Finn Harvor: Isolation Trip Remix

Finn Harvor was invited to write for Moving Poems about two publicly-released versions of his video Isolation Trip Remix, both of them collaborations with musician Ian Peninsolar (aka Peninsolar). Ian composed the music soundtrack, which includes found sound and dialogue that forms a kind of ‘found poem’ in itself. Finn directed the videos and created an additional layer of poetic text for the second version.

Isolation Trip Remix (original version)

Finn’s process notes:

This began as a sound and visual collage based on a late evening bike ride along the Han River early this summer. The coronavirus crisis was still in its early stage, and the mood throughout South Korea — as most of the world — was eerie.

I often do projects by building them up in layers; that is, by starting with shot footage and adding my own music, or not using music at all and simply creating a visual/aural collage. Because it takes a long time to get poetry published, this method of working allows me to get projects “out into the world” without worrying about the stigma of self-publishing my text (though occasionally I’ve done that also (and want to emphasize I think it’s a good idea when artists and writers occasionally do this)). Generally, the completed videopoem doesn’t become public for quite some time — often, years.

Ian Peninsolar had been suggesting we collaborate on a project. I messaged him and suggested this. He added a soundtrack, which included sampled audio of very unusual weather systems from several years ago. The voiceover adds quite a bit to the project, and meshes perfectly with Ian’s musical soundtrack. It has the stentorian seriousness of an authority, which is what we’re used to hearing during crises.

It seemed like a good metaphor for what the world is going through this year. Later, I added text of my own to make it a videopoem in the more conventional sense of the term.

Isolation Trip Remix (with added text)

Note: aside from his substantial body of work as a maker of videopoems, Finn is notable too for his critical writing. This can be found at the UK journal, Poetry Film Live.

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