Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dialogue with Margarida Sardinha on HyperLightness ad absurdum, Part II

It is not often that we find people in our fast-paced push-button age who have the patience to remain focused on a single project or problem for months at a time, and even more unusual when a single idea stretches to years in its transition from germination to full development. Margarida Sardinha's commitment to HyperLightness ad absurdum is therefore more astonishing in the light of its rarity.

Anyone who experiences the project will be immediately struck by its singularity.
This is part two of my dialogue with the Portuguese artist regarding her work.

Ennyman: The incantation combined with rotational flashing iconic imagery is indeed hypnotic. In what sense are Kabbalistic and other religious and scientific understanding woven into the visual force of this animation?

MS: The optical illusion produced by the HyperLightness ad absurdum animation is due to a very fast-paced rotation producing an afterimage compounding self-reflective, or mirror-images, of the original unique “sign”. It is a hypnotic procedure leading to "extreme consciousness - visual telepathy" which links to key philosophical and religious postulates of "innate vibrational" geometry that foreshadow future technologies and the evolution, thus, also the predicted involution of mankind at a microcosmic/subatomic and macrocosmic levels.

The work is hence the result of an extended geometrical and religious study envisioning a symbolic union between Western and Eastern paths of spiritual fulfillment. Its symbology is expressed or crystallised in geometrical solids and energy forms that are innate in all mankind. The Tantric Hindu, Taoist and Buddhist ideas relate to the Christian and Kabbalistic ones, namely, the concepts of Brahman, Tao and Zen coupled with the notion of Ein-Sof and Omnipresent God. In both, the Kabbalistic Ein-Sof as in the Hindu Brahman, an underlying Reality is implied as being the substance, energy and consciousness of Life and mind, thus this Principle or Being is actually considered to be beyond any form of God that may be contacted, venerated or described. In the referred paths this supreme level is infinite and transcends any duality or apparent opposition, thus in its cosmologies this Spiritual Infinite is identified as “Void” or the “emptiness” in which all the endless generating Energy of Life and Cosmos is contained. Seemingly, as every Hindu God and Goddess is considered to be yet another manifest aspect of the all-unifying Brahman so does the Kabbalist as manifest forms of the Primordial Ein-Sof contemplate the Sephirot and the Partzufim. The divine equally reveals itself in these traditions by being in all of them mirrored in the conceptions of the human soul through stages of evolving consciousness and in the specific procedures of ascesis, meditation and ecstasy. Similarly, too, the Hindu conception of Maya and the Kabbalistic illusion produced by Tzimtzum are both founded in the understanding of this phenomena as a derivative of human ignorance and for that matter it constitutes the root or cause of the assumption of a divided and limited time and space.

For all these streams of spirituality to overcome ignorance’s illusion is one of its main purposes. In animated film by means of visual memory our sight produces an optical illusion – afterimage – that is explored in HyperLightness ad absurdum to convey, unveil and deconstruct the divine proportions within the twenty-five geometrical solids that compose it, reflecting the Kabbalistic steps and paths of the Tree of Life under a fractal and geometrically rotational spatial movement that evokes centripetal and centrifugal force. Jewish and Christian omnipotent God speaks through Kabbalah’s Tree of Life that is a vehicle beyond a lifelong search which is here, as mentioned above, combined with an alchemical process of unification and with other structural methods of belief in Coincidentia Oppositorum, such as, the Tantric Buddhist and Hindu mandalas or yantras, and mantras giving much emphasis on the nondual Divine Consciousness and the dispersal of Maya. The ideal of infinitude in Brahma and in Ein-Sof being the complete Absolute Void and nonetheless being a source of endless energy at a cosmological scientific level corresponds to an infinitely small dimension of space-time – singularity - containing the “primordial atom” (energy) whose explosion – Big Bang – originated the four visible dimensions of the universe where space-time continuum is an illusionary phenomena and paradox is latent in every polarised assumption only culminating in Absolute absurdity ad aeternum. So, HyperLightness ad absurdum reveals the optical characteristics of hyperspace and hypertime in a supersymmetric continuum by means of an optical illusion which is formed by a spatial overlapping that seemingly occurs in nature’s manifold illusion where the several relative dimensional spaces seem to converge into successive fractions of one codimension visually evoked by the film’s frame rate format and the rotative torsion of the symbols.

E: Portuguese is your native tongue. Why have you chosen to produce this piece in English?

MS: Following the feeling of Tao’s reassuring unity where every single sound involves in itself all other sounds and each succeeding audial encounter is richer in revelations than the one before, consequently, the artist and later the hearer are forced to rescind one’s cultural language for the sake of losing oneself in the punctuality of a musical infinite… I thus found that infinite in the English language’s resonances and using its timbres I conceived the mantric repetition of HyperLightness ad absurdum poem. Its sound and music were recorded, edited and polished by my good friend, António Vilhena d’Andrade.

E: HyperLightness ad absurdum is dramatic, but almost difficult to engage due to its blazing staccato stroboscopic aspect. What has been the reaction of others who have experienced it thus far?

MS: Most people find it extremely relevant how the work reveals a spiritual metaphysical concern besides it being conveyed in a global consumerist, post-Nietzschean and post-Marxist society. Especially people who thus re-access the deconstruction of dogmas and the relationship between immutability and mutability have pondered it further and constantly challenge it and reviewed it. However, quite often people fall into asking me the question of whether the animation’s movements are arbitrary or predetermined, forgetting that they are once again falling into an illusive dichotomy, for both randomness and predictability are one and the same substance, hence, its apparent duality is a mere illusion which can be only compared to the very indistinct line between science and religion. Often people who experienced HyperLightness ad absurdum have also personally felt the discrepancy between the acceptance of spirituality in today’s contemporary society as something sound and worthwhile.

Most people have actually posed yet another dispute to me – they prefer the usage of the term spiritual instead of religious when referring to enlightening personal experiences and I persistently insist in using the word religious commonly, for I believe there should be no fear in using this definition and by further avoiding its use we are simply in denial and opening up an even bigger gulf between definitions which in every aspect are uniform. Nevertheless, each person has a different experience when viewing the work, hence a different perspective on the spiritual or religious aspect of their being, and I can only hope that my work will somehow expand that side which is so often neglected and crushed by an intellectual polarity of rational versus irrational, for usually people assume one over the other, frequently forgetting they are also both One. So, if I can provide with HyperLightness ad absurdum some sort of "channel" for people into the realm of the hidden never-ending and non-polarized source of consciousness, I will be pleased to have done so.

Here below is an excerpt from HyperLightness ad absurdum.

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