"It is a fault to wish to be understood before we have made ourselves clear to ourselves." - Simone Weil
Water represents the seductive, hypnotic, emotional, and intuitive side of the human condition. It is from here we start life, while we end it in the Earth. Water can mean the gene pool and the cess pool of our lives. It rejuvenates and it carries toxins. I begin this segment with a black-and-white shot of water flowing under a bridge. The high-contrast of the graphical shadows make the water appear as a flowing stream of x and y chromosomes, joining and disolving. Water is key to our life and our resilience to life antigens. Old-school 16mm Film this was originally shot on was also processed in water and so this graphical portrait of water is also a portrait of the graphical and unique tactile nature of traditional motion picture film. This 3 part film is about my selfish and opportunistic love affair with film and personal quest to explore every bit of its grainy richness while it was still around to be loved.
The music begins with "Study for Player Piano" by Conlon Nancarro, an experimental composer who was also a technical genius involving player pianos, as one might guess.
I made this 1989 film with a 3 part, non-narrative structure and edited it intuitively, some would say haphazardly, and perhaps correctly so. Yet, editing in an experimental free flow of consciousness was my intent. The original film footage was experimental, and includes a variety of stop-motion, time lapses, cell animation and other hand-made techniques, all designed and photographed by me on various movie cameras made available to me at college. It also includes some hand-scratched film leader - a technique made famous by Stan Brakhage in the 1960s and Man Ray and the Dadaists before him. To see my alchemical art prints inspired by the abstract expressionists, please visit http://fineart.intaglioeditions.com/collections/contemporary-giclee-prints.
In the 90s I transferred the film to Super VHS to computer, edited it digitally for the first time, and transferred it back down to Super VHS. In editing the content digitally I kept most of the original structure, but tightening the edits. Finally in 2011, I chopped it into the 3 parts it was intended to be presented in and, most recently, saw the parts as having the elemental themes I have given them here. Water, Fire and finally Air.
Jon Lybrook's Bard Senior Project Film 1989. Advisor: Adolfas Mekas. This 16mm experimental film was originally created to be run with 'wild sync' audio to make use of stereo sync, which was not available to film students at the time.