Brief 4 – Hayden, Nathan, & Greta

Silver Mirror (Hayden Andipas)

Prompt: Archaic Fragment (Louise Gluck)

Response (Greta Egan)

Plastered layers, A cast

Over my face that wraps up my identity, my feelings

Obscuring the body I see, the body that I materialise

from sight, I feel constricted, the pressure in my head twofolding with the adhesion of more tape

How do I get a handle on this?

Where I once saw the reflection of myself, I now see a glamour of blue

No shape or silhouette.

Sometimes I barely see at all.

Will you please stop blinding me? Will I stop blinding me?


Fireflies (Nathan Fumberger)

Prompt: Blizzard (William Carlos Williams)

Response (Hayden Andipas)

The Furious static fills my head. It tells me to move, go forward,
writhe in silent anger and let the static be your lens.
And then, the light.
At first I saw a solitary glow, just out of reach it floats idly. With no
expectation or purpose the light grows. At first a silent whisper it
builds and grows, bigger, brighter more intense. The light multiplies
its green, blue single then numerous. How long has it been now? A
second or an eternity, it doesn’t matter.
It cuts the static penumbra and brings with it something new…
Hope? Maybe.
And then, as quickly as it began it is gone…
What does the world look like now after the light? I see nothing but
the path ahead of me, lit by the sun and carrying with it something,
something, something.
Perhaps I was never meant to know where the path leads.

Green Matter (Greta Egan)

Prompt: Earth Shakes

Response (Nathan Fumberger)

The emergency was known to the trees.
Acolytes of an old god stood in judgement;
Silent, recording sins on every inch of themselves.

We were a threat to them – we twisted them,
cut, burnt, and bruised them.
Slept in their bones, as they watched us remain.

The climate was felt by the birds.
They were the messengers, the seekers, the remnants
of an old desire to touch the sun, now to fade behind it.

We wielded blades, loved, birthed and named as
we desired – war, blood, extinction.
Paradise, paved by burnt feathers.

The action was begun by the clouds.
Change in the air, the breath of the world
arresting, exhaling, holding, choking.

We saw the gates close to us – our armies
starving and rusted.
Survival watched us stand on our wasteland.

The emergency gripped the world.
Once temples, now threats, the trees
hid the monsters that grew from their blood.

We picked the stones that rained
like fire from the sky and filled them
with coal dust and anger.

The extinction was upon us at last.
The bones, the stars, the land lays cold:
all screaming for our action.

We could not change, return their bones
or their feathers, nor our fear a heartbeat.
Our broken weapons promised our survival.

The end.

6 thoughts on “Brief 4 – Hayden, Nathan, & Greta

  1. Oh wow there is a lot of great stuff to unpack here! I’ll format it in numbered sections so you know who is who’s!

    1. Silver Mirror and Response

    1A. Silver Mirror – Hayden Andipas

    Wow, Hayden, this is powerful work. I was concerned about the lengthiness of the video, but I think that became one of its strengths. You allow these insults to be plastered over the isolated mirror in real-time with no editing, which really makes the audience stop and pay attention.

    I enjoyed the eerie silence but found myself distracted by the breathing sounds – not necessarily because of the noise itself, but because of the lower sound quality. Although it could add to the uncomfortable atmosphere, I think this could have been achieved by using white noise instead of what the camera picked up. I also think that the most impactful statements could have been left for last (f*ggot, c*nt) instead of covered up by (objectively) less impactful ones, like “lazy” and “pathetic.” Some of the impact is lost with this.

    Your final note at the end, with a simple “…” is a wonderful ending! I was expecting more but lingering on that ellipses really lets the viewer sit with what they just watched, and they will certainly wonder what the victim’s response will be. Seemingly simple but very deep depiction of the effects of bullying and/or mental illness. Well done!

    1B. Response – Greta Egan

    Making the poem from the mirror’s point of view is very clever! Adding thoughts to an inanimate object isn’t easy, but you made it seem effortless. The first person seemed natural and flowed smoothly, and although it was short, it seemed like there was nothing left unsaid.

    However, this poem really needs a title. There is an interesting angle in calling it ‘Response’ but there are so many great themes that you are playing with that would serve as good inspiration for a title (Reflection, etc.) The poem references being bound and folded by the tape but ends on discussion of ‘blinding.’ And ending that incorporated both themes would have been great (binding?)

    You have some excellent word choices here, (“twofolding,” and “glamour of blue,” being two of my favourites) and this speaks to how naturally creativity comes to you! The foremost question of this poem (“How do I get a handle on this?) is a nice pun towards the mirror’s handle – yet is a daunting question that has no real answer. Great work!

    2. Fireflies and Response

    2A. Fireflies – Nathan Fumberger

    I really enjoy the visuals here (and your epilepsy warning is very tasteful and appreciated!) You capture a unique feeling that is a mix of loneliness and curiosity, and although it is understated, I think it really speaks to your strengths as a creative person.

    The lack of sound bothered me here. Not sure if intentional or not, but I feel like the right sound or even just background noises (crickets chirping, old streetlights buzzing, etc) could have really elevated it. It is a little on the short side, and some longer pauses would be good to let the viewer stay in the moment.

    The ending is great! It is jarring but not overly so, and the hard cut from the “blizzard” of lights to the clear green path and sunny day is very well-executed! Makes me think of finding a brighter future after difficult times. Good job!

    2B. Response – Hayden Andipas

    There is a solid atmosphere of reflection and a slight ominousness to this piece that I really like. The subject’s first glimpse of the light is quite a magical read, and I can really feel how enraptured they are by it.

    There are some punctuation and capitalisation errors that confuse me. “The Furious” is capitalised, and other words are not. (This could have been a good title maybe?) Was “… its green, blue single then numerous…” meant to be “it is green, blue, single, then numerous…” or does the light multiply “its” green? Also, the word “static” is used three times so some variation would have been nice for the reader instead.

    You reflected Nathan’s switch from dark to light very well with your depiction of an unknown, yet bright, path ahead. The subject feels wary and resigned here, but ready to engage with the future, like they are passive in their own life but still enjoying the ride. Nice work!

    3. Fireflies and Response

    3A. Green Matter – Greta Egan

    Green Matter really tells us that green matters. The pink border is very charming despite the urgent (and sometimes distressing) words on top of it, and your botanical showcase confronts us with what we could lose if we don’t act now. Very powerful but simply delivered message.

    The words were repetitive which is impactful, but some other words could have expanded the scope of what you are addressing. The white text is sometimes hard to read, so perhaps a darker stroke around the text would make it pop more.

    You made a good decision to allow natural sounds in the video. I think any manmade music would take away from your topic, so very good choice with that. Awesome work!

    3B. Response – Nathan Fumberger

    Your poem tells a gorgeous, cautionary tale about the importance of acting for climate change. It is simply haunting and has a sweeping beginning, middle, and end that is sure to grip anyone who reads it.

    I think bits of punctuation and spacing could use some work, i.e. some excess full stops that stilt the flow of the piece, and some commas missing. You mention gods judging, then switch our view to the very human flow of time, with no reference to these gods again. There is an interesting “us vs them” take that is lost after this, so theme tightening and review could help you here.

    Your word choices are immaculate and make the piece so much more powerful – my personal favourite is: “…Paradise, paved by burnt feathers.” You have a continued thread of birds watching from the skies above, and this is followed through smoothly until the end.

    Spectacular job!

  2. Hayden’s video: single-take was such a great choice. I loved seeing your little reflection in the handle of the mirror! The order of the words was fascinating. I enjoyed seeing ‘fgt’ buried under the pile of other names. I didn’t actually pick up on “…” as ellipses… seems obvious now! I wonder what other endings you’d played with before deciding on this one…

    Greta’s poem: yes, ‘twofolding’ and ‘glamour of blue’ are so wonderful! I think the poem slips into the more descriptive and representative in relation to the video which is less powerful when you play with the language and image at a slight distance from the concreteness of the video image.

  3. Nathan’s video: I love the light play. I’m wondering what guided your sense of phrasing, the movement from one kind of dancing light and colour, to the next? I loved the silence, I felt pulled into the dark from where I could marvel at the lights. For this reason I was so disappointed to be brought back into day time! But I can see your choices around this in relation to the poem…

    Hayden’s poem: I see how you’re also taking your cue in terms of narrative development from the video, and the poem. There’s something about time that I think you’re tapping into in relation to the video, which would be interesting to develop further!

  4. Greta’s video: I found a lot of humour and cheekiness in this. Is that wrong? :-/ I found the pink frame and the particular green and type of plant filmed taking the piss out of a particular ‘eco’ ‘hipster’ aesthetic… with the graphics on top I found a really interesting commentary and satire emerging. I wonder if this is what you were going for…?!

    Nathan’s poem: some really powerful images here. Most interesting when it can be read in more than a kind of climate change soap box, and I think there are plenty of moments when this is happening! I think fewer words would allow for more expansive images and resonances. Lovely work.

  5. Haydens video – THIS IS SOOOOO GOOD!

    I absolutely love everything about this! The setting is amazing and ties in the old handheld mirror really nicely, especially paired with this dark lighting and colouring. The words you chose arent ones that would typically be seen in a video like these is which I loved as it kept it so real and unpredictable!

    I also love those tearing sounds and the sounds of you breathing and moving about kept it all so raw and quite moving – really amazing job on this Hayden!

  6. This set design in silver mirror and use of the prop is incredible. It was an extremely provoking piece. I loved how it was a continuous shot and that the words were all in different fonts. The uneasy stretching of leather audio and heavy breathing was perfect and further enhanced this idea of archaicness. I especially liked the way the tape looked at the end when they were all piled on top of each other. Combined with the audio, it reminded of when you get edgy or frustrated about something kind of in an OCD way.

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