This month Integral Life Art Gallery offers their first presentation of video art. The first gallery in this medium is from Mark Allan Kaplan, the pre-eminent theorist and practitioner of integral cinema, who has produced on Integral Life a remarkable series of articles titled “Integral Cinema Studio.” For the gallery this month he offers us a work of Integral video art — this designation not simply about the kinds of technological device used (here a mini-DV camera) but also about the work’s tacit referencing of modes of display that are not centered in movie theatres, as well as its length (5 minutes) and contemplative-meditative mode of artistic expression. The piece is titled THE POND and dates from 2002.
Kaplan’s video draws knowingly on the sundry lineages of moving images (mass media cinema, experimental film, artistic-exhibition), essayed into affecting in the viewer a series of shifts in consciousness. As the artist reports, he entered into meditative states in both the shooting and the editing of the video. In its gorgeous poetically integrative form, many of the frames approaching the beauty of standalone photographic art, as well as the modes of consciousness it evokes, we are privy to a shining instance of integral video art.
In the artist's own words:
As a cinematic/video artist I see myself as a creative inquirer, exploring the potentials of the medium to effect growth and transformation, and attempting to push the medium’s own evolutionary boundaries. My recent video work has focused on explorations of the potential effects that a video artist’s consciousness can have on a video art work; the potential capacity of the medium to communicate that consciousness; and the capacity of the medium to capture and express individual and collective sentient presence, human and other species, along with objective and atmospheric presence or the felt-sense of being in the presence of certain physical objects and within various physical environments.
In THE POND I used Integral transformative practices before, during, and after all aspects of the creative process, exploring if and how an Integrally-informed state of creation consciousness would affect the creative process and work. During the filming of THE POND this Integrally-informed state appeared to give me the ability to alternately and simultaneously hold the awareness of the individual and collective sentient presence of the koi fish swimming in the pond and the physical and environmental realities of the pond itself. This Integrally-informed creation state also seemed to give me the capacity to transcend and include my awareness of my own body, consciousness and the creative technology and become an Integrally-informed mirror for these multiple dimension-perspectives. As I continued using this creation state through the post-production process I felt a force within my own being and within the material itself guiding me toward my goal of attempting to translate and share this deep and transformative Integrally-informed lived-experience of THE POND.
Mark Allan Kaplan
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