My video poem HEXAPOD has been published in Atticus Review, a daily online journal that publishes fiction, poems, and creative nonfiction, as well as graphic art, mixed media, music essays, and, on occasion, blog posts, interviews, and non-traditional book reviews. It’s also been presented on Moving Poems weekly digest.
In case you miss the previous event, or want some more, again with singer-songwriters Khristian Mizzi and Fergus Maximus… I’m doing another extended set of poems. Click here for info and bookings.
Saturday 16th February, 7:00 – 9:30pm @ Broadcast Bar, Adelaide.
Paroxysm Press – The Showcase Series: As part of this Fringe Event, I’m doing a multi-media spot along with five other performance / spoken word poets, showcasing the best of hard-hitting, entertaining writing. With Caroline Reid, Heather McGinn, Heather Taylor-Johnson, Kami, and Sean Williams, all brought together by Kerryn Tredrea. Click here for more info and bookings.Click here for the Facebook event.
Saturday / Sunday 23rd/24th February, 8:30 – 9:30pm @ The Libertine by Louis, Stepney
Alison Paradoxx presents Floral Peroxide: Join 2016 SA Poetry Slam Champion, Alison Paradoxx, in a dynamic live display of performance poetry, film, electronic soundscapes, movement, and visual art. Evocative, challenging, ‘Floral Peroxide’ explores the paradoxes of disability, and the societal desire to ‘fix’ the broken self. I’m doing the surtitles / captioning for this show. Click here for more info and tickets.
The 7th International Video Poetry Festival featuring 100 video artists and poets from 26 countries runs in Athens 14th December 2018. I’m delighted to have three vids selected for screening in the Festival – osteoporosis,BLUE MOON, and accidentals (recalculated) – alongside many others whose work I admire. Click on the links to see them, or watch them below…
A Skeleton of Desire was published by Garron Publishing in October 2018 as part of their Southern-Land Poets Chapbook series.
It contains 10 poems that are mostly based on the human body in various ways – the organisation of the bones in the arms, their muscles, their development, dysfunction and recovery. Much of the imagery is derived from re-interpreting the original meanings of the latin names for body parts, diseases, and the environment they exist within.
Most of these poems have been previously published, with the five cardinal signs of inflammation and High Dependency originally appearing in the Medical Journal of Australia. Sensurious (Works on Paper) is derived from texts accompanying an exhibition of drawings by Judy Morris that were then used to create a video which was shortlisted for the Red Room Company / Royal Botanic Gardens New Shoots Poetry Prize, 2016. Dial Tone was awarded third place in the University of Canberra Health Poetry Prize 2017. No Glutamate is based on a scientific paper published with Judy Morris and our colleagues about the underlying neural pathways mediating pain.
A Skeleton of Desire
Sensurious (Works on Paper)
the five cardinal signs of inflammation
Compendium of Acquisitive Myology
My video-poem dog daze was an official selection for the 2018 Film and Video Poetry Symposium running in Los Angeles 26-29 April 2018 and ended up winning Best Video Poem!! It also won Honorable Mention for Best Animation and was screened at the Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival 2018 (Worcester, MA, USA, 2018).
The video is constructed from sequences and stills taken around the Adelaide CBD. Each scene is animated using a complex series of layers and effects, some of which I made myself. The soundtrack was originally developed as a tribute to David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs for an event organised by Adelaide’s own Paroxysm Press.
My video poem BLUE MOON, has generated quite some interest in how it was made.
The underlying sequence of buildings panning along to a beachscape is actually a single still image that I built in Photoshop. It is constructed from about 100 images of buildings around the Adelaide CBD, North Haven, and Brighton. They were photographed on days with bright sunshine and clear blue skies so that the lighting was comparable across the shots. Even so, I needed to adjust colour, brightness, saturation, scale, perspective and so on to get the visual mix right. The blue skies also allowed for easier compositing later on. In the final mix, the background sky was processed to be the same in all assemblies and was derived from the average sky colour in the images. The final Photoshop file is huge: 62,000 x 1800 pixels and about 500 MB. It was assembled from 5 smaller montages, each of which was from a specific location, and each of which contained dozens of layers.
I then took the final composite image into Final Cut Pro X and animated the pan from one end to the other. To save memory, I rendered it, and used the resulting video clip in the final composite. The sky with moving clouds is composited from three sets of vids I took all on the same day, but in slightly different parts of the sky so that the cloud movements were not quite the same. They are sped up and looped to varying degrees. The various flying objects are from a commercial image library that I animated. The final moonrise sequence is taken from the recent lunar eclipse we had (click here to see that). It is composited via an animated mask and a couple of other image processing tweaks. The whole lot was composited using colour keys, background colour gradients, key framed text and opacity animations.
The soundtrack is tin can, a performance I did as part of a Paroxysm Press tribute to David Bowie. The text is inspired by Bowie’s Space Oddity, Arthur C Clarke & Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and NASA’s Pioneer 10 / 11 space probes to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, with all due reference to Homer’s Odyssey. The music is derived from the chord pattern of Space Oddity. You might find a few other references as well…
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.