Image

Midnight Sun -finished!


Midnight Sun: Wind Over Grass, 28" x 22", 71cm x 56cm, oil on canvas, 2011.

When the river runs in bands, water ribbons her arm. Or she dances on rocks across. Those who support uphold everything in the underpainting. What is there to say of wheat fields or grass curling flames? Under the midnight sun strange dreams dance with intent. 

A painting depicting contact dance - which is... out of the dance studio, for sure, and into the dreamtime! And a solar eclipse, which reminds me of the black light, the midnight sun of the mystics.

Finally I have finished this painting! It's a strange little painting, but I quite like it now.

Here is a slideshow of the studies and previous versions of the painting:



Or a direct link:

Midnight Sun: Wind Over Grass


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Bits & Pieces

For a few days there, I was writing on my iPhone with a wireless keyboard in WriteRoom, a few images, and posted on G+, but I like to collect things here, at Rubies in Crystal (where things are much easier to find later on).

5 Oct 2011

Coins spread over the steel counter as she moved nickels and dimes with her fingers towards the cup of tea. Counting out $1.75, the woman wearing the white net over her hair slid the coins with the swoop of one hand into the other held below the counter. The tea was watery and too hot.

As the train's steel wheels spun along the electric track, she sipped, and thought how easy it is to slip away, become obscure, become a negative image of oneself, join anti-matter and disappear. She pulled her hat low over her eyes.

An old woman huddled in a seat, eyes closed, a form, a dark coat, some white hair, the veins rising on the skin on her hands like pale blue rivers, an absent person, someone no-one notices.

6 Oct 2011

The world is an ever-deepening place. I marvel at the richness of my life, my inner life. Everything is enfolded in everything else and grafts and buds unfurl constantly. Sometimes I find the bleak corners, the impenetrable sadnesses, and they're hard, but it doesn't last. The sun comes in through the lattice work of leaves and pulls me to another screen of my life where I see different scenes playing. Then other connections happen and other ways of approaching the moments that compose my life and I find new reflections. The enfolding continues, enriching more each day. Nothing passes, everything remains, adding to the whole art piece that my life is.

6 Oct 2011

Today, always today. It's never any other day but today. All the days might become this day, but this day is not all the other days. It's unique. Singular.

I should get to the news because it's a historical day. Every day is historical. Every day has its news, is noteworthy. We can look up the events of each day if we keep journals or blogs, and if we search news sites.

Mostly, the sun is shining and it is a cool, crisp Autumn day, a day before the leaves have crumpled on the trees and fallen, a day when the leaves are considering turning because temperatures were near frost last night. How can leaves turn? They die in bright reds and oranges, in yellow flames. They dance out of life, falling like crumpled browning jewels as the cold encroaches.

6 Oct 2011

It wasn't a very long journey, but it took a long time. The train lurched to the rhythm of its metal wheels, steadily, then screeching when braking into a station.

Her mint green and opaque grey cart's wheel got caught in the space between the car and the platform and there was a moment of panic as she struggled to free it. But it came loose just before the doors closed.

The shaved bald man sat facing her, black pants, grey jacket, staring, and she could see his dark pupils, black, impenetrable. The round younger man in the beige corduroy jacket with the brown mustache stared and yet she didn't feel seen. Neither had risen to help loosen her cart. Nor had the Chinese woman, who bleakly stared with disinterest, a glacial disinterest.

She held onto the green cart stuffed with a pimento of bananas, bread, tofu, vegetables, pastrami, butter and a large bag of dry dog food. She wedged her foot into it so it wouldn't slide down the car as the train accelerated.

She was exhausted, having shopped late in the evening after a long day. She closed her eyes against the three people who were staring dully at her. She closed her eyes, listening to the beating whir of the metal wheels striking the electrical charge, the screech of brakes as it reached stations and slowed and stopped and opened doors and whistled and closed doors and then the acceleration through the underground tunnels of the city.

7 Oct 2011

The way the cotton undershirt, nearly ice blue it was so white, where the seam is serged, how it creeps around the shoulder in a thin crescent moon, that lit up as he walked towards her in the dark. Frame by frame, slide the film so it blurs its motion with cross currents. Black grass waving under her sandaled feet. The air crisp yet carrying bruised plum muscles of warmth. A midnight roar of voices from a nearby party falling into the shadows of dark trees, rebounding, then rising in moth encircled streetlights. She smiled enigmatically, and slowly shifted sideways, then away.

8 Oct 2011

On the ceiling, lying against the baubbled white plaster, she noticed a spot of light. It was blueish white. Delicate shadows on the surface of the ceiling which had taken on the qualities of snow also had a blueish tinge. She imagined painting the white ceiling, filling it with the blues and the yellows, purples and dusty greys that revealed themselves before her eyes. White is never white, she thought.

The white is an afterthought, the highlight that casts its presence over the whole.

Our white thoughts are likely daubed attempts to paint our lives in pristine colours too.

As evening moved into the ceiling planes of taupe and grey spread, the distinct colours of earlier falling into the shadows, deepening them.



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Shadow Cave



direct link: Shadow Cave.  [The video is subtitled, so you can read along if you like, or have Google automatically translate the text into one of 25 languages. The option appears after you press play. If the cc in the play bar is red, the subtitle track is on; if black, it's not. Mouse click to toggle. Click on this image to see the steps to opening the subtitle/caption file:


How to discover what your splits are. What you've repressed in yourself. The shadow isn't necessarily 'Dorian Gray' -but can contain positive aspects that you've buried. In this video, the woman goes on a trance journey into the cave of her imagination where she discovers surprising selves. A Paleolithic artist, a woman-child, an angry reflection. The video is about integrating the shadow into the self during a shamanic dance.

Some comments on Shadow Cave:

"...your dancing is simply incredible. Poetic, visceral, physical and spiritual. I love it. Simply, I love it for the energy you are and the feelings it evokes in me. Makes me want to go out and dance to the moon." Kathryn Esplin

"After my first view "shape changing" seemed to stick in my mind. That is a pretty deep level of connecting/shifting." He calls it an "expressionistic masterpiece." william d.

"An interesting combo of creativity - the dance and choreography, the words and rhythms, the story and the feelings of motion rounding up the darkness becoming light ... in self-realisation." Bernard C.

"I love this video in more ways than I can say...

I love the leafy screen overlay-- that places the story squarely in the wilderness. I love the flashes of color that appear at key moments. I think the visual climax is probably when the dark shadow self emerges and sometimes follow the movements of the self but sometimes does the opposite. Excellent!

Lastly, I love that you've challenged the idea of Plato's cave, where one can see only external shadows. Internal shadows are much more important, and I'd like to think that Jung would also have seen his internal shadows within the cave." Ann Marcaida

"OMG, this is so beautiful, and I know someone in deep crisis right now...  who would benefit from viewing/listening to this... except [their] grasp of English isn't good. You know, you brought tears to my eyes with this one... It's so light, even with a light/sly sense of humor instilled here and there in the most appropriate of ways, yet I don't think I've experienced anything so deep and profoundly essential and so healing from you yet. It's as though you almost let all veils down, briefly and safely, and then bring it all together. Brings a whole new meaning to "mother and child reunion." And there's so much more. Love the symbolism of the snake... and the fat man. This is so well done, a real masterpiece, of describing a journey of integration." Bent Lorentzen

[I did mention that the subtitles can be translated by Google into other languages, maybe not perfect, but enough to get the gist.]

Also, I have been deeply moved by responses to this video by young women struggling with eating disorders, cutting, and other self-harming strategies to maintain an 'acceptable social self', or I would say, sanity in an insane world. And a young man dealing with alcohol addiction said it was kinda kooky but he understood it and understood that you can accept and live with all the parts of yourself.





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FRIDAY FILM AND VIDEO POEM: 'Ground' by Ginnetta Correli


direct link: Ground

Written & Narrated: Alastair Cook
Directed & Edited: Ginnetta Correli
Soundtrack: Pierrepoint’s Epitaph by Dirk Drieson

Ground has an impenetrable quality. The film imagery, poem and reading approach each other without quite meeting. In that circle of visual and verbal imagery and the emotion of the voice of the reader, we witness a flame dancing without knowing who lit it, who blows on it, or why it goes out, if it does.

Something profound happens. But what? Is the poem notes on death and what resurrects us through life? Or the dream of a life?

At the end, the man... but you must watch to see this.

I am reminded of Médem's Lucía y el sexo, where the island rests on a cacophony of unmappable caves that constitute its base and that are not attached to the seabed, but float, and where one of the characters disappears forever into.

As in dream, the images in Ground are vivid, strong, and reveal something important if elusive. The images of the poem and the film are are strewn in a landscape of inner symbolism. A motorcycle. An empty road. The shadow of a figure, perhaps the filmmaker filming the scene. A small white snake lying in the road. A man holding onto the lip of rock in a cave hole. A gloved hand picking up the poisonous snake and placing it carefully on the shoulder of the road. An abandoned hut where the outside seems inside, empty save for the crumpled paper of the poet, a bed of rocks and light.

This is a surreal filmpoem; it has a European art film feel to it. Like when watching an Almodóvar, forget logic, for a rational approach to understanding won't reveal anything. As you seek to embrace the meaning of the film, you find mindfulness here like a Zen koan.

You can't quite put it together. Rather, feel the deep angst the film produces. That's where the film is unfolding in your consciousness as a message, a predicament, a riddler of the paradoxes of life.

Or the immanence of death.

Ground is hauntingly beautiful, in a disturbing way. In the embracing mindfulness, a poetry of poison, death, loss, and beauty, all of which is natural, found in the natural world, amidst a surreality. We feel cross-currents, disambiguations, and yet the over-arching journey metaphor of Cook's minimalist poetry, and the bond of love he speaks of, yes, living is like this. Simply a superb film.

Do watch. The two minutes and 35 seconds will become a dream you are having.

_

Ginnetta Correli's blog: beatie's journal.

The poem is composed of haiku written by Alastair; his blog, written in my hand is well worth exploring too.





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PL: P(ink) L(ady)



direct link: PL: P(ink) L(ady)

PL: P(ink) L(ady)

once, the sakura tree
blossoming cloud 
of pink

blood,
like split cherries

a pulp of wounds

I, fleshy stone fruit
soft under his fists

brazen, the road
where I walk

brazen, my ripe cherry
nectar

-



A creative treatment on the theme of violence against women. The ending is meant to be positive - she's no longer hiding, is defiantly living from her source of nectar.

Shot with an iPhone4, and edited in FCE. The text had a lot of treatment, and took as long to create as the film itself. Normally I don't like text in videopoems, unless the text is a pictorial element in the composition.

The track, Chinese Sunrise, by bjarneo on SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/bjarneo/bjarne-o-chinese-sunrise


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FRIDAY FILM AND VIDEO POEM: 'immersion /2' by Sheila Packa and Kathy McTavish










direct link: immersion /2

This week an immersive video experience for you. A collaborative music video poem by Sheila Packa and Kathy McTavish. The poem, Immersion, is Sheila's, and the voiceover is Sheila's reading; the cello is played by Kathy. While both Sheila and Kathy chose the images for the video, Kathy composed it.

The film and the cello work marvelously together. Kathy, to quote from her website, is "a composer/free-style cellist. she uses chance and generative/organic forms to create everything from sparse, minimalist spaces to dense, orchestral landscapes." immersion /2 manages to be both sparse and minimalist, while maintaining a density of a natural orchestral landscape in the background. My sense of the music is similar to the visual images, the way they are composed, layered with a sparse simplicity on the surface and yet we find representations of the elements densely underlaid - wind, water, light, bird, earth, fields in bloom.

Sheila's reading is liquid and silky and flows with the stark and sonorous sounds of the cello and the shifting lights and colours of the video itself. Nature and natural processes are everywhere in her writing and in her reading. We enter a Tao of living through water that is water. With our inner ears, we can hear the flowing tides and the birds in a profoundly open landscape. Sheila and Kathy live on Lake Superior, a lake I found deeply mystical when I travelled around it some years ago. Her poem is from her collection, Undertow. I quote from her poetry blog:

"(immersion)

water resists
breaks without breaking
flows along invisible scores
courses between continuous
ends, begins

doesn't resist
touches, touches, turns
over the same skin...."

While I could rhapsodize on this music video poem all day, let me close with mention of Kathy's video technique, which is likely an original interpretation of the Bokeh style.

Kathy has explored Bokeh photography techniques, and puts her knowledge of this Japanese art form to amazing results in her videos. She uses stop motion, and to my eye, layers photograph tracks so that they emerge and recede with the flow of the music. She likely has used a cut-out shape over the camera lense to make that bird/wave shape which permutates and shifts in changing light patterns throughout the video and is perfect for Sheila's poem; but I couldn't guess how she composed the weave of slow motion of brilliant colours towards the end. Unlike traditional Bokeh, there is no foreground subject. Rather we are immersed in an ever-shifting slow-moving background. It is as if she composes abstract expressionist artwork before our eyes, painting with light and colour. As Sheila writes in her blog:
The still motion images are created by the use of DSLR camera, a Canon EO5. Kathy has been exploring Bokeh effects. It is an artistic technique initially used by some Japanese photographers who enjoyed the aesthetics of blur. She comes to this work by way of music; in fact the images are created in the same way that she creates music in her studio. Her echo pedal and harmonics perhaps are a musical expression of blur. She likes the 'infinite between.' She began using images in her search for techniques of writing scores. The images evoke meaning; to her, they create a synesthesia and seem to have their own sounds.

Sheila Packa and Kathy McTavish are two brilliant, creative women making, in my estimation, collaborative masterpieces.
_

I have a Videopoetry group at Vimeo - if you are a videopoet, and are on Vimeo, please join. Love to see your work there. Also I feed all videos posted through to Facebook, and will to Google+  as soon as that feature is added: http://vimeo.com/groups/videopoetry.


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Midnight Sun -finished!


Midnight Sun: Wind Over Grass, 28" x 22", 71cm x 56cm, oil on canvas, 2011.

When the river runs in bands, water ribbons her arm. Or she dances on rocks across. Those who support uphold everything in the underpainting. What is there to say of wheat fields or grass curling flames? Under the midnight sun strange dreams dance with intent. 

A painting depicting contact dance - which is... out of the dance studio, for sure, and into the dreamtime! And a solar eclipse, which reminds me of the black light, the midnight sun of the mystics.

Finally I have finished this painting! It's a strange little painting, but I quite like it now.

Here is a slideshow of the studies and previous versions of the painting:



Or a direct link:

Midnight Sun: Wind Over Grass


Home  Green Fire  Different, yet Same  Soirée of Poetry  Videopoetry  Celestial Dancers  Photopoems  Birthdance  Bliss Queen  Bio  Life Drawings  Earth Rising  Creative Process  Multiplicities  Links  Comments
Comments

Bits & Pieces

For a few days there, I was writing on my iPhone with a wireless keyboard in WriteRoom, a few images, and posted on G+, but I like to collect things here, at Rubies in Crystal (where things are much easier to find later on).

5 Oct 2011

Coins spread over the steel counter as she moved nickels and dimes with her fingers towards the cup of tea. Counting out $1.75, the woman wearing the white net over her hair slid the coins with the swoop of one hand into the other held below the counter. The tea was watery and too hot.

As the train's steel wheels spun along the electric track, she sipped, and thought how easy it is to slip away, become obscure, become a negative image of oneself, join anti-matter and disappear. She pulled her hat low over her eyes.

An old woman huddled in a seat, eyes closed, a form, a dark coat, some white hair, the veins rising on the skin on her hands like pale blue rivers, an absent person, someone no-one notices.

6 Oct 2011

The world is an ever-deepening place. I marvel at the richness of my life, my inner life. Everything is enfolded in everything else and grafts and buds unfurl constantly. Sometimes I find the bleak corners, the impenetrable sadnesses, and they're hard, but it doesn't last. The sun comes in through the lattice work of leaves and pulls me to another screen of my life where I see different scenes playing. Then other connections happen and other ways of approaching the moments that compose my life and I find new reflections. The enfolding continues, enriching more each day. Nothing passes, everything remains, adding to the whole art piece that my life is.

6 Oct 2011

Today, always today. It's never any other day but today. All the days might become this day, but this day is not all the other days. It's unique. Singular.

I should get to the news because it's a historical day. Every day is historical. Every day has its news, is noteworthy. We can look up the events of each day if we keep journals or blogs, and if we search news sites.

Mostly, the sun is shining and it is a cool, crisp Autumn day, a day before the leaves have crumpled on the trees and fallen, a day when the leaves are considering turning because temperatures were near frost last night. How can leaves turn? They die in bright reds and oranges, in yellow flames. They dance out of life, falling like crumpled browning jewels as the cold encroaches.

6 Oct 2011

It wasn't a very long journey, but it took a long time. The train lurched to the rhythm of its metal wheels, steadily, then screeching when braking into a station.

Her mint green and opaque grey cart's wheel got caught in the space between the car and the platform and there was a moment of panic as she struggled to free it. But it came loose just before the doors closed.

The shaved bald man sat facing her, black pants, grey jacket, staring, and she could see his dark pupils, black, impenetrable. The round younger man in the beige corduroy jacket with the brown mustache stared and yet she didn't feel seen. Neither had risen to help loosen her cart. Nor had the Chinese woman, who bleakly stared with disinterest, a glacial disinterest.

She held onto the green cart stuffed with a pimento of bananas, bread, tofu, vegetables, pastrami, butter and a large bag of dry dog food. She wedged her foot into it so it wouldn't slide down the car as the train accelerated.

She was exhausted, having shopped late in the evening after a long day. She closed her eyes against the three people who were staring dully at her. She closed her eyes, listening to the beating whir of the metal wheels striking the electrical charge, the screech of brakes as it reached stations and slowed and stopped and opened doors and whistled and closed doors and then the acceleration through the underground tunnels of the city.

7 Oct 2011

The way the cotton undershirt, nearly ice blue it was so white, where the seam is serged, how it creeps around the shoulder in a thin crescent moon, that lit up as he walked towards her in the dark. Frame by frame, slide the film so it blurs its motion with cross currents. Black grass waving under her sandaled feet. The air crisp yet carrying bruised plum muscles of warmth. A midnight roar of voices from a nearby party falling into the shadows of dark trees, rebounding, then rising in moth encircled streetlights. She smiled enigmatically, and slowly shifted sideways, then away.

8 Oct 2011

On the ceiling, lying against the baubbled white plaster, she noticed a spot of light. It was blueish white. Delicate shadows on the surface of the ceiling which had taken on the qualities of snow also had a blueish tinge. She imagined painting the white ceiling, filling it with the blues and the yellows, purples and dusty greys that revealed themselves before her eyes. White is never white, she thought.

The white is an afterthought, the highlight that casts its presence over the whole.

Our white thoughts are likely daubed attempts to paint our lives in pristine colours too.

As evening moved into the ceiling planes of taupe and grey spread, the distinct colours of earlier falling into the shadows, deepening them.



Home  Green Fire  Different, yet Same  Soirée of Poetry  Videopoetry  Celestial Dancers  Photopoems  Birthdance  Bliss Queen  Bio  Life Drawings  Earth Rising  Creative Process  Multiplicities  Links  Comments
Comments

Shadow Cave



direct link: Shadow Cave.  [The video is subtitled, so you can read along if you like, or have Google automatically translate the text into one of 25 languages. The option appears after you press play. If the cc in the play bar is red, the subtitle track is on; if black, it's not. Mouse click to toggle. Click on this image to see the steps to opening the subtitle/caption file:


How to discover what your splits are. What you've repressed in yourself. The shadow isn't necessarily 'Dorian Gray' -but can contain positive aspects that you've buried. In this video, the woman goes on a trance journey into the cave of her imagination where she discovers surprising selves. A Paleolithic artist, a woman-child, an angry reflection. The video is about integrating the shadow into the self during a shamanic dance.

Some comments on Shadow Cave:

"...your dancing is simply incredible. Poetic, visceral, physical and spiritual. I love it. Simply, I love it for the energy you are and the feelings it evokes in me. Makes me want to go out and dance to the moon." Kathryn Esplin

"After my first view "shape changing" seemed to stick in my mind. That is a pretty deep level of connecting/shifting." He calls it an "expressionistic masterpiece." william d.

"An interesting combo of creativity - the dance and choreography, the words and rhythms, the story and the feelings of motion rounding up the darkness becoming light ... in self-realisation." Bernard C.

"I love this video in more ways than I can say...

I love the leafy screen overlay-- that places the story squarely in the wilderness. I love the flashes of color that appear at key moments. I think the visual climax is probably when the dark shadow self emerges and sometimes follow the movements of the self but sometimes does the opposite. Excellent!

Lastly, I love that you've challenged the idea of Plato's cave, where one can see only external shadows. Internal shadows are much more important, and I'd like to think that Jung would also have seen his internal shadows within the cave." Ann Marcaida

"OMG, this is so beautiful, and I know someone in deep crisis right now...  who would benefit from viewing/listening to this... except [their] grasp of English isn't good. You know, you brought tears to my eyes with this one... It's so light, even with a light/sly sense of humor instilled here and there in the most appropriate of ways, yet I don't think I've experienced anything so deep and profoundly essential and so healing from you yet. It's as though you almost let all veils down, briefly and safely, and then bring it all together. Brings a whole new meaning to "mother and child reunion." And there's so much more. Love the symbolism of the snake... and the fat man. This is so well done, a real masterpiece, of describing a journey of integration." Bent Lorentzen

[I did mention that the subtitles can be translated by Google into other languages, maybe not perfect, but enough to get the gist.]

Also, I have been deeply moved by responses to this video by young women struggling with eating disorders, cutting, and other self-harming strategies to maintain an 'acceptable social self', or I would say, sanity in an insane world. And a young man dealing with alcohol addiction said it was kinda kooky but he understood it and understood that you can accept and live with all the parts of yourself.





Home  Green Fire  Different, yet Same  Soirée of Poetry  Videopoetry  Celestial Dancers  Photopoems  Birthdance  Bliss Queen  Bio  Life Drawings  Earth Rising  Creative Process  Multiplicities  Links  Comments
Comments

FRIDAY FILM AND VIDEO POEM: 'Ground' by Ginnetta Correli


direct link: Ground

Written & Narrated: Alastair Cook
Directed & Edited: Ginnetta Correli
Soundtrack: Pierrepoint’s Epitaph by Dirk Drieson

Ground has an impenetrable quality. The film imagery, poem and reading approach each other without quite meeting. In that circle of visual and verbal imagery and the emotion of the voice of the reader, we witness a flame dancing without knowing who lit it, who blows on it, or why it goes out, if it does.

Something profound happens. But what? Is the poem notes on death and what resurrects us through life? Or the dream of a life?

At the end, the man... but you must watch to see this.

I am reminded of Médem's Lucía y el sexo, where the island rests on a cacophony of unmappable caves that constitute its base and that are not attached to the seabed, but float, and where one of the characters disappears forever into.

As in dream, the images in Ground are vivid, strong, and reveal something important if elusive. The images of the poem and the film are are strewn in a landscape of inner symbolism. A motorcycle. An empty road. The shadow of a figure, perhaps the filmmaker filming the scene. A small white snake lying in the road. A man holding onto the lip of rock in a cave hole. A gloved hand picking up the poisonous snake and placing it carefully on the shoulder of the road. An abandoned hut where the outside seems inside, empty save for the crumpled paper of the poet, a bed of rocks and light.

This is a surreal filmpoem; it has a European art film feel to it. Like when watching an Almodóvar, forget logic, for a rational approach to understanding won't reveal anything. As you seek to embrace the meaning of the film, you find mindfulness here like a Zen koan.

You can't quite put it together. Rather, feel the deep angst the film produces. That's where the film is unfolding in your consciousness as a message, a predicament, a riddler of the paradoxes of life.

Or the immanence of death.

Ground is hauntingly beautiful, in a disturbing way. In the embracing mindfulness, a poetry of poison, death, loss, and beauty, all of which is natural, found in the natural world, amidst a surreality. We feel cross-currents, disambiguations, and yet the over-arching journey metaphor of Cook's minimalist poetry, and the bond of love he speaks of, yes, living is like this. Simply a superb film.

Do watch. The two minutes and 35 seconds will become a dream you are having.

_

Ginnetta Correli's blog: beatie's journal.

The poem is composed of haiku written by Alastair; his blog, written in my hand is well worth exploring too.





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PL: P(ink) L(ady)



direct link: PL: P(ink) L(ady)

PL: P(ink) L(ady)

once, the sakura tree
blossoming cloud 
of pink

blood,
like split cherries

a pulp of wounds

I, fleshy stone fruit
soft under his fists

brazen, the road
where I walk

brazen, my ripe cherry
nectar

-



A creative treatment on the theme of violence against women. The ending is meant to be positive - she's no longer hiding, is defiantly living from her source of nectar.

Shot with an iPhone4, and edited in FCE. The text had a lot of treatment, and took as long to create as the film itself. Normally I don't like text in videopoems, unless the text is a pictorial element in the composition.

The track, Chinese Sunrise, by bjarneo on SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/bjarneo/bjarne-o-chinese-sunrise


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FRIDAY FILM AND VIDEO POEM: 'immersion /2' by Sheila Packa and Kathy McTavish










direct link: immersion /2

This week an immersive video experience for you. A collaborative music video poem by Sheila Packa and Kathy McTavish. The poem, Immersion, is Sheila's, and the voiceover is Sheila's reading; the cello is played by Kathy. While both Sheila and Kathy chose the images for the video, Kathy composed it.

The film and the cello work marvelously together. Kathy, to quote from her website, is "a composer/free-style cellist. she uses chance and generative/organic forms to create everything from sparse, minimalist spaces to dense, orchestral landscapes." immersion /2 manages to be both sparse and minimalist, while maintaining a density of a natural orchestral landscape in the background. My sense of the music is similar to the visual images, the way they are composed, layered with a sparse simplicity on the surface and yet we find representations of the elements densely underlaid - wind, water, light, bird, earth, fields in bloom.

Sheila's reading is liquid and silky and flows with the stark and sonorous sounds of the cello and the shifting lights and colours of the video itself. Nature and natural processes are everywhere in her writing and in her reading. We enter a Tao of living through water that is water. With our inner ears, we can hear the flowing tides and the birds in a profoundly open landscape. Sheila and Kathy live on Lake Superior, a lake I found deeply mystical when I travelled around it some years ago. Her poem is from her collection, Undertow. I quote from her poetry blog:

"(immersion)

water resists
breaks without breaking
flows along invisible scores
courses between continuous
ends, begins

doesn't resist
touches, touches, turns
over the same skin...."

While I could rhapsodize on this music video poem all day, let me close with mention of Kathy's video technique, which is likely an original interpretation of the Bokeh style.

Kathy has explored Bokeh photography techniques, and puts her knowledge of this Japanese art form to amazing results in her videos. She uses stop motion, and to my eye, layers photograph tracks so that they emerge and recede with the flow of the music. She likely has used a cut-out shape over the camera lense to make that bird/wave shape which permutates and shifts in changing light patterns throughout the video and is perfect for Sheila's poem; but I couldn't guess how she composed the weave of slow motion of brilliant colours towards the end. Unlike traditional Bokeh, there is no foreground subject. Rather we are immersed in an ever-shifting slow-moving background. It is as if she composes abstract expressionist artwork before our eyes, painting with light and colour. As Sheila writes in her blog:
The still motion images are created by the use of DSLR camera, a Canon EO5. Kathy has been exploring Bokeh effects. It is an artistic technique initially used by some Japanese photographers who enjoyed the aesthetics of blur. She comes to this work by way of music; in fact the images are created in the same way that she creates music in her studio. Her echo pedal and harmonics perhaps are a musical expression of blur. She likes the 'infinite between.' She began using images in her search for techniques of writing scores. The images evoke meaning; to her, they create a synesthesia and seem to have their own sounds.

Sheila Packa and Kathy McTavish are two brilliant, creative women making, in my estimation, collaborative masterpieces.
_

I have a Videopoetry group at Vimeo - if you are a videopoet, and are on Vimeo, please join. Love to see your work there. Also I feed all videos posted through to Facebook, and will to Google+  as soon as that feature is added: http://vimeo.com/groups/videopoetry.


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