Friday, May 22, 2020

Thursday, May 21, 2020

City Hawk - a feature length authorial videopoem

City Hawk - original and spoken word versions

Statement: My first feature length authorial videopoem can be seen via the link just below. It’s almost five years old —  which, given how much my cameras have changed, feels more like twenty. 

The original project, entitled City Hawk, was based entirely on footage and stills shot in Toronto - either around the neighborhoods of St. Lawrence and Regent Park (the latter not yet gentrified) — and along the Don Valley.

The latter footage is the basis of the video.  Wanted to capture something of the tension between poor and wealthy neighborhoods, as well as the general excitement/ tension of urban life.

Urban life has its advantages: its energies are real. But it lacks meditativeness ... at least, unless you’re willing to accept the poverty that results from a “chronically peaceful mind.” Meditativeness can only be consistently found in natural spaces; have found this living in Toronto. My wife and I find it living near a nature reserve in Seoul.

And a very recent spoken word version of City Hawk is also below via YouTube. It’s much shorter - but I couldn’t have made that first project without all the footage, the music, and the sturm und drang of editing on a wheezy laptop.


From my collection of ambient and authorial movies. My focus is on videopoetry; however, I work in other genres and art forms as well.



August 21.15

Original authorial videopoem:

The towers are
Flat to the touch
And the clouds are cotton
In blue clay.

The towers are phat
With money
And ambition
And steel –
Monoliths, weeds
Sprouting from dirty gardens
While a squawking raptor watches.


Flat reaches –
It disdains its poor before,
Its dimly-remembered door.

The people here
Don't understand
All that,
And so they walk happily
Under Flat.

But in the hard furrows
Goes down.
Are generally
Built on souls,
While new weeds
Raised in the pyschic garden
Of Farmer Dough
Spread wildly.

But there's a temporary okay
When you know how to escape...
It's the flower road,
The trail,
That will, today,
Save you.

These trails
Are specific
But their origin
Is general.
And the perception of them
Is based on ears,

All skies fly
But humans
Must portion out their stretch;
It is the clouds
That are solid
And the machinery
That will wilt.


The monoliths
Refuse to sway –
That is their way.
But the green in the city
Busts out
And is regular.

Weeds prefer to love
But any flower part will do
Including containers of brick,
The matrix kind.

The towers rule
Like government
But they have no stem,
No voice.
They are dependent
On the smallness
Of life.


Asphalt is the original Flat
But it is just a servant now,
Possibly a beggar.
The more Some Thing is ignored
The more it resembles the natural....
The plant world,
The animal
And the zone
Of anonymous humans.

Poverty is grey
But grey precedes brown
And brown precedes blue.
Even concrete
Ultimately surrenders.

Every decent pathway
Knows the importance
Of proportion;
Some grey
Is A-okay.
But the Golden Rule
(also now green)
Must be respected.
The trail
Has stages
Of commencement.

It is the length –
length –
Of the path
That makes healing whole.
Forget its jumble –
That is actually good.
Its pot-holes
And its cracks
Are part of its

The path seems endless
Because it should.
It has no short version.
It – bumpingly – rolls,
Like a petite volcano's thin river.

The sky
In the afternoon
Is Canadian-deep
And clear.
Its blue does not compromise
And its clouds are shredded
And amazing and intense.

The people on the trail
Or stroll.
They, too
(River, river),

The path continues
To another path.
It splits
And becomes

The greenery expands here
And passes beneath a bridge
That is like a tall gate.
The remnants of a castle,
Or some old town,
Are entered.
(Is this true? Look in the distance –
And see what remains of the great walls.)

The greenery further expands
And softens.
This quality extends, it seems,
Right down to the molecular.

How can this be so?
But the green –
At this point –
Is full
In its confidence
And it takes its land

The mood
Naturally religious
The mood becomes perfect,

And then at the end of today's daily,
Listen again
For the strength
Of overhead
Squeal and squawk.

There are no emergencies
That are
This high.

- Finn Harvor

Monday, May 18, 2020

광주 민주운동/ Gwangju Uprising

Portrait of C - writing of Richard Harvor, with Happyland chapbook

Portrait of C - text: Richard Harvor, video: Finn Harvor

Portrait of C

[Own : Every artist needs to enter the abyss; not every artist comes back out.]

Descending into junkiedom, C'd come to resemble – more and more – Boris Karloff, was a looming, angular presence, his dense, dark, viscous hair suggesting a mixture of grease with sand, with blood, skin rufous as an Apache's, an extraordinarily handsome boy, broad-shouldered, slim-hipped, gigantically-chinned (like an Irishman (James Joyce(?)), his piercing eyes the opacity of black paint-chips, obsidian. Once, I”d sketched him – sitting in a chair in my apartment – shooting up: jagged, harsh, dense dynamo smashed into the page's middle, fierce network of scars. (Outside, the Brancusi-head moon.)

(Continued )

To see this chapbook as it first appeared online in early February, 2018, please check out this PDF version of it:

YouTube link:

Covid news


Thursday, May 14, 2020

Russia surpasses Italy in Covid 19 deaths ((in Italian)


Kim Arin on the struggle between medical and political priorities in South Korea’s pandemic response:

« Speaking about instances of the KCDC’s warnings being contradicted by the rest of the government, he said, “Politicians ought to be listening to science, now more than ever, and not brush aside expert advice if it’s inconvenient to their agenda.”

Amid the struggle to balance coronavirus and economy, conflicting messages from the disease control agency and the rest of the government spurred public confusion, according to public health risk communications expert and preventive medicine specialist Dr. Choi Jae-wook. »

Governmental inaction 1

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Development and Nature in South Korea

Greening Korea: Bamboo via @YouTube. A personal documentary about bamboo forests and some of the oddest industrial zoning I’ve ever witnessed.

Greening Korea: Bamboo via @YouTube.  Un documentaire personnel sur les forêts de bambous et certains des zonages industriels les plus étranges que j'ai jamais vus.

Greening Korea : @YouTube를 통해 Bamboo  대나무 숲과 내가 본 것 중 가장 이상한 산업 구역에 관한 개인 다큐멘터리.

Industry and Disease

Politics and Disease

Friday, March 13, 2020

Coronavirus Update - March 13/20

The Gates of Paradise

On Jerzy Andrezjewsky’s one sentence novel: « a poignant novel originally written and published in Polish, consisting of 40,000 words that form two sentences (the second of which contains only five words: “And they marched all night”) that tell the story of the 1212 Children’s Crusade, involving an old monk who listens to the confessions of five seemingly holy, but in fact just horny French adolescents trudging towards Jerusalem in a dubious attempt to recapture the tomb of Jesus, all of whom—it turns out—have joined the Crusade for other than spiritual reasons, as the confessions reveal their hopeless, obsessive infatuation with the beautiful Jacques—the children’s leader and object of desire of almost everyone in the procession, males and females alike—giving an ironic insight into the world of idealism and faith, bringing out the protagonists’ destinies tied together by love, lust, folly, yearning, confusion, desperation and (false) hope, foreshadowing their tragic end, which, although left floating in the air as a dire premonition, appears to be inevitable, giving The Gates of Paradise a rather sad tone, much unlike the second one-sentence novel from this list, »

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Monday, March 02, 2020

Coronavirus: Did Attitudes Similar to those of Anti-Vaxxers Play a Role?

Coronavirus and clean air/ Coronavirus e aria pulita

This video was shot on February 23rd, when residents of Seoul were pleasantly surprised, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, by unusually clear skies. It turned out there was a reason for that.

Questo video è stato girato il 23 febbraio, quando gli abitanti di Seoul sono stati piacevolmente sorpresi, nel mezzo della crisi del coronavirus, da cieli insolitamente chiari. Si è scoperto che c'era una ragione per questo.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Publishing culture in Italy

Aldus on the state of publishing in Italy in 2018. Has the situation changed since then?
“The number of active publishing houses is growing– 4.902 publishing houses published at least one title during the year (+0.5% compared to 2016). Compared to 2010, 755 new publishing houses are active on the market and have to try to position their brand and publishing projects in bookshops, in distribution channels and among more or less specialised segments of readers.
Production of titles on paper is growing – In 2017, Italian publishing houses published 72.059 titles (new titles and new editions of miscellaneous adults’ and children’s books, in addition to educational titles, numbering 4.037, excluding e-books), up by 9.2% compared to 2016. DTP programmes, new digital printing and packaging systems, greater familiarity with foreign markets and new generations of authors make it much easier than in the past to access production and build catalogues. The real barriers to entry are now more to do with communicating with readers and distribution. In Italy, no more titles are published, in proportion to the population, than in the case of other major continental publishing industries.”

The Bankruptcy People

Steven Beattie reporting last December on the near-disaster which befell Galley Beggar Press. - the original publisher of Lucy Ellman’s gargantuan experiment in 21st century modernism, Ducks, Newburyport—  after it entered into a book printing deal with the online and popup British retailer The Book People:

“The announcement on Tuesday that U.K. online and pop-up retailer The Book People has been forced into receivership is having ripple effects throughout the U.K. book retail and publishing industries, including a potentially disastrous financial impact on the small independent publisher Galley Beggar Press. 
The seven-year-old press is owed £40,000 by The Book People as a result of a special run on Galley Beggar’s marquee fall title, the Booker Prize nominee Ducks, Newburyport
On Wednesday, the publisher launched a GoFundMe campaign in an attempt to raise some money to cover the shortfall, which co-director Eloise Millar writes poses an existential threat. In her appeal, Millar states that the publisher entered into an agreement to print 8,000 copies of a special edition of Lucy Ellmann’s 1,000-page novel when it landed on the Booker Prize shortlist.”
It is still somewhat unclear to me whether this deal was a mandatory requirement of being listed for the Booker; as people with more than passing interest in books know, the standard business model in book retailing is for bookstores to distribute books but not buy them outright. That is, unsold books remain the publisher’s problem, not the book store’s.  Is this model different in the U.K.? And if not, by what leverage could the Book People have insisted on an 8,000 copy run? Was the retailer itself acting as an agent of the Booker Prize organization?
There is, finally, a Canadian angle to this as Ducks was also published by a Biblioasis. If there was financial fallout for the latter house, it would be interesting to know. It’s worth recalling that many years ago Steven reported on Biblioasis gambling on a large print run when one of its own original titles — as I recall, Light Lifting by Alexander MacLeod — was shortlisted for a Giller Prize. Did the gamble pay off in this case? Do other publishing houses take similar risks and suffer losses? These questions matter because the reality of these presumptive print runs strongly affects future choices publishers might make.

Finally, as Mark Medley once observed, anglophone CanLit is particularly fond of prizes — the rationale being that they ipso facto assist sales. Is the reality more complicated than this?

Tuesday, February 18, 2020


Catherine Owen on Frances Boyle’s This White Nest 

Au site d’éditions Pow Pow, la biographie de Julie Delport

Monday, February 17, 2020

Musica improvvisata italiana/ Improv Italian music

Bruno Gussoni, Frank Pellerini and friends


Project stills - O Planet III

Working title: O Planet III

Runtime: 59:34

Synopsis: a feature length work comprised of several linked shorts about modernity ... or muddernity.

Vimeo link:
1,000 soleils (mâtin d’hiver) par Denis Samson

Sunday, February 16, 2020

VideoPoemSong 5

 A new version of an old authorial videopoem. 

I have been experimenting with language play and neologism creation for many years now. These experiments started as private notebooks that I kept purely for personal use; a sort of linguistic workshop in which I tried to organize ideas for prose (and prose poetical) pieces, such as the stage play The Looksist. 

But the approach I was taking — to break words in half and try to create new words and thought associations— became directly useful when I started writing poetry seriously and making authorial videopoems.

The YouTube video above shows one of these poems. I have now done it twice, and a link to version one is below.

In 2019, some of these poems were published as an online chapbook. A link to that project is at the bottom of this post.

Baram VI (original version of VideoPoemSong 5). Link here:


Original text:

The po'-'sh soft
smash of water's
heavy or-ru

Is full-bore, as the
streams roar,

And, in the old homes,

The const'-'atter,
soft ant-p,

Is insect-like in
each bead.

Drip wetly

And the ground

While warm wood

- Finn Harvor

Originally published as a chapbook by Former People. Link:


Marc Eliot Stein sums up the culture of the 10s.

Economic Inequality

Alex Good on Lars Osberg’s The Age of Increasing Inequality 

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Yonge Street, Toronto - January

Baram 1 - an authorial videopoem

Baram 1

En février, alors que je fais mon vélo
Qui est de coleur d'argent foncé,
Pendant la nuit morte de la ville,
Un vent canadien
Dans une rue coréenne
est forte sur mes joues fraîches

Cette pauvreté froide
Sous-jacente à l'urbain
Est la nature,
C’est le cadeau
D'un dieu objectif.

Ce froid est intemporel
C'est pur.
Il relie les villes,
Et toutes les fois
De la vie.

J'avais douze ans
Quand j'ai ressenti ce vent.
Je veux dire, consciemment.
Et maintenant,
en faisant du vélo à la maison à nouveau,
Je me dirige vers ma femme,
Reconnaissant faiblement
Son indéniable valeur,
Sa chaleur,
Son amour.


Baram 1

While February-riding
My dark silver bike,
A Canadian wind
On a Korean street
Sharp-freshes my cheeks
In the dead of city night.

This cold poverty
Underlying the urban
Is nature,
And it is the gift
Of an objective god.

This cold is timeless
It is pure.
It links cities,
And all the times
Of life.

I was twelve
When I first felt this wind.
I mean, consciously.
And now,
Cycling home against it again,
I head toward my wife,
Dimly recognizing
Its unnameable value,
Its heat,
Its love.

Finn Harvor

(First in Eclectica, April, 2012)

Monday, February 03, 2020


Bookninja on shrinking book coverage at the Star

On Authorialness 1

Writing for the Toronto International Festival of Authors blog, Steven Beattie, in an article entitled “Why Writing is not such a Solitary Experience”, describes the contemporary writer’s life as follows:

“It is not groundbreaking to point out that writing is a solitary experience. Publishing is collaborative: a network of relationships between creator and editor, publicist, designer, marketing and sales people, distributors and booksellers. Even reading is a shared endeavour carried out between author and reader; though there is no direct connection between creator and consumer, literature finds its final fulfilment only when a writer’s work is processed through the sensibility of a reader. But writing—the act of creating characters and stories out of words and sentences and paragraphs crafted in such a way as to evoke an emotional response or aesthetic appreciation—that part is done alone. Writers are almost by nature solitary creatures, introverts who spend their days, in the words of Philip Roth’s E.I. Lonoff, turning their sentences.
Perhaps this is one reason the general public maintains a notion of writers as some form of rarified or exotic animal, a species that shares traits in common with others but is nonetheless a bit apart, a bit strange and esoteric. Social media mitigates this, at least to some degree; readers now have direct access to writers in a way that they never did in previous eras. They can reach out and provide feedback with the click of a button or a Facebook like. Any author who has been tagged on a blisteringly negative reader’s review will tell you that this is, at best, a double-edged sword. Or, as Marlon James put it onstage at his TIFA appearance last fall, the worst thing about winning the Man Booker Prize is that now no one believes his Tinder profile.
Social media have inculcated in many readers the expectation that they should have instant access to writers at the very same time as the internet has opened up the means of production, meaning that more people are able to publish than ever before. This also means that what might once have been a tight-knit community has inevitably scattered. New voices are appearing all the time, many of them from remote or previously peripheral locales, which is a net benefit for writers who have long found themselves shut out of the realms of publishing that allow them an audience and for readers who now find themselves with a multiplicity of voices, sensibilities and literary styles from which to choose.”

It’s heartening to see arts journalists acknowledge that writing, as a profession, has changed, and that these changes are in many ways being driven by technology. Nevertheless, the article also raises as many questions as it answers; one has to do with the difference between writing-as-creative-activity versus bookselling. The other has to do with the aspects of literary production that are specific to Canada (which is to say, English, French, First Nations, and the influence of immigrants who are “between languages” (this last phenomenon deserves some analysis of its own because it has a more widespread effect than only on the recently immigrated).

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Ian Gibbins

Ian Gibbins, in an interview with Rossana Licari:

Ian Gibbins in conversation with Rosanna Licari. Because of Ian’s scientific background, I have noticed he tends to use language in a more categorical and analytic manner than a lot of poets/ video poets I’m acquainted with. This seems to spring in part from the areas that catch his interest, and in part from his intellectual habit of breaking phenomena down into their constituent parts. (I noticed this most recently during an online conversation about the bush fires in Australia.) However, there is another, much larger issue he refers to here, which is the limits — or, if you prefer — the imprécision of language when it tries to describe, for example, emotional states. How can scientists contribute to improving that aspect of language? How can artists?

Ian Gibbins en conversation avec Rosanna Licari. En raison de la formation scientifique d'Ian, j'ai remarqué qu'il a tendance à utiliser le langage de manière plus catégorique et analytique que beaucoup de poètes / poètes vidéo que je connais. Cela semble provenir en partie des domaines qui attirent son intérêt, et en partie de son habitude intellectuelle de décomposer les phénomènes en leurs parties constitutives. (Je l'ai remarqué récemment lors d'une conversation en ligne sur les feux de brousse en Australie.) Cependant, il y a un autre problème beaucoup plus important auquel il fait référence ici, qui est les limites - ou, si vous préférez - l'imprécision de la langue quand il essaie pour décrire, par exemple, des états émotionnels. Comment les scientifiques peuvent-ils contribuer à améliorer cet aspect du langage? Comment les artistes?

Gibbins: “I have utilised scientific language explicitly in many different ways. For example, I have sampled texts from scientific papers, including my own; I have written in what seems to be an archaic scientific style, often making up words in the process; and I have reimagined the context and voice of scientific or technical manuals to give them a very different life.
I now have four books of poetry, and all have some kind of underpinning in science and scientific language. My first, Urban Biology, has a glossary and species checklist in it, identifying all the various plants and animals I referred to in the poems. The Microscope Project: How Things Work came from a major collaboration with artists Catherine Truman and Deb Jones, and includes diverse  re-imaginings of manuals and design plans for a range of microscopes and ancillary equipment I once used and  managed at Flinders. Floribunda, with artist Judy Morris, imagines the discovery of new plants by European explorers and employs the language of 19thcentury scientific reports. My recent chapbook A Skelton of Desire contains a range of poems built around the structure of the body and the Latin terminology used to describe it.

I don’t have much of a theoretical underpinning for my writing, but as time has gone on, I have developed some more or less neuroscientific basis for what I do. For all of the undeniable value of language, there is much that it cannot do. Indeed, language fails dismally to describe actions and it’s not much better at describing objects or emotions in any kind of detail. We are only consciously aware of a tiny amount of what is happening around us and within us. Nevertheless, the contents of this small window of experience are moving far too rapidly to be captured by language in real time. So, these days, much of my writing tries to replicate what is going on at the edge of consciousness where language is on the verge of breakdown as it tries to keep up with fleeting experience.”

Tuesday, January 28, 2020


Nouveau poème par Jean Coulombe intitulé « On danse »

Friday, January 24, 2020

Green Vision Eco Film Festival - This World Breathes

Happy to have participated in this interesting ecological film festival in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Vimeo link to the project:

Sunday, January 19, 2020

ChantWork, more

#videopoetry #singing #poesie #video

To see the original version of this, go here:

Here is the 146th from the Baram Series (“Sound into World”) and one of the first of those projects that received a proper screening (at a conference for the Korean Society of Comparative Literature). That was a few years ago. I’m glad that the poem at the heart of it has now been published at Former People.

Making a videopoem is considerably different from writing a poem; that’s especially true when — as is the case with “Sound” — making the poem and making the video go hand in hand. I wanted to capture something about the different experiences I had of rural and city life here in South Korea. These differences are more pronounced than in Western countries — perhaps because the cities are so densely populated. The cities are constantly interesting. But it’s difficult to achieve a meditative zone within them.

I also wanted to experiment with ambient environmental sounds and sound collage. Most movies employ music . But at what point does the music become a morsel that’s thrown at a (restive) audience — a form of seduction, in other words — instead of something integral to the film that lends it its intended quality (in this case, a kind of meditativeness)?


Voici le 146e de la série Baram («Sound into World») et l'un des premiers de ces projets qui a reçu une projection appropriée (lors d'une conférence pour la Société coréenne de littérature comparée).  C'était il y a quelques années.  Je suis heureux que le poème au cœur de celui-ci ait été publié chez Former People.

 Faire un vidéopoème est très différent de l'écriture d'un poème;  cela est particulièrement vrai lorsque - comme c'est le cas avec "Sound" - faire le poème et faire la vidéo aller de pair.  Je voulais capturer quelque chose sur les différentes expériences que j'ai eues de la vie rurale et urbaine ici en Corée du Sud.  Ces différences sont plus prononcées que dans les pays occidentaux - peut-être parce que les villes sont si densément peuplées.  Les villes sont constamment intéressantes.  Mais il est difficile de créer une zone méditative en leur sein.

 Je voulais également expérimenter les sons ambiants et les collages sonores ambiants.  La plupart des films utilisent de la musique.  Mais à quel point la musique devient-elle un morceau qui est lancé à un public (rétif) - une forme de séduction, en d'autres termes - au lieu de quelque chose d'intégré au film qui lui donne la qualité voulue (dans ce cas, une sorte de méditation  )?


Sound into World 

Listen --
No, listen this way:
The too much of sky is like a tool
that tightens nature's energy.
Its sound is like an ache.
Nature's sights and sounds are too;
they have t'-'eauty.
They woosh and jitter and ahh.
But then mountain – assertive, aggressive –
breathes up as high as sky,
and sky, made nervous, merely smiles quietly on ground. Tree, interceding, creates home
for all sorts of beings,
and sky, calmed of anxiety, rests.
Think of all things –
or think of nothing at all.
Rain resembles poetry,
or satori.
Rain wants to blur everything
that resembles negative thought. But negative thought propels itself – it wants to escape.
Can we escape, too?
Can we clarify thought
by running to a new location
that will enlighten us?

Road blurs thought, too;
we have to be humble
and return to sky for advice –
correction: advice from the clear things under sky; the things that exist
even when
sky is gone.

- Finn Harvor

From my collection of ambient and authorial movies.


ChantWork. YouTube link:

I have been experimenting for some time with singing and videopoetry, and I would be interested in seeing work by other doing likewise.

J'expérimente depuis un certain temps avec le chant et la vidéopoésie, et je serais intéressé à voir le travail des autres faire de même.

나는 노래와 비디오시로 한동안 실험을 해왔으며 다른 사람들도 같은 일을하는 것에 관심이있을 것이다.

Venho experimentando há algum tempo canto e videopoesia, e estaria interessado em ver o trabalho de outras pessoas fazendo o mesmo.

Έχω πειραματιστεί για κάποιο χρονικό διάστημα με το τραγούδι και τη βιντεοπαρακία και θα με ενδιέφερε να βλέπω την δουλειά και από άλλες.


Ho sperimentato per un po 'di tempo con il canto e la videopoesia, e sarei interessato a vedere il lavoro di altri allo stesso modo.

Некоторое время я экспериментировал с пением и видеопоэзией, и мне было бы интересно посмотреть на то, как другие делают то же самое.