Nails – Elizabeth Bachinsky

This is the first VR Media video poetry adaptation. I asked Liz Bachinsky for some poems of hers that were image-rich and, of course, NAILS popped up right away! It’s from her latest collection of poems; The Hottest Summer in Recorded History published by Nightwood Editions.

There exists another world here. These places are everywhere and serve all manner of people. I came across two in Washington state that also served as community centres of sorts for the Vietnamese communities there. They were very patient and curious as to why I was hovering over their displays with my iPhone. Others, in Vancouver, were high-tech pamper zones. Most are above board while others are fronts for…what, exactly? It seems some consumer electronics can be had for cheap at some of them. I’m not sure. It’s all probably worth a documentary, particularly with an eye towards the rich potential for discussions on class, immigration, opportunity, community, taste and on and on. But our purpose with this piece was to dive in and make something fun.We tried a few takes with a female voice and then a mix of female/male. In the end, Liz preferred my reading. I preferred hers. A male voice reading a poem like this. Does that seem odd? Does it shift or affect the content in any way?

Thanks to Lee Hutzulak for the techno-soundtrack and to Liz for taking the chance with me on this. Hopefully there’s more to come later in the year.