Digital poiesis: mimicking bird as lecture
Video, Unlikely Journal for Creative Arts, 2023
Photo: Heteralocha acutirostris, detail: colour digital photograph of huia study-skin, LB8537, collection period pre-1907, record created 2002, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Tāmaki Paenga Hira. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand Licence. Auckland Museum CC BY.
What better way to antagonise a moving image artwork than through the lens of a further moving image artwork? For this issue of Unlikely, I present just that — a short silent film, Silenced Strings, that uses subtitles to explore the extinction and ultimate silencing of a revered wattlebird species in Aotearoa, New Zealand. This video is closely followed by another: a lecture-performance, titled Digital poiesis: mimicking bird as lecture, during which I reflect on the research that informed the making of the initial film, surveying the history and violence of the lost song of the Huia while negotiating the use of culturally significant archival material. The lecture-performance incorporates museum and sound archive content, which require delicate navigation of copyright law and its boundaries. I employ displacement techniques to complicate the representation of information, not only through sound, but also visual interruptions to "censor" content in this interpretation of an avian-themed historical essay.
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