Betsy Newman explains how she came to make this film in the YouTube description:
This video was created for the event “Saint Sebastian: From Martyr to Gay Starlet,” which was on display in fall 2011 at Friday Cottage Art Space in Columbia, South Carolina. Those who collaborated on the show, which was part of a series of events leading up to Gay Pride week in Columbia, included visual artists Leslie Pierce and Alejandro Garcia-Lemos, the poet Ed Madden, Florida-based video artist Santiago Echeverry and me, Betsy Newman. The text and inspiration for this video come from South Carolina poet Ed Madden and his poem “Red Star,” which in turn was based on [a] print by Garcia-Lemos that can be seen in the video. I think Ed described the video well when he called it “a feverish meditation on penetration” in his essay on the show in the January-February 2012 issue of The Gay and Lesbian Review.
It’s been a while since I last made a video for a Howie Good poem. When I made ‘The Killing’ last year I worked with Michael Dickes for voicing the poem. This time I wanted to work with 2 voices, so I asked Michael again and I also knocked on Nic Sebastian‘s virtual door for a reading. Both of them were willing to do a reading. Both delivered a great one.
The poem(s) I picked out for this project come from Howie Good’s book ‘The complete absence of twilight’ (MadHat Press, 2014)
I had this footage (by cinetrove) lying around for months waiting for the right words to come by. A sequence of repeated actions… You see a guy running around, being busy and mysterious but without purpose. Senseless actions, repetition, paranoia… It’s Dark City.
I combined parts of this footage (that I turned blue for a darker feel) with more colourful footage to chafe along the blue footage. I think the combination of the 2 voices and the 2 ‘storylines’ work well together.
For more about The Complete Absence of Twilight, or to order, see the publisher’s page.
A poem by American poet Derek J.G. Williams, translated into video by Australian vocalist and media maker Marie Craven with the help of Dementio13 (music) and the Prelinger Archives (footage). The reading is by Nic Sebastian for the Poetry Storehouse, where Craven found the poem. She also credits the POOL group on Facebook, “an open creative community group engaged in shared media conversations,” which seems to be playing an increasingly important role in videopoem collaboration around Poetry Storehouse material.
Nic Sebastian isn’t content to manage The Poetry Storehouse and record audio tracks for many other people’s video projects; she continues to make poetry videos herself with a surer and surer hand. This video, one of her most recent, is among her best so far, I think. The text is one of six poems by Cynthia Atkins that appeared at the Storehouse earlier this month. The soundtrack, which strikes me as a particularly good match for the words and footage, comes from freesound.org user Peridactyloptrix.
A wide-ranging and fascinating interview with Nic Sebastian has just been posted at Creative Thresholds. About videopoetry Sebastian says, for example:
[T]he poem on the page is THE character in the page production. In a video production, the page poem remains a central character, but is not THE character in the same way. The page poem threads the poet’s story into the video, but other important elements join to play different roles in telling the story the film-maker found in the poem. Which, in the best video productions, is a related but different story, one that moves the original narrative forward in ways the poet may or may not have envisaged. The best video productions, in my view, are not merely a reflection of the original poem, not merely an attempt to recast/reproduce the poet’s narrative in visual form – they add something to the original narrative, they move it forward.
Do read the rest.
Moving Poems will be on holiday all next week. See you in August.