The Making of "Hieroglyphics", the Movie
I began making video art in my late 20's. By that time, I was single-minded in the pursuit of using my creativity to express the ethereal side of experience. |
It was not uncommon for me, while alone and free from the mundane concerns of the daily life, to slip into heightened states of mind that were full of bliss, lucidity, and feelings of being one with the world. Those who know such moments are also intimately familiar with the need to somehow share these states of mind with others, as difficult as that might be, given that such experiences are typically seated so deeply within the subjective. For me, video art seemed to be a promising medium through which to communicate the ethereal qualities of my higher experiences.
Video art is especially suitable as a medium of spiritual expression because of the ease with which the moving image can funnel in the attention of an audience. And when the essential purpose behind the work depends largely on effects on consciousness that tend to be subtle in nature, the immersive qualities of the moving image serve to enhance and magnify these effects.
My goal therefore led me to seek imagery that was abstract and non-representational. Sequences of imagery that could not be interpreted, parsed and scrutinized by the conscious mind were meant to settle the intellect into a quietude and to relax the viewer into a meditative state, for the journey towards an ethereal experience is greatly facilitated by a silent serenity, a state free from the distractions of the intellect or the emotions.
Due to the subtlety of motion that is typical at that deeper level of being which I like to describe as the "level of spirit", it is important to be as calm as a still lake in order to detect the subtlety. Once the shift is detected, acknowledged, and appreciated, one can then will a greater portion of the self to resonate with such a movement until the resonance, if so desired, approaches the totality of consciousness.
When such a movement at the level of spirit is directed towards ethereality, to attenuate with such a movement with the totality of consciousness is to follow the guiding light towards blissful ecstacy, that infinite source of well being and at-one-ment with the world. Art specifically created to move an audience at the level of spirit to reach for the ethereal can be potentiated with the opportunity to move an audience in the direction of enlightment. And such is the highest value of the artist, in my opinion.
I took a few months off from work in order to concentrate on my videos. It quickly became obvious that the most readily available subject to film that was abstract in form and movement was water, an especially appropriate subject to film due to its inherent spiritual properties and beauty. That type of body of water which in my experience provided the widest variety of imagery was the stream, due to the complexity of factors which influenced the moving image.
After shooting and editing hours of water stream footage, I began to envision the possible ways of affecting an ethereal experience in the viewer. One night, having reached a certain level of maturity in my endeavours, something clicked inside me while I was video editing and, although I was entirely sober, I began to literally hallucinate scenes of water stream footage whenever I closed my eyes.
Each hallucination was a few seconds long, depicting its own unique combination of imagery typical of a water stream. Each scene was immaculately beautiful and perfectly arranged, as if I were being shown the highest order of the different possible stream footage that I could capture. I expected the hallucinations to last only for a short while but I was wrong. They lasted throughout the night. I fell asleep and woke up many times and the visions were always there, always unique, always immaculate. It felt as if I were being trained on how to film and how to edit the perfect scenes.
I had scheduled my next big video shoot on my 30th birthday a few days later, at a national park. When that morning came, I woke up drowsily to a golden glow in my room. Upon opening my eyes, I saw that the sunlight was reflected upon the closet in such a way as to glow brightly with a strong golden hue.
I got out of bed still in a sleepy state and I settled for a short nap on the couch in my living room. Again, I awoke to a golden glow, now settled in a radiant pool of light on the carpet, but this time it reflected gold on the soul of my foot dangling over the edge of the couch. This felt like a great sign of promise and hope, giving me much confidence and purpose. That day I went to the park and shot almost the entierety of the raw footage for "Hieroglypics".