Monday, March 19, 2007

Open Your Mind: Roger Moon "Alice"

A spiritual and psychedelic trip through the night of three people, who are mysteriously connected...

Roger Moon "Alice"

dir. by Seaton Lin

The concept of the "third eye" is often exclusively associated with religions like Hinduism, Taoism and Buddhism, but it is also a common image in New Age philosophy and meditative practices. It is sometimes believed to be a symbol of enlightenment and a dormant power which can be awakened through careful meditation or pious faith. Most of these schools of thought associate this "inner eye" or "all-seeing eye" with an area right above the nose between the two natural eyes, which corresponds to a part of the brain known as the pineal gland. In the 1960's scientists discovered that the pineal gland was responsible for controlling our bodies' circadian rhythm, "a roughly-24-hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings" (1).

According to some, this gland is thought to be triggered by light, and works with other parts of the brain to control things like thirst, hunger and sexual desire - on top of it's role in developing our 'biological clock.' In the video for Roger Moon's "Alice," one of the three main characters is shown early-on with what appears to be something like a "third eye" - induced by the streetlights of the city. He is drinking, watching what appears to be pornography, and seems to be suffering from severe headaches. Though this man leads a lonely and uneventful life, on this particular night something profound is happening to him.

He eventually dies, along with the female character, but there is more to his experience in this video than that. The "inner eye" is also associated with telepathic ability, and the transference of knowledge, feeling or emotion. There is an undeniable connection between all three of these people, even though they seem to be complete strangers. Images of fire, liquids and light seep through each of the different environments. The young man, who begins feeling his own headache, is eventually lifted to a superior spiritual state by this strange sense of connective feeling.

But the shot that directly precedes his awakening is one of photo frames on a single white wall. There are a large number of family photos arranged together on this wall that he appears to look at right before his experience. Beyond the supernatural or mystical elements of this video, there is an underlying emphasis on human empathy. A lot of people must die seemingly alone, every night, just like the two characters in this work. But simply exiting the world without a witness cannot disconnect you from your inevitable place in humanity. Perhaps what truly lies dormant in our mind's eye is the ability to feel and understand our place in this larger group. No one ever really dies alone. And there is something unbelievably comforting in that thought.


Anonymous said...

wow. really great explanation. good job.

Anonymous said...

I love this video, it's very surreal and beautiful

Depth of Focus Videographies: Radiohead / Bjork / Michael Jackson / Bowie