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On the Wires

April 24, 2013 7 comments

by Karyn Eisler

 


Direct link to video on YouTube

 

Karyn Eisler is a Vancouver-based writer, cross-disciplinary artist, sociologist, and faculty member at Langara. The College of Higher Learning. A 2011 Best of the Net nominee, her stories, poems, images, and collaborations have appeared in a variety of anthologies and journals including BluePrintReview, Moving Poems, Locus Novus, qarrtsiluni, and On a Narrow Windowsill—the world’s first Twitter literature anthology (Folded Word Press). She teaches a course on ‘Animals and Society’.

While Sitting in Church

October 13, 2011 11 comments
Categories: Videos, Worship Tags:

Tom Kessler, Stockton Island, 1887

September 13, 2011 1 comment

poem from Ice and Gaywings by Kenneth Pobo – video by Swoon Bildos


watch on YouTubewatch on Vimeo

Again this year we decided to produce a videopoem for a piece from our winning chapbook to serve as a video trailer and help build anticipation for what we think is a very engaging collection. The book will be released early next month, and this film will have a permanent place in the online version. In the meantime, please feel free to share either the Vimeo or YouTube version of it far and wide, to blogs, Facebook or other social sites, with or without a link to this post. (It’s embeddable media. That’s the point.)

Swoon Bildos, A.K.A. Marc Neys (website, blog) is a Belgian artist and filmmaker who has made some 35 videopoems, in English and in Dutch, in little over a year. Montana-based poet Sherry O’Keefe recently interviewed him about his videopoetry, asking about his process, philosophy, background and more. Marc blogged (in Dutch) about this project at the beginning of the assignment and also after completion. He remarked that he found Kenneth’s poems at times reminiscent of the atmosphere conjured up by David Vann in his book Legend of a Suicide, in the devastating, raw beauty of these remote forests.

Kenneth Pobo, the winner of qarrtsiluni’s 2011 chapbook contest, has four full-length collections of poetry and, including Ice and Gaywings, twenty chapbooks. He teaches creative writing and English at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. He and his partner and two cats enjoy gardening, music, and the Wisconsin Northwoods. You can catch Ken’s radio show, Obscure Oldies, on Saturdays from 6:00-8:30 pm EST at WDNR 89.5 FM.

Permutations: A Translational Odyssey from Visual to Musical Systems

February 23, 2011 2 comments

by James Ty Cumbie

Watch on Vimeo (HTML5 version available for Chrome and Safari browsers).

A little over two years ago, I started working on possibilities for visual art using simple permutation operations: ways of reordering sets of information. These possibilities multiplied until a black, hardbound, gridded notebook was about half full and bursting with ideas and sketches. One day I took the notebook out to lunch with me and left it — astoundingly — on a park bench! Despite frantic efforts, I never recovered it. The same day I bought a new notebook and began where I left off, but never quite regained the momentum I had established with the original notebook.

But all was not lost with the (admittedly, somewhat deflating) loss of the notebook. I began to focus more on translating these same ideas into sound. This past summer, I decided to attempt to compose a suite of compositions for solo guitar, which happens to be my instrument. I had recently been alerted to the Fibonacci sequence, which is somewhat famous as the mathematical basis for spiral mapping, but I used it in a simpler way, merely as a sequencing method. Starting with certain scales, I constructed generative sequences of notes using the Fibonacci structure. These constituted the originating material, or sets, for the permutations. Next, I used something called a “latin square”* permutation technique to generate re-orderings of the original sequences. This is how the final sequences of pitches were made. I also created sets of rhythms which were reordered in every possible way.

The results of all the above work formed the melody, or as I think of it, the top line of the five solo guitar pieces. Immediately, I realized the pieces could accommodate — and in fact needed — a counterpoint, or “bottom line,” which I created in a traditional, intuitive artistic method involving choices that reflect my taste and sensibilities. Each piece ends with a different chordal flourish that displays the notes of the scale. The top line represents the main substance of the concept: to construct a system which in turn generates music outside my imagination. The bottom line is a concession to taste and volition.

Originally I had wanted to compose very simple solo guitar music for myself to play, as I am not a virtuoso guitarist. As it happens, the music that emerged is extremely difficult, at least for me. The suite consists of five “movements,” called cycles. On the audio/visual presentation above, my rendition of the First Cycle is heard, followed by the Third Cycle played by the computer, and finally the Second Cycle played again by me. The visuals show some of the pages from the second notebook, some finished art pieces, and the scores for the solo guitar suite, titled “Permutation No. 1,” so that this work may more precisely be called “A Translational Odyssey from Numerically-based Visual Art to Musical Systems.”

*Latin square permutation:
1 2 3 4
2 4 3 1
4 1 3 2
1 2 3 4

James Ty Cumbie
December 2010

Recording by Atom Fellows

 

James Ty Cumbie has performed with Lukas Ligeti, Daniel Carter, Ned Rothenberg, Samir Chatterjee, Butch Morris, Walter Thopson, and many others. His compositions have been performed at New Languages Festival ‘09, The Vision Festival Series, Detour Jazz, and other NYC venues. He even once performed samba percussion for Lula, President of Brazil! From 2003-08 he produced and presented the Freezone Music Series, which showcased many of the most important avant-jazz artists from NYC, other parts of the US, and Europe. He has written jazz criticism for All About Jazz and worked as a graphic designer for nearly 30 years. He currently resides in Washington Heights where he is focussing on visual art and music composition. Both his art and music are strongly informed by minimalism, conceptualism, mathematics and serial/modular systems.

Categories: Translation, Videos Tags:

drylung (videopoem)

August 18, 2010 3 comments

poem from Watermark by Clayton T. Michaels
video by James Brush


watch on YouTubewatch on Vimeo

Tomorrow we’ll begin showcasing poems from each of the finalists in our 2010 chapbook contest, but to kick off the series, we teamed up with regular qarrtsiluni contributor and blogger James Brush to produce a video for a poem of his choice from the winning manuscript by Clayton T. Michaels. We were extremely impressed with James’ first go at the genre two months ago, God Bless Johnny Cash. It turned out that, in addition to being a fine poet, he also has a degree in film.

We have a strong interest in promoting videopoetry, also known as poetry film and cinepoetry — see Dave’s site Moving Poems, for example — so we decided to do this in preference to a more standard book trailer (itself an interesting new genre). Once the book is officially launched on August 30, other filmmakers will also be welcome to explore videopoem possibilities with the author’s permission. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to link to and share this video. And needless to say, we’d love to get more video submissions to our regular themed issues, too. (You can see all the posts in our Videos category here.)

James Brush lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, cat and two rescued greyhounds, and teaches English in a juvenile correctional facility. His poems have appeared in various places online and in print — see the complete list of publications on his blog. He published his first novel, A Place Without a Postcard, in 2003. He has been fascinated by Martian landscapes since he saw the first Viking images in the mid-1970s.

Palindrome

June 23, 2010 3 comments

by Isabelle Carbonell


Direct link to video (HTML5 player available in Chrome and Safari browsers)

This is a “videopainting” about what society demands from us as either immigrants or citizens: to assimilate our individual identities and cultures into a larger mainstream persona. The metaphor of a mannequin — arriving from the factory with pre-painted makeup on large arresting eyes, pre-fab white skin, and the seemingly perfect bust — is evocative of the dehumanizing aspect of cultural assimilation. However, this image we construct to integrate into our cultural surroundings is often incomplete, tentative or conflictual; many find themselves going forwards and backwards with this facade, sometimes equally behind and in front of it. This short film is a palindromic painting of an emotional landscape that plays on the mirrors of identity, the multiple masks we offer in different settings, and our subconscious rebellion that emerges in times of epiphany.

*

Isabelle Carbonell (website, blog) is a documentary photographer and documentary filmmaker whose determination to give a voice to the voiceless has driven her to document political, social, and environmental injustices around the world. When filming, she becomes her environment — sleeping, eating, and breathing with those she is focusing on, transcending the divide between observer and subject easily. With all the ambitions of an artist, she also employs her rigorous academic training as a researcher to produce an in–depth reportage. As a result, her documentary films and photos try to reveal a deeply complex social understanding while still offering an exquisite artistic vision. Isabelle’s documentary skills have taken her to countries such as India, Qatar, Cuba, Mexico, Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua.

In/organic Transmissions

March 3, 2010 Comments off

by Patricia McInroy


Video link. (If you can’t see the video, you need to download Flash.)

Artist’s statement
“In/organic Transmissions” functions as a conversation that is not taking place. In it, elements of natural disintegration attempt to engage with the artificial. This piece entertains notions of health and communication on both micro and macro levels.

 

Patricia McInroy (website) graduated with an MFA in Visual Arts from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2007. Her video work has been screened at film festivals in New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and New York. It is also being shown at schools in Maine, Massachusetts, Florida and South Carolina. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she teaches photography to incarcerated youth through the Fresh Eyes program.

Categories: Health, Videos Tags:

Avoid

August 16, 2009 Comments off
Categories: Economy, Videos Tags:

i swarm

August 4, 2009 Comments off
Categories: Economy, Videos Tags:

Flying

April 30, 2009 1 comment

Poems by 5 Brass Tacks: D’Arcy Randall, W. Joe Hoppe, Judy Jensen, David Meischen, and Katherine Durham Oldmixon; video, “The Process of Flying,” edited by Katherine Durham Oldmixon with the assistance of Arturo Lomas Garza

Unleashed

She pushes off without the aid of wings, strokes
air to rise above the humming wires, above

the patchwork sharp-peaked roofs that block
their view below, skies breaking off the coast,

horizon lapping fenced backyards and hard-
pack, rainless grasses, bloomed-out morning

glories, the earthbound shouts that raise
their net of fear below. She does not thud

among the earthbound stares. Nothing
brings her down but a blue eye opening.

by David Meischen, with Brass Tacks

***

Dreaming

She pushes off years, stroking air
without wings, a humming body

rising above grasses and blown out morning glories,
rising over sharp peaked roofs below skies

broken off the coast of the everyday,
rising through the fluttering galaxy

because it’s evolutionary
to abandon land,

featherless among touchable stars,
tumbling hard those nights,

a blue eye opening,
a hard held expectation, wild.

by Judy Jensen, with Brass Tacks

***

Flying

It’s been years since I stroked air to fly
pushing off without the aid of wings

to rise above the humming wires
through gossamer and troubled flutterings

skies break from the coast of the everyday
red roofs green pastures capture living below

while I transcend, featherless,
rainless grasses, shriveled kale, bloomed out morning

glories and reach towards touchable stars
the soundest advice pipes weakly from the ground

but not once do I tumble to the sidewalk
thud hard against their reasonable concerns

even now sometimes I rise
pressing foot to pavement to catch the air again

by W. Joe Hoppe, with Brass Tacks

***

Flying

I once stroked air to fly—my wingless body
pushed off dirt to rise above young gnats

bloomed-out fantasies and morning glories,
to rise above the high wires humming,

the peaked roofs holding down the living.
Rising to skies that break from the coast,

past rainless grass and galaxies,
I followed evolution, leaving land,

featherless among the stars close
enough to touch. Shouts raised a net of fear,

although I never fell and even now
I still press hard to heel in expectation.

by D’Arcy Randall, with Brass Tacks

***

Flying

It’s been years since I stroked air to fly—
my wingless body pushed off dirt

to rise above gossamer humming wires,
blown-out morning glories, rainless grasses,

and troubling young gnats before my face,
to rise above the garden kale and cabbage,

over patchwork patches of sharp roofs
holding down the living below—

because it’s evolutionary to abandon
land, to glide among the cool, touchable

stars, above the earthbound shouts
that raise their net of fear below:

“Come down, come down before you fall to earth
where you belong!” but not once did I tumble

to the sidewalk, thud hard among their screams;
their upturned stares never reached me

those nights, nothing brought me to ground
but a hard-held expectation, a blue eye opening,

and some days still I raise my heels
from pavement and feel the familiar pull.

by Katherine Durham Oldmixon, with Brass Tacks


Reading by the authors, except for W. Joe Hoppe’s “Flying,” which is read by Dave Bonta — Download the MP3

Process notes

Brass Tacks is a circle of Austin poets who meet periodically to discuss and critique one another’s work. W. Joe suggested that if one of us were to volunteer a poem, we might take the workshop model to the extreme. Katherine offered an early draft of her poem, “Flying,” and the other poets went to work, while Katherine began putting together a video of the process. The 5 Brass Tacks agreed that she would coordinate the workshop and serve as the final editor.

Each poet then submitted a draft based on the original, along with an image of the marked-up poem. All agreed not look at one another’s poems until each had written his or her own version — but some “cheated,” and D’Arcy remarked that cheating really mutated the signature. In the next round, we tried to write a final, collaborative version. Although everyone worked with all five poems, each poet produced a “final” poem that varied little from his or her individual poem in voice, style and interpretation. David and Judy’s title hint at some of those differences. Katherine’s first version of the final poem attempted to stitch together the others, but couldn’t accommodate the strategies of compression or individual stylistic or thematic choices.

We learned that if we had chosen a collaborative project in which each of us produced a line (as in an exquisite corpse), a stanza (as in a renga) or a poem (as in a crown) we would each have something to point to as our own. We also realized that if we had begun with a poem to which none of us had an interior or original relationship, it would have been easier to write. (It seemed that either Katherine had to be the final editor or couldn’t be.) Finally, we realized that we had mutated the poem to create five poems, each borrowing substantially from one another, each our own.

Note on the video
The video, “The Process of Flying,” combines photographs by Katherine Durham Oldmixon of the Austin Kite Festival with images of marked-up poems in the process of collaboration by D’Arcy Randall, David Meischen, W. Joe Hoppe and Judy Jensen. The piano music tracks are from the GarageBand library. The video was composed and edited by Katherine Durham Oldmixon with the assistance of Arturo Lomas Garza.