Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sweet Experiences

Moving Art as Cinema

Many creative and passionate people live in Ashland, and often this leads to unique events promoted by a single artist, actor, musician or film-lover.  Last night we went to the Meese Auditorium in the art building at Southern Oregon University to see a range of 15 or 20 short experimental animated films, produced between 1935 and 2012. A local film collector offered the event, free to all. These are not your Disney-type productions, but are more intriguing to watch because of their range of image, the mystery of wondering how they were filmed, and the impressionistic mating of music and image.  Among the subjects was an old IBM animation formed of moving atoms,  a charming 1935 German animated shadow story about a birdman made with images cut on thin tin,  a weird city of malformed cats in "Cat City" with many variations, (such as no legs, or multiple heads), a mesmerizing movement of  kaleidoscope  images  based on the mathematically created Mandelbrot Cactus or Square, and thousands of sliding collages with a life journey attached.  Some of the films were like a moving modern art (think Picasso) on steroids, merged with music.  Others had a tale implied, but not explicit.  One film was done entirely by hand painting on film instead of using a camera.  What is interesting to me about viewing events so out of my normal experience is seeing the great diversity of passions followed by fellow humans.  We each follow unique patterns and drives. William James wrote about "The Varieties of Spiritual Experience", which are clearly correlated with the  immense varieties of human expression. There is vitality in broadening the mind to explore unfamiliar territories, and enjoying the diversity of human creativity.

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