REMAINS is a multimedia work installed on the grounds of Kaatsbaan Cultural Park in Tivoli NY through October 31, 2022. It is made with charred dead cedar trees from the land I live on, repurposed steel windows from the lace mill where I used to live in Charlottesville, VA, 32 panes of fumed and altered glass embossed with the text of Let Them Not Say by Jane Hirshfield (Knopf, 2020) and bound with lead came reinforced with steel cable allowing them to hang and move in the wind.
Integral to the work is an audio track that layers the song of the last living -- now extinct -- Kauai O'o bird, a male calling for a mate who will never come with my interpretive speaking of Let Them Not Say against the background sound of fire.The track is motion activated by the viewer's presence. The quality of the on site sound is that of an intimate conversation shaped with pauses and refrains, audible yet to be leaned into, the extinct bird call and fire merging with the ambient sounds of birds and machinery. The entire track is 5 minutes; the one minute section in this video is one complete saying of the poem.
Let Them Not Say was read on Earth Day 2017 at the March for Science in Washington DC by Jane Hirshfield who also initiated the ongoing project Poets for Science. The recording of the Kauai O'o is found in the Macaulay Library of Ornithology at Cornell University. I am grateful to Jane and the Macaulay Library for granting kind permission to use these works.