Poemas Videográficos / Videographic Poems by Fernando Tavares Pereira

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Brazilian poet Fernando Tavares Pereira made these fascinating animated text videos with the help of Rafael Veggi (computer graphics, sound). For those of us who don’t know Portuguese, he was kind enough to email a translation of each as well as an explanation of the project:

The videographic poem is the record of the birth of a word. Through the experience of emotions, associations, forms, memories, everything that contributes to the formation and understanding. It’s the word behind the word.

SecretSecreto

PortraitRetrato

SunSol – As the letter sun in Portuguese, s-o-l, as the key of sol, as a sun shining, as the sol note at the end

OneUm – The ONE is the element one and at the same time the multiplicity in time. This back and forth movement means your birth as a word.

I asked about their composition process, and Fernando replied:

The poem is born as a graphic on paper. Then I wrote a project, a script to follow, to turn the poem into movement. And so Rafael is free to create solutions on top of what I present, and many times I have counted on his talent to improve the quality of the job. I’m the pen and he’s the byte. We are a partnership to works in the same sense to create beauty and, I usually say, entertainment. In fact I see poetry as entertainment, image, cinema, more than anything else. I believe that with this poetry does not lose anything of its flavor.

The poems are numbered as an untitled movie, because they are born and nominated by themselves. They are the subject of reading and we are the observing object. The logical layout has changed and reinvented itself.

Rafael added:

The sound was arranged by me following Fernando’s guidelines.
All samples come from open source databases around the internet and then edited in Audacity software.

Poems 01 and 02 animations were made on Blender, poems 03 and 04 were made in SVG/HTML/Javascript/CSS. I’ve had a great time working on them!

The fourth poem represents a deconstructed word ‘um’, which means ‘one’ in portuguese, as well as the number 1 itself.

knuckleshop by Cecelia Chapman and Jeff Crouch

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Just uploaded to Vimeo, this 2008 videopoem is from the long-time video-making partnership of artists Jeff Crouch and Cecelia Chapman:

Cecelia Chapman’s work explores the image in communication and revolves around environmental and cultural transformation.
For the past ten years Chapman has been collaborating with artist Jeff Crouch, with performer Christa Hunter, and with sound artists she meets online to produce short new media video.

The music here is by Crouch, as are the drawings. Rarely does one see an ekphrastic poetry video that succeeds as a separate artwork in its own right. Perhaps part of the key here is that Crouch’s sketches satisfy what I think of as the Konyvesian imperative: “In a successful videopoem, the work’s elements contain a collaborative property, an original incompleteness.” (Tom Konyves, In Retrospect: A Manifesto and its Underpinnings, p. 3.)

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/

ななつめの窓 / Seventh Window by Shuhei Hatano

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“My eye is your finger,” reads the Vimeo description of this silent, black-and-white videopoem by Tokyo-based filmmaker Shuhei Hatano. Made in July 2015, it was part of an exhibition of hand-held films in Kunitachi, Japan called 92TOUCH. There’s also a version with only the English titling.

The Dreamer of Samuel Vale House by Antony Owen

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I have Googled the earth and I’m tired of paradise. This city is home. I am its key and broken door.

Coventry-based poet Antony Owen performs his poem in this 2015 film by Adam Steiner (director), Brian Harley (camera and editing) and Alan van Widjgerden (sound), which kicked off a poetry-film project spearheaded by Steiner called Disappear Here. Last year they raised enough money from a crowdfunding campaign to produce a whole series of films exploring the Modernist/Brutalist superstructure of Coventry Ringroad: 27 in all, from nine writers and nine filmmakers. The launch screening is on March 16, and although it’s free, registration is required.

This sounds like a truly commendable use of film to bring the perspectives of poets and artists to bear on pressing local issues (which are also global issues, capitalism being what it is). Here’s a blog post from last year that explains what they hoped to accomplish:

The challenge of Disappear Here is to bring together artists of different stripes, some more experienced practitioners, others up and coming and hungry; native Coventrians and people who might be coming to the city for the first time and seeing it with fresh eyes; expressing the human aspect of what is so commonly seen as an inhuman structure, another one of HRH Charles’ “concrete monstrosities” – by way of contrast, witness the faux-Kensington banality of his ideal housing estate, Poundbury – but it is also fair to say that few near-monolithic concrete structures inspire such intense feelings of love and loathing.

But there is a positivity to the project. As much as it is anything, Coventry Ringroad is an archetype of reinvention. Each time the same A4053 road, but every journey around it different. It is the eye through which Coventry is (notoriously) seen, and can be seen, from above and below; a looping horizon where tarmac sea and brilliant blue sky meet and form a sinew of shuffling perspective. […]

Coventry is an ex-working-class city, chock-full with post-industrial grit from crumbling fire of red brick, after many of its 70s, 80s and 90s industries successively closed down. As such, the city has become an affordable and welcoming haven for artists with a burgeoning community of creative and socially-conscious practitioners – there is a story to be told there. I think the people and the city’s physical attitudes speak to this, guarded but protective. As both defensive wall and encircling stranglehold – the ringroad echoes this taut insularity, but also provides us with a blank canvas for reimagining public space. I think this push/pull reflex makes for an interesting tension as to how we define a city and its search for its centre.

Read the rest. According to the Disappear Here Facebook page, there are plans to tour the films across the UK after the premiere in Coventry.

Estátuas / Statues by Conceição Lima

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Another compelling short videopoem from Conceição Lima (poem, reading) and David Shook (video, English translation) filmed in Lima’s native São Tomé and Príncipe last month. The back-flipping children in the opening shot are a perfect counterpoise to the still statues in the succeeding shot, all in service to the text’s central paradox. Are the proverbial “feet of clay” truly a liability, or perhaps instead a sign of groundedness?

The Vimeo description notes that the poem appears in the collection O País de Akendenguê, and that Shook is in São Tomé on a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship. I’m not sure how much NEA money has been spent on poetry films over the years, but I’m guessing very, very little.

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.

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