Utility Pole is a poetry film collaboration between poet Fiona Tinwei Lam and poetry filmmaker Mary McDonald. Utility Pole explores the transformation of trees into the poles that hold our communications, the many branched network that connect us, as the trees have been severed from each other and their own living networks.
The soundscape is a binaural, 360 soundscape featuring a mix of urban forest sounds, with the sounds of technology today and the pointed call of Morse code, our earliest technologically enabled transatlantic communication. Morse code recording is from Freesound.org credits, Bryce835.
Mary McDonald is a Canadian writer and multimedia artist. McDonald is passionate about exploiting digital technology to bring text and multimedia art into community, historic and natural spaces in ways that consider word through sound, image, and movement. McDonald’s multidisciplinary practice encompasses text, photography, poetryfilm, music and sound art, AR (augmented reality) installation, and community participatory arts projects. Her poetry films have been shown internationally and the the award winning, collaborative AR installation, On the Margin of History has been exhibited at the Glucksman Gallery in Cork, Ireland and in Porto, Portugal. Mary was awarded a Community Arts Investment Program grant by the London Arts Council for, River Revery AR/poetry film/transmedia storytelling collaboration with poet, Penn Kemp. McDonald is head of Creative/Interactive at interweaving.media. marymcdonald.ca
Fiona Tinwei Lam is the recently announced poet laureate for Vancouver, BC. This poem, Utility Pole, is from her third collection of poetry is Odes & Laments. She has authored two previous poetry books, a children’s book, edited The Bright Well: Contemporary Canadian Poems on Facing Cancer, and co-edited Love Me True: Writers Reflect on the Ins, Outs, Ups & Downs of Marriage with Jane Silcott. Lam won The New Quarterly’s Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Prize and was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award. Her work appears in more than thirty anthologies, including The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English: The Tenth Anniversary Edition and Forcefield: 77 Women Poets of BC. Her poetry videos have screened at festivals locally and internationally. She teaches at Simon Fraser University’s Continuing Studies. fionalam.net