heist: what’s going on here?

My video-poem heist was shown recently at the 6th International Video Poetry Festival in Athens and has attracted quite a bit of interest… but what’s going on here? It’s not really a narrative, at least not in the traditional sense, but it’s got something to do with banks and code and presumably illegal activities linking the two.

The video’s subtitle, RAID IV, that appears in the credits, is a key clue. A RAID array is way of setting up computer hard drives so that data are written simultaneously to more than one drive, providing a secure form of back-up in the case of disk failure. Hence Drives C, D and E should have copies of the same files, if they are working properly and if they have not been corrupted. V drive is usually the networked virtual drive that mirrors the others and is used to access the array.

So, then, what if there were a bank raid being planned? Or maybe being thought about, a bit of wishful thinking? Or maybe it did happen and the perpetrators more or less got away with it? Or perhaps you were trying to tell someone about a crime movie you saw or a book you read but couldn’t remember the details? Regardless, how many versions exist? Which ones can you believe? What records would exist on security cams, texts, messages etc?

I love the idea of video poems providing that extra dimension in trying to represent the strange mental limbo between memory and imagination and forgetfulness… the half-formed images, ideas, thoughts that flit through your mind pretty much constantly: this is the zone where conventional language and linear narrative fails.

All the footage in this video was shot specifically for the project, mostly around where I live. It took me months to do, learning the animation and layering techniques that are in nearly every scene… I made all the text animations from scratch, as well as many of the lighting effects. Almost every scene is constructed from several raw images… Almost nothing is as it seems.

Dial Tone awarded 3rd place in Health Poetry Prize

My poem Dial Tone came third in the University of Canberra 2017 Health Poetry Prize! Congrats to winner Joe Dolce and runner-up, Vanessa Procter.

“The University of Canberra Health Poetry Prize aims to inspire others through poetry to consider the journey to live life well. The poem may be focussed on mental or physical health, and can investigate what ‘living life well’ means. This may include barriers to living a well life, promoting a life lived well, or describe the experience of, or transition to, living life well.

The prize-winning and short-listed poems will be published by the University. Meanwhile, here is an excerpt from Dial Tone:

Redial 1

The message mentioned belongings. I comply, search afterglow
for jasmine, rose, orange blossom, hands fallow at my sides,
on tabletop, in rarely hostile earth. “Good to have you back.”
But I cannot be sure. Our arrival is delayed by asymptote, slowed
by imperfection. Bloodshot meanders skirt lawns to be mown,
drains to clear, vermin to evict. Amid cartons and packing crates,
window shades jealous our skin, discontent curtains our perspective.
We substitute bluff with categoric denial, switch to silent mode.

Click here to see more about the Prize.

Heard on the Wind soundscape in Adelaide

From 7th September until 9th October, my soundscape, “Heard on the Wind”, commissioned by Adelaide City Council, played in the breezeway at 25 Pirie Street, in central Adelaide CBD.

The breezeway at 25 Pirie Street is surrounded by texts: memorial plaques, notices regarding public safety and well-being, tightly-crafted slogans of the Smart City Studio windows and Enterprise Adelaide brochures. By definition, silent, largely ignored by passers-by, 25 Pirie Street : Heard on the Wind gives voice to these texts using digital sampling technology. 18 text-to-speech synthesisers read the texts, generating a base set of 500 voice samples, that were sped up and slowed down, reversed and delayed, repitched and translated into solos, conversations, choirs, snatches of melody, the heard out loud, and the barely heard at all.

It runs for about 45 minutes. You can hear the whole sequence on my Bandcamp page:
https://iangibbins.bandcamp.com/…/25-pirie-street-heard-on-…

Here is the original ACC link: http://www.cityofadelaide.com.au/…/publ…/soundscape-program/