Codes of Awakening – Elijah Parker's Thesis Animation - May 2010
University of Texas RTF Department – ACTLab
Codes of Awakening is an experimental short film contemplating the trans-properties of shifting medium, perspective, and identity through the veils of consciousness. It is a story about the hidden code within our DNA, the archetypal energies moving through all people at all times with or without their knowledge, the power of perspective and the relationships between the Self and the infinite mirrors of the Other. It is a ritual about my own healing through Organic Technology. It is a co-created dream between young artists ready to show their newly mastered skills. It is a prayer to the people of this paradigm to remember the people of the next world. Dreams are the memories of the future, and art is the metaphor of truth. Dive into this fractal rabbit hole, and remember. Remember.
In the fall of 2009 I was riding my scooter back home, excited to make new Sacred Geometry animations. I was hit by a car, and everything changed. They told me I wouldn't walk for 6 months. So every day I laid in bed, I learned to use other parts of my body, mind, and soul. I learned how to contact juggle, using the sphere as a lens for new perspective. A magnifying glass into the microscopic layers of my knee, healing my cells, asking them to remember the natural order encoded in their DNA. My partner at the time, Aura, took care of me while I was repairing my leg. Surgery, Cloud of Codon Consciousness, and a deep trip into my darkest shadows all led to the breakdown breakthrough I had been unknowingly calling into my life. They told me I wouldn't walk for 6 months. I climbed a mountain on month 4, adventuring with my friends for the climactic shot of the epic film we would create together in 2010. I will never forget the amount of intense emotion, physical pain, and spiritual transformation I went through. And this story is interwoven in the fictional tale presented here. My time without a leg taught me to cherish dancing, to be inspired by the circus arts, and the power of healing hidden in our own genetic codes. My time with the sphere of perception taught me much about meditation, about the illusion of our reality, and the multidimensional truth of everything as a reflection of myself.
In January 2010 I was accepted into the Undergraduate Thesis class for the film school at UT. By then I knew I didn't want to enter the usual film career in Hollywood or LA. I didn't want to make a short film, a romantic comedy, a documentary. I wanted to experience life and transmit a new type of message to the world, the light language that was streaming through me in my dreams and astral travels. I wanted to do a multimedia performance to premiere at Burning Man 2010. By then I had been to several festivals and was making money as a VJ for various shows, vinyasa dance events, and house parties as Prophet Visuals. I was bored with the usual film school scene, and had instead been fueled to a new realm of inspiration through the ACTLab, an under-the-radar class that was different than anything I had ever experienced in the world of academia. Their pedagogy was simple: “Make Stuff, Take Risks, Be Awesome”. Instead of lectures, the teachers (ahem faciltators) guided discussions between students, not segregated by age or major. We had chemists, poets, engineers, filmmakers, and all range of ages from fresh undergrads to doctorate students to elders and youth of the community who weren't in school at all. This revolutionary program had themes each semester like “Dreams & Delirium” or “Extreme Freestyle Hacking”. We would do three projects on that theme, anything we liked as long as it was awesome. I quickly entered the world of intermodal expressive arts, using monologue, performance art like circus spinners and jugglers, projection installations, and music to create immersive theatrical environments. This was my true calling, and I would go big for my final semester in college.
I pitched my experimental animation film to the Thesis class and got accepted. It was to be a 10 minute short film with no dialogue, designed to be screened in three parts, with interludes by circus performers and VJ sacred geometrical designs. Throughout the semester, I called upon ACTLabbies who were masters in their own fields. Ashley Arechiga, a stop motion animator and puppetteer; Andreas Leonardson, a mad genius of Super 8mm film; Jason Torres, an audiophile engineer; Kendall Clark, a composer and DJ who had the organic technology feel I was looking for; and Aura Cleveland, a light artist and photographer as well as performer with dance and hoop. Raven, the star of the film, was my go-to Actor and performer, starring in most of my ACTLab films as well as our own performance art projects for Burning Man Flipside, the largest regional burn in the country. This magical being was integral to my spiritual and artistic evolution, revealing to me the deeper levels of the dance world.
The film shoot took a few months, and experienced its ups and downs. A ritualistic climb to the top of a mountain in West Texas, a deep community ceremony in Dripping Springs where we danced with the fire all night long, months of construction on stop motion sets including a circuit board city built by the Hacking class of ACTLab. Towards the end of production, chaos struck again. Like the Tower, a lightning bolt struck my computer and an external harddrive in the same weekend, losing most of my footage. Luckily I had been obsessive enough as an editor to have a third backup, but some of the green screen footage was missing. The universe was telling me a message. Simplify and Grow.
The entire story changed, and the movie is better because of this disaster.
A month and a half of graphics, editing, music recording and composing, and the experimental short film Codes of Awakening was ready to share. It screened at the RTF Film Festival in May 2010 in the Austin City Limits Studio, larger than any movie theater I'd see other than the IMAX. It was awarded a standing ovation, with a crowd mixed of people who loved or hated it. It was a proud day to graduate from film school. I quickly went to Switzerland to teach at the European Graduate School for ACTLab, screening it again for my first international audience. And then COA was locked away for two years. Seen by only a handful of people. There are many theories as to why this film was left unreleased for so long. Only the aliens know the truth. But regardless, in this great year of transformation 2012, two years after the initial release, Codes of Awakening has mysterious re-appeared. Here it is, in all of it's glory. Enjoy, share, and download the Codes for your own mythical journey. Enjoy the behind-the-scenes features as well. Thank you to every person who helped to make this dream a reality.
Elijah Parker - SubliminalPhoenix.com OneDoorLand.com
Ashley Arechiga - Reel (2010)- vimeo.com/14194797 Reel (2011) - vimeo.com/20671183
Andreas Leonardson Reel - vimeo.com/29394396
Jason Torres - actlab.utexas.edu/~jasontorres/
Kendall Clark - kendallclarkmusic.com/