creating a video poem was irresistible to me. This video, ‘In The Forest’, is the result. It is, again, a visually abstract piece. The effect of motion from still images was achieved by creating three layers, one static and two slowly zooming in opposing directions, and also by creating multi-layer dissolves between the images. I was struck by the beautiful colours of the Australian landscape that were captured in the original stills and was pleased for their colours and textures to become even more abstractly focused in the video images. The music is by Podington Bear, whose wonderful sounds I have included in videos before. These I’ve sourced from the many musical tracks available around the internet on Creative Commons license. The bird sounds are from Tai Inoue at Nature Sounds Australia in Cairns, from a download link he shared at Soundcloud with permission to re-use. The email collaboration with Candida Baker was very engaged and a joy from start to end. She and I will be meeting in person for the first time this week, when she interviews me for the online magazine she edits and publishes, Verandah. It’s rare that I have the opportunity to meet internet collaborators and I’m very much looking forward to this. The profile will appear in an issue of the magazine in the near future.

Click through to watch and read about all three of Craven’s recent videos. I just want to add that I think it’s commendable not only that Craven regularly collaborates with poets and musicians at such a high level, but also that she “shows her work” and describes her process in such detail. I wish more filmmakers and video artists would follow her example.

You as tunnel by Rose Hunter

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Another stunning Poetry Storehouse remix by Nic S., this time using a text by Rose Hunter. Nic posted some process notes to her blog:

‘You as tunnel’ a poem from The Poetry Storehouse by Rose Hunter, turned out to be the third remix of an accidental triptych I completed on abusive situations (the first was brother carried the poppies by Theresa Senato Edwards, and the second, Secrets by Ruth Foley.)

It took me more than one reading for this poem too to get at the narrative. After a poem on sexual abuse and one that referenced emotional abuse, I read this one as dealing with domestic violence. The language approach is clipped, condensed and stream-of-consciousness, but the overall impact for me was just as disturbing as the two previous ones.

For the remix, I returned to one of my favorite kinds of imagery – space imagery. I found a series of lovely clips of Jupiter and its moons at Video Blocks, and it didn’t take me long to put my own spin on the story. I re-imagined Jupiter as the brutish abuser around which all pivots, the victim as one of its moons caught in helpless orbit, and the second moon as their dark mutual secret, orbiting with them in silent complicity. With that as the ‘meta’ context, the mannequin clip represented the victim of violence at ground level for me – I saw the mannequin itself as representative of deadening of feeling needed for survival, the sunglasses as having connotations of hiding bruising and of obscuring vision, the headphones as attempt to escape into a different (aural) reality, and the broader head-shaking trajectory of the clip reflecting denial.

The soundtrack was easily picked here – something big and space-y yet with some sense of emotional alarm and general tension, which I found via Eric Hopton at Freesound.

Do read the rest. And if you’re a filmmaker or video remixer, don’t forget to visit The Poetry Storehouse whenever you’re looking for ideas for new projects. There are still many terrific poems there without video accompaniment, most with an audio version (sometimes two audio versions).

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