~ Filmmaker: Daniel Dugas ~

Landschop by Valerie LeBlanc & Daniel Dugas

From the Canadian duo of Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel Dugas, Landschop is one in a series of videopoems titled Around Osprey. The artists’ words about the overall project:

Around Osprey is a series of short videopoems based on our 2018 residency at the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast Preserve in South Florida. These poems have been derived from our exploration of the lands and waters of the Myakka River, the Manatee River, Sarasota Bay, and Charlotte Harbour. While looking for the crossovers between nature and culture, we were also looking for threads of human histories within protected natural spaces. (source)

Whispered voices combine with cleverly designed on-screen text to convey the single words and short phrases that form the poetic piece of writing. The background of the soundtrack is comprised of subtle sounds of nature, randomly punctuated by sounds of gunshot. The latter are a mysterious aural presence through the video and only connect to the text in the final moments.

I appreciate the gentle, open-ended qualities of this video, consistent with much of the other work from these artists. It’s as though each of their videopoems is just one moment in a long and steady stream of contemplations.

Their daily blog entries for the Around Osprey residency can be found here.

Remnants by Valerie LeBlanc & Daniel Dugas

A few weeks ago I shared a trilogy of videopoems from Canadian film-makers Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel Dugas, made during their time as artists in residence at the historic Deering Estate in Florida. This video, Remnants, is another of several made during their time at the Estate.

From a film-making view, I particularly like in Remnants the simple effectiveness of writing the poem on the spine of books. There is as well a quiet, contemplative quality that often arises in videopoems without voice, just text on screen and sound design from natural ambiences. The twin-screen of this film then calls for attention to two panels of adjacent text, the poem on one side and old book titles on the other.

Most if not all of the videopoems I have seen from Valerie and Daniel are author-made films arising from their long-time collaboration as artists. More from their Deering Estate residency are here.

Dream 1, 2 & 3 (video series) by Valerie LeBlanc & Daniel Dugas

A trilogy of videopoems by long-time collaborators Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel Dugas in Canada, the Dream series was realised as part of an artist residency at the historic Deering Estate in Miami, USA. From the synopsis for Dream 1:

In September 1925, on board the steamship SS City of Paris, en route back to the United States, James Deering suffered a heart attack and died. After the deaths of both James Deering and his brother Charles, their houses became museums bequeathed for public enjoyment.

In this fictional account of three imagined dreams, Charles Deering addresses the death of his younger brother James.

The synopsis for Dream 2:

Charles awakes from a premonitory dream in which many strangers visit their homes but neither he nor James lives there. The letter is almost a question to his brother about his health.

Each of the videos makes use of a split screen, bringing two different image streams into play with each other, and with repeated visual elements across the trilogy. The layered images are haunting and poetic in conveying the fictional dreams, an interesting concept. I find the mood across all three videos somehow reminiscent of La Jetée by Chris Marker.

Valerie LeBlanc narrates the imagined letters from Charles to his brother.

The Dream 3 synopsis:

Charles has a dream within a dream in which he is overcome by a great sadness. He is relieved that the visions dissipate in his waking reality.

Aside from this Dream trilogy, the artists’ time at The Deering Estate gave rise to a number of other videopoems, photographs, audioworks and installations. All together they make up a larger, overall residency project called Oasis. The artists’ wrote a journal of their experiences and creativity during the residency at the project website.

In Kisii by Daniel Dugas

Canadian videopoet Daniel Dugas has hit upon a novel way to use footage shot from the window of a moving vehicle in the first of this video’s three parts, “The paths.” “The lake” and “Diamonds floating” continue the juxtaposition of moving images with a single static image of a delivery truck being unloaded by the side of a road, which makes me think of how limited and constrained any visitor’s perspective on a place must inevitably be. The whole thing makes for a very satisfying, brief travelogue.

Insomnie (Insomnia) by Daniel H. Dugas


An author-made videopoem from 2012, in French with English subtitles, by Canadian poet, musician and videographer Daniel H. Dugas. From the description on Vimeo:

Synopsis: A television show on the Big Bang theory adds to the anguish of not being able to sleep. What would happen to dreaming if time itself disappeared?

Statement: Dictionaries hold all of the words of languages and images hold all of the feelings in the world. As time races on the linear track of our lives, sleeplessness becomes a fragile stand against the disappearance of being.

How many luxury cars in your town? by Daniel H. Dugas

Newly uploaded to Vimeo, Canadian poet and filmmaker Daniel H. Dugas‘ 2004 experimental videopoem

analyses the traffic on highways and in one projection, merges fragments of vehicles, with lines from the Book One* of Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature And Causes of the Wealth of Nations. This project looks at the symbolic of cars as an anthropomorphic fantasy of individualism.

Endlessly by Daniel Dugas


Poet, musician and videographer Daniel Dugas writes:

This video is part of a two channel video installation What We Take With Us, a collaborative work with Valerie LeBlanc. For the installation, we each created a distinct program of short videos poems exploring different aspects of memory and presence. Endlessly deals with the implication of what is seen and the tourist gaze. It is one of six videos that I created for the installation.

For more about the project, see its website.