The Radio Carbon series

The film poem Radio Carbon was premiered at the Renoir cinema in 2009 as part of the wonderful Zata Banks’‘s regular screenings, and at Port Eliot Festival in 2010.

The complete 27-minute film comprises 24 numbered sections, and may be viewed as a sequence of separate, interlocking filmpoems with recurring motifs.

For this approaching winter, I have broken up the film into 24 parts and will be posting them day by day as we approach the winter solstice, in the style of an advent calendar. Each one is between 45 and 90 seconds each. So start your day with a few drops of imagery …

Please click this link to watch

the first film poem, Alignment

Consider the role of radio carbon
setting in the human record – tracing
the passage of time with a hard-on –
or the passage of what was thrown away.
Our measure is the rate of decay,
pulling the straps of history together,
shells from the midden tossing us
back to barefoot antiquity.
There stands our Wanderer,
first catch stiff on the line.
It’s in the ice core, every
string in tune and singing.
Some animals sense it before it happens.
They can smell the next wave coming.


About Radio Carbon: When cosmic rays strike the atmosphere they create the radioactive isotope carbon 14, which can be detected in living matter and decays at a fixed rate over many millennia. Radio carbon dating is the method by which we measure prehistoric time, and with which our own detritus will one day be measured. Radio Carbon takes this permanent record of transient time as a personal metaphor, a cosmic broadcast system, fashioning a hypnotic journey into the human past, from the neolithic to the present moment.



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