Categories
Video

SQ|1

Squares Part One

Trigger Warning: Images of actual violence and death are included in this video.

(You can download the video rather than streaming it.)

This video took a lot of effort to complete. The primary themes are on perspective and its origins, influence, struggle, and dimensionality.

My intent in layering images one over the other against a background featuring its own layers was to highlight the ways our perceived reality is shaped over time by nuance and factors we quickly grow accustomed to. A lot is happening throughout this piece, and by changing what elements they focus on, the viewer can shift their understanding of what the imagery means.

One thing I would change about this video, if I could, would be to increase the prominence and frequency of imagery around the parasitic wasp sequences as metaphor for intrusive alien ideation.

The modern world demands a high level of vigilance from anyone hoping to track or trace the source of their beliefs and ideas; a parasitic wasp functions much like actors in the information ecosystem we all live amidst, quietly dominating an entity for its own ends.

I may write more about this at a later date, or I might not. Hope you like it.

Categories
News Video

Text, Not Imagery

The following is the text supporting my video, ‘Para / Social.’ I’m inordinately proud of both the edit and the writing I’ve done in support of the piece. YouTube link: Para / Social

We are living through a long, accelerated process of change as we grapple with the technologies and systems we’ve created. Reality and the world as we experience it shapes our perception of what is possible while also defining what will follow us into the future. Para-social relationships are only one element, one point of impact on the landscape we move through in our lives.

The audio track from ‘Annihilation,’ is always present in this video. Even with the rise of ‘Just My Imagination,’ sending us into a reverie we share, briefly, an unsettling reality emerges. A perceived love relationship, presented as startling and beautiful, is revealed to be an illusion, a corrupt self-reflection. This is the nature of most para-social relationships. They exist in a parallel reality, with brief snaps, existing mainly as the creation of one another and independent of truth, depth, or any meaningful catalyst for growth.

The film ‘Annihilation,’ (and the reference to my earlier, ‘Origin Story,’) as referenced here stands in for the complex processes set in motion when all the rules change — in the world of science, in society, and in an individual’s life. In the film, an unknown organism arrives on the Earth, spreading and growing, interacting with the environment in ways that undermine the sense of order human civilization has developed to master the world. The organism — perhaps more accurately defined as a force — has no regard for the destruction it causes, appearing in some ways to behave as a child in a sandbox, exploring and building and wrecking as it chews through the world it has encountered. One character describes the affected zone, known as ‘The Shimmer,’ as refracting the material it encounters, functioning as a prism. Rapid mass networked communication has a similar effect on our psychology.

The dangers of contemporary communications and social media are difficult to fathom, and, I suspect, will prove to outweigh the benefits. Interrogating that area of thought we must look to the sources of power in human society and the ways they are consciously and unconsciously directed.

Cultural and social values forever drive societies forward in time, yet our world is being driven by increasingly anti-human values. The world is shiny and clean, or narrow and gritty, or maybe bubble gum scented — as long as it’s mediated, controlled, and providing whatever it is you think you need from it, it’s saleable. Personal relationships, especially those managed through the filter of modern technology, are not immune to commodification and a sort of transactional superficiality built on little moments of transmitted emotion.

The experience of finding someone bright, someone who stands out, and experiencing them reveal themselves, gradually, can be magical. That experience is not built only on their personality, their loves, their talents or interests. What’s magical is the interplay, the tension, the force and transformation of perception, thought and idea, as a shared reality. These are not what curation offers. These elements may germinate in a snapshot, but they die, untended, in the real world. Beyond that moment, when something conjured out of notes of light and shadow is revealed as gossamer, can define a universe of possibilities, narrowing to a singular outcome. For some, it’s the illusion itself they love. For others, it’s the drama, the angst of something forever just out of reach.

In the realm of para-social connection, it is commonplace to find a game of seduction drawn out, flattening the experience into a two-dimensional caricature of life. Here, momentary interruptions in the natural rhythm of arousal and response are filled with silence, or advice on how to better appeal to the vanity, the ego of the other. In a real-world setting, these are cues. In a mediated elicitation, they are something else. When the power dynamic is wrong, it becomes a strange kind of expectation of service. At best, from any perspective, a para-social-transactional relationship results not in connection, but in something more akin to mutual self-absorption.

In some para-social relationships a moment arrives, delicate and swollen with uncertain promise, when transformation is possible. It’s a beginning-again in a flawed and over-bright realm where nuance and shadow are more substantial and less easily marshaled. Failure is possible in ways not imaginable in a fantasy. Perhaps it is the danger of real consequences that make such a transition worth the attempt.


Part of the difficulty here communicating in brief is translating the language which I constructed this idea into language that is understandable to others. I make an effort to stick very much to my own vocabulary, but I cannot entirely abandon standard English if I expect to communicate the ideas which I spend time thinking on.
Sometimes I forget most people don’t have access to my frame of reference, my process, and my set of beliefs. Which, in some ways is an important part of what this video represents. Until you take a step in one direction or another and view its themes as something apart from what I have written about explicitly…

Categories
Uncategorized Video

Temple of Doom

For ease of access, a quick link to a page which is a work-in-progress. Here. It’s text description and context for the ’15 Seconds of Theme,’ series. Links will be added to the YouTube embeds when time allows.

Categories
Archive Video

The Best Thing About Tomorrow is Yesterday

I’ve had so many little niggles with this video and post. Is it ironic that the problems I’ve had are because I’ve rushed a little? Or is it poetic? Anyway…

Often, a criticism the power structure will target critics with comes in the form of a question, ‘What’s your plan, then, if you’re so smart?’

With every problem the modern world is facing, economics plays a role. From a galactic-level overview to an electron-level inquiry the way we quantify, measure, value, and assess our world is at root of everything. The economy is one aspect of that overall process, and as it currently exists, is a real problem.

Origin determines outcome. Framework of thought. Expectation. Process.
The lesson of the modern world is the importance of ‘the economy.’ Forgive the use of quote marks. It’s a term so broadly used that it’s a symbol rather than an idea, so I wanted to mark it out for emphasis. The economy I refer to is the overall system of interchange, the creation and distribution of units of service and goods making human life function in a technological world. The economy is itself the result of decisions on value and worth, assessment and quantification. The discipline of Economics is very much at the root of the problem. An eye does not see itself, to be obnoxiously glib. Every time a figure of authority speaks about economics, they are treating it as a science, which it definitively is not.

Music: Arcade Fire / Everything Now