MJ Gauthier
MA Philosophy
BLUE Fellow
|
Summer
2019
Conveying sublime, existential vertigo, and planetary unity via experimental video
BLUE Fellow
Summer
2019

Background

What’s going on in the human realm? What’s at stake if we fail to empower the feeling of planetary unity we need to finally live in peaceful equilibrium with Mother Nature? - a whole lot of avoidable pain and the fumbling away of 4 billion years of glorious evolution. With BLUE, we want to capture in a video the sublime mystery of Being and existential vertigo thereof, in the form of a stream of consciousness submirrored by a wild flow of eclectic images coiling from the chaos of human + gaian imagination, sailing through ecstatic, despaired, musing, and numinous seas of the soul. Hopefully it’ll be moving, and illuminating. Stay tuned!

Cosmic Eye: Void, Light, Mystery, Flow

We are born into a great mystery. Why do we exist? Why does anything exist at all? Why everything, rather than nothing? Being comes with an ocean of questions and a black hole of answers.

Often, human existential vertigos wrap up in a nihilistic deadend. We find ourselves on this planet cast in weird bodies and cacophonic minds, seemingly suspended between two eternities in the crux of the unknowable, without remembering ever wishing it so - of course any meaning attributed to being can feel like an empty lie.

This is in essence the opposite of our BLUE project, however. We dedicated our summer to understanding the universe as a creative genius, to expressing how, within the mystery, we are in fact completely hemmed in magic. [1]

In our galaxy spanning 105 000 lightyears, Mother Earth is the only planetary organism we know to be alive with a marvelous diversity of forms and movements. From the green masterpieces that allow us to breathe to the breathtaking iridescence and opalescence of minerals, insects, plants and animals, to the elegant flow of cymatics and the alchemical dream of ferrofluids, to the numinous grandeur of mathematics and emotions, to the glorious bioluminescence that exalts the benthic depths of the oceans, and more, Mother Earth is astounding. Nature is an artistic genius. [2] But heartbreakingly,  exhausting kakistocracy, blinkered egoism and high-entropy capitalist frenzy are poisoning and mutilating her. Meanwhile, humans don’t orbit one another very respectfully, to put it mildly. The global state of affairs is sad to ponder.

“Being comes with an ocean of questions and a black hole of answers.”

This is why we have been working on a video intended to illuminate the depths of the human mess and viable paths out of it, notably by 1- proposing a redefinition of the Self and of our relationship to one another and the universe, 2- reempowering the feminine and the thrilling Mystery, 3- mending historical amnesia and remembering how far we’ve come, and 4- conveying perennial psychedelic notions (“psychedelic” meaning “the soul manifest”). Pantheist poets and diligent psychonauts have been the main messengers of these notions, which include the following: we form a totality within which our fates are interconnected, and should try to bring as much good into the world as we can, we must care for Nature who is intelligent and sublime, and know to feel and contemplate as much as we think.

Why express all this in a video? Because respect and unity seem like a good response to the mystery of Being. Because “video” means “I see” in Latin - an idiom commonly used to mean “I understand”. Because videos are best at sailing through the digital hyperspace, the frontier-free supermind of humanity known as the internet, whose revolutionary potential has yet to deploy. Because videos let words and images coalesce, allowing for more innovation and precision of expression. Film is, for now, our most promising conscience-building tool. Overall, we hope to make a video that will speak directly to the soul of the viewers. We are still working on it at the moment, and are notably focusing on making it as accessible as we can, as the members of the global community are diversely abled.

For the final showcase in which this two-month fellowship culminated, we offered a 14-minute experience meant for one person at a time called “Cosmic Eye: Void, Light, Mystery, Flow”. It took place in a charming bathroom where we installed a modest infinity mirror, made the bath comfortable, and transformed the toilet into an altar covered in plants and candles that were each lit by a different explorer as they said a conclusive mantra. We projected the Millennium Simulation on the ceiling, our provisional main video on the wall, and footage of microscopic water organisms on the floor. Our voices guided the explorers through the converted space and successive nows, inviting them to think of Earth as the planet of alien life we hope to find “abroad”, to think of their pupils as tiny black holes, of themselves as micro universes and souls on a journey, of what it must feel like to be in a womb, of the glorious 4.5 billion years of evolution the Earth went through, of the limitless cosmos above telling us we are at once infinitesimal and grandiose, as the microscopic grace that carries us through life was once part of explosive cosmic symphonies of matter and energy, and more. The experience concluded with the offering of a little slice of poetry, taken from a poetry box that we left at Building 21 for anyone to access whenever they need it.

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