~ workshops ~

Marc Neys on teaching a videopoetry workshop

In a blog post this week, Marc Neys (A.K.A. Swoon) looked back at a videopoetry workshop he taught in Athens, offering a rare glimpse into the teaching of this increasingly popular art-form.

The objective beforehand was to create a few brand new videopoems in two sessions. First day I showed some examples of videopoetry and talked about the genre a bit, not too long though. Doing it is the best way to learn in my opinion.
Experimenting is fun; I showed 15 one minute films (animation,film, archive, abstract, …) in a loop a few times, asking every participant to write one line (sentence, word, …) inspired by each minute of film. After two rounds, everyone then had a 15 line ‘poem’. I made them all pick out one of the minute-films and let them read out their lines aloud during that one minute film. The others could observe, look and listen. It’s a fun exercise to create something ‘right there right now’. Words suddenly fit a certain shot (though not written for that image)

Day two was all about creating. There were plenty ideas and suggestions but only a few hours to get the job done.

2 projects were finalised;
A brand new poem (written by one of the participants inspired by the first day of the workshop) and a part of Electra (Sophocles)
(read/sung in one of the ancient dialects)
For me it was amazing to see how all participants took up various roles for both projects. The started filming, recording the readings, comparing different footage.
It was a fantastic buzz of creativity. I only provided some sounds and noises, suggested a cut here or there, but all the other ideas and work came from the participants.

Click through for the rest (including both films created by the participants).

Sheila Packa on creating live, moving poems at an exhibition of transmedia art

This sounds as if it must’ve been absolutely delightful:

At the art opening last Friday, I was one of the writers who could “input” text into the film generator. [Kathy McTavish’s] art was the “origin of birds.” This posting is about my experience with it, a meditation on the “origin of words.” Entering words was addictive. My text was not the only text on the wall– the generator was randomly combining live twitter feed, climate reports, data, and other phrases. A few other poets were entering phrases as well. The effect was similar to spraying graffiti on a wall, only to have it drift away and replaced by other graffiti.

On my computer, at her web-page, whatever I entered in the text box would appear in the projection on the walls. This was new! wild! Generally as a writer, I do my work in solitude at my desk. In the film, the text was performing live. It was me performing live, actually, but because I was at a table in the corner, I was not visibly part of the exhibit. My words appeared whenever I pressed ‘enter.’ I noticed interesting juxtapositions and flows. I had surprises and sudden flashes of inspiration. It occurred to music (her compositions in cello were also part of the film).

Sometimes, I’d share my text box with friends. Cecilia Ramón sat down at my computer and translated the text she watched on the projection into Spanish for our viewing pleasure. The other designated poets showed some of their friends how to access the text entry point, so a number of people were participating at the same time. Some of the writing sparked material I intend to go back to when I’m at my desk. Some was silly or forgettable. It cascaded or even precipitated on the screen, like the live tweets. My writing evaporated (much like the way that ‘too much information’ is ignored or disregarded in other settings). I did walk away with the appreciation of how poetry, with its concentrated form and powerful image and sound elements, makes an ideal text for video work.

Read the rest.

Swoon on leading a videopoetry workshop in Vilnius

Belgian filmmaker and musician Swoon (Marc Neys) gave a two-day videopoetry workshop as part of the TARP festival of audiovisual and experimental poetry in Vilnius, Lithuania earlier this month. His blog post about the experience should be of interest to videopoets and poetry teachers alike.

The participants get to experience the importance of timing, the power of coincidence, and, hopefully, the fun of playing with words and images. After that two groups were formed (making sure each group had someone familiar with film and/or video and someone willing to write) to work on a project of their own. Both groups took the results of the writing experiment as a starting point; One group used footage shot by one of the participants and combined two ‘poems’ of the experiment. In doing so creating two streams of thoughts played out against two streams of images. The other group wrote a new poem (using the same basic idea) and added self filmed footage and filmed some new material the day before the second part of the workshop.
The second evening we recorded the poems. Each group explained and showed their work in progress. Giving me a change to suggest, answer questions and help out where needed.

Read the rest (and watch the two films)