Tuesday, February 21, 2006

cat thumb

hey. I finally got around to posting this picture of Alley's thumb. She is the very smart cat that we live with. She has evolved a thumb, which she uses, although it's not fully prehensile.

I don't know if I've mentioned it, but this cat has won me over to being a potential pet-owner. For many years I've thought that I would never want to have pets. The two other pets in our shared house (Misha the cat and Lulu the dog) don't inspire me to live with animals, but I really like this particular cat. She makes me wonder what it's like to be feline. It seems pretty appealing, and I like that there's a little non-human-being around.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

the power orb

I've started working on another short video project, and I'm not quite sure where this one is going yet. A long time ago, shortly after my "experience" in Spring 2000 that changed my whole uh... outlook?... I was trying to describe to a friend what I was calling a "spiritual communication".

Most of the time, when you're interacting with people it's kinda utilitarian - there's a transactional quality it to it. The activity is not just about relating. Maybe there's something being done that's the important thing. Perhaps you're discussing, you're agreeing, disagreeing, confirming, playing or whatnot. I'm not saying it cold or that you're not really enjoying it, it's just that the recognition of your counterpart’s person-ness isn't felt.

When I say "spiritual communication", I'm talking about the quality of communication when you're most conscious that that person you're with is a being just like you - a focal point of human experiences moving through time - a pilgrim meeting a pilgrim.

Okay. So I was casting around for a metaphor for the feeling of that communication, and I found myself saying:

"It's like you've got this hot ember inside your chest, and usually it's smothered under a coating of lead. But sometimes there's a little crack in the lead and you emit... Sometimes you can see the light of other people and sometimes you can shine out your own."

That metaphor seemed right to me at the time, but like a lot of language around spirituality, it has the disadvantage of being a huge cliché (like: "everything is one", and "I just wanna love the world, man"). When I stepped back a bit to think about it, I was pretty disappointed that that image was what I had come up with.

A couple years later, I was working on a sci-fi short, and the director put in a CG image of a floating glowing orb. I remember gagging on it at the time, and being like, "dude, that thing looks so hokey."

Since then, I've kinda wondered about that response. I mean, it's basically the same image I came up with myself when describing something that was a very real experience for me. And it's not as if statements like the above parentheticals, "everything is one", and "I just wanna love the world, man," don't hold some kind of truth for me. They're just not very sophisticated, and I'm too cynical.

So, over the past couple of years, I've become a lot more conscious of the floaty glowing orb in a lot of Sci-Fi movies. Both the "hot ember in my chest" that I described, and the floaty external orb.

So the project I'm working on now is a short collage of glowing orbs from movies (mostly sci-fi). It almost always represents some kind of unknown power, or control, or the soul, or the collective, or something grandiose. Sometimes it looks like a small star, but it can be big, and
sometimes its more technology laden than that...

Tetsuo in Akira turns into one. Also, there's Gaia in Appleseed. At the end of the Matrix, Neo talks with one that is the representative of the machines.

Anyway, I've started collecting images. Can you remember the names of films where you've seen good "power-orbs"? I'm still trying to expand my list of films, and if you can think of any movies with good ones, let me know.

So Far I've got:

Event Horizon
Matrix Revolutions
Trigun (not so good)
The Sphere
Harry Potter III
Dead or Alive (Miike)
Star Wars IV
Fifth Element
Spiderman 2
Tomb Raider
Lord of the Rings I

There are tons of them, but I have a terrible memory. If you can think of any, let me know. TV shows that I could track down somehow would work too.