Being at sea, one adjusts to the mood of the wind and the waves. You gradually mirror the mood of the sea.
Imagine being in a room that responds to your wave length, with a score that catches your emotional shifts. What if we designed a meditation room that slowly changes to reflect your mental/emotional state and translates that into wave lengths, dots. A collaboration with computer programmer and a neurologist could probably produce this notion.
Ray Bradbury’s story The Veldt is the seed for this idea. An ambition is to take the footage of BELL 8 and do a spin on virtual reality; offer a duet of inner and outer reality, with the consent of the viewer. This process might involve placing electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes on the viewer’s head and then translating the EEG readings into a computer program that could alter the footage. First the viewer will watch BELL 8 and then the footage – the speed and number of the waves, the distance between the crest and trough will shift to be in harmony with the internal rhythm of the viewer.
While I sought to offer an experience of the sea through BELL 8 that would act as a reprieve from the world, I realized that, in these dire times, I need to do something that might have more universal impact. I chose the locations and circumstances for the shooting of BELL 8 to capture the range of emotions that each type of seascape represented to me. We shot on Long Island Sound under sail on Joe Zaraschi’s “Chautauqua” for the rush of adventure and from Kerrie & Dan Bates’ houseboat on Plum Island Sound in Massachusetts for the early morning calm. Fog, is difficult to film, so that is largely suggested through post-production.
A proposed presentation of BELL 8 for 2018 will be to play the 10 – 20′ film that shows a cycle of wave states from rough to calm, and then we will offer the viewer the chance to see how that footage would change to align with them. The ideal location for this experiment would be the American Museum of Natural History, since it was their video installation as part of an Arctic exploration exhibit that sparked this project.
Everyone responds to the ocean, and unfortunately, as we have perversely ignored the warnings, the ocean has responded to us – the seas are rising, warming, and fish and corals are dying. Perhaps we would all take more responsibility if we recognized the sea within. Inventor Ray Kurzweil says in Wallace J. Nichol’s “Blue Mind” that the reason why he loves the ocean is that “It’s a metaphor for how the brain is organized.”
Photo below by Nan Melville.