Al Rempel’s description on YouTube is so thorough, I’m just going to reproduce it in its entirety, minus the text of the poem (click through to read).
The Sky Canoe is a collaboration between four artists: Phil Morrison, Al Rempel, Steph St Laurent, and Jeremy Stewart. Phil is a sculptor who works mainly in concrete & metal, and often incorporates text into his work. Al is a poet and teacher; his first book is understories. The poem in this piece is from This Isn’t the Apocalypse We Hoped For, which is forthcoming with Caitlin Press in spring, 2013. Please visit http://alrempel.com for more info. Steph is a filmmaker as well as an actor. His site is http://www.videonexus.ca. Jeremy is a musician and a poet; his first book of poetry is called (flood basement and he can be found at http://www.jeremystewartmusic.bandcamp.com
The Sky Canoe has been accepted into the Visible Verse festival, 2012! Details can be found here: http://www.cinematheque.bc.ca/visible-verse-festival-2012
The festival’s coming up on October 13 — that’s this coming Saturday! So if you live anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, be sure not to miss it.
Jillian Brall is responsible for the still images of street art as well as the text and reading in this experimental video by VIV G. It’s interesting to contrast this with the way Pablo Lópes Jordán used graffiti in “I-poem 6.”
According to the description at Vimeo, this videopoem was the opening clip to a 2003 film by New Zealand director Christine Jeffs called Sylvia. Lina Gaitán supplied both the reading in English and the Spanish translation for the subtitles. The introductory text in Spanish points out that this was Plath’s last poem, written four days before her suicide (though other sources claim it was written six days earlier, on the same day as another poem, “Balloons”).
Dena Rash Guzman supplies the words and voice for a Swoon video that includes footage from a 1915 version of Alice in Wonderland by W.W. Young. Guzman “wrote the poem inspired by raw footage and sounds send to her by Swoon,” according to the description on Vimeo, following which he re-edited the footage and added the silent film images.
It’s always interesting to see the results of such close collaborations between filmmaker and poet. Swoon goes into much more detail in a post at his blog. At one point in the process, he emailed Guzman:
I chose ‘Alice in Wonderland’ footage to layer with the ‘dirt-video’ you knew.
The images do not glide or work together, they seem to ‘interfere’
(Wikipedia: “The phenomenon of retroactive interference is highly significant in the study of memory as it has sparked a historical and ongoing debate in regards to whether the process of forgetting is due to the interference of other competing stimuli, or rather the unlearning of the forgotten material.”)
Your poem is full of warm memories on one side (though nobody loves to have lice, I guess) but I wanted to use some kind of ‘luring danger’ (the rabit) as a kind of visual ‘counterpoint’ with the darker music as guide to the unknown that is outside…
Swoon also quotes Guzman’s summary of the experience:
I love writing from prompts and so when you sent me the video and sound samples I sat down to ingest them like a glass of wine. I kind of meditated on the titles of the samples and the content itself and began firing off poem after poem. Dirt was the inspiration for the poem you selected. Dirt makes me think of earth, soil, dust, decay. It’s not dirty, though it can impose itself to make things so. For me, dirt is a host for the living, and that brought me to a childhood experience: I got lice at school when I was 8.
It was exciting to take your work, give you mine, and get your work back. I’m a fan of Poem films and yours in particular and it was a great experience.