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TO what are you paying attention? My mission is to create movies that feel, look & sound like dreamy psychic phenomena. I recently made films interpreting several hexagrams from the I CHING’s HOUSE OF WATER.
The I Ching (1000–750 BC) or Chinese Book of Changes, is a classic text, describing an ancient system of cosmology and philosophy, which set the heart of traditional cultural beliefs. As a “reflection of the universe in miniature”, it is composed of 64 different yet archetypal forms of human energy processes called “hexagrams.” Invisible, non-the-less alive, the hexagrams’ potential appears in the empirical world, acting in it. What humankind perceives are the effects.
Each hexagram, is composed of 2 trigrams named after essences of Nature (example “fire” is clarity or illumination), and is assigned a specific number.
#63 COMPLETION is water over fire. Caution is the essence here, although everything seems to have reached completion. But, like water boiling over and putting out the flames beneath it, the competing balance between water and fire cannot be maintained: they act as equals and are forever unstable.
Most interestingly, this is the only hexagram whose nuclear trigrams (that’s another story) form a reverse order, a criss-crossing energy where fire is placed over water. Water’s energy flows down, and fire’s follows up. The triangles from the costume echo this direction, and black and white are the colors of these 2 forms. The character manipulates this dynamic, as they take turns flipping and flopping back and forth thru eternity.
C.G.Jung said, “The type of thought built on the synchronistic principle,… reaches its high point in the I Ching, …this thinking has been absent from the history of (Western) philosophy since the time of Heraclitus (500 BCE).”
— from I Ching Psychology of HEART, and Jungian Analysis; Heyong, Gao Lan, Theo A. Cope; Psychological Perspectives. Vol. 49: No. 1; Jan-June 2006, p. 61-78
Rick Jarow’s paper, “The I Ching Its structure and Message”, states:
… What the I Ching offers, … aligns with contemporary quantum physics and fractal geometry…It is a way of processing time, not as an observable abstract quantity, but as a multi-leveled, cohesive reality intertwining both sameness and difference through patterns and sequencing that not only underlie history, but that tie the past and future through the analogical resonances operating through them, far beyond the boundaries of a separate human or even national or planetary egos.
My film series, THE HOUSE OF WATER, interprets 8 hexagrams using gestural performance derived from “authentic movement technique”. This improvisational dance practice allows a type of free association of the body. Impressions from the unknown interior surface, validating a non-rational knowledge birthed through the body, rather than the thinking, parsing mind. This exploration of liminal space residing next to “consciousness,” eliminates explanations like those sought by a crime solver. Two I Ching pronouncements regarding Hexagrams #29 & #36, refer to the character of the heart, the center from which my gaze is directed.
When editing, my video-tapes figure is connected to intuition, imagination, and references from the I Ching’s beginnings in neolithic times, into the present. Cinematically, the figure loses the “human” becoming something like a ghost or “personage”, that frames the actions that occur in the film.
I invite the viewer to surrender to this borderline area that simultaneously belongs to action, thought, and emotion, and to connect, discuss and interpret these surreal states of actuality, which reflect the collective dreamscape that belongs to all of us.
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