Koyaanisqatsi by Godfrey Reggio

The film consists primarily of slow motion and time-lapse footage of cities and many natural landscapes across the United States. The visual tone poem contains neither dialogue nor a vocalized narration: its tone is set by the juxtaposition of images and music.

KOYAANISQATSI attempts to reveal the beauty of the beast! We usually perceive our world, our way of living, as beautiful because there is nothing else to perceive. If one lives in this world, the globalized world of high technology, all one can see is one layer of commodity piled upon another. In our world the “original” is the proliferation of the standardized. Copies are copies of copies. There seems to be no ability to see beyond, to see that we have encased ourselves in an artificial environment that has remarkably replaced the original, nature itself. We do not live with nature any longer; we live above it, off of it as it were. Nature has become the resource to keep this artificial or new nature alive. (1982)


Automata – The Devil Rides Out

1. a mechanical figure or contrivance constructed to act as if by its own motive power; robot.
2. a person or animal that acts in a monotonous, routine manner, without active intelligence.
3. a mechanical device, operated electronically, that functions automatically, without continuous input from an operator.
4. anything capable of acting automatically or without an external motive force.

Touch of Evil – opening shot by Orson Welles

This famous opening to Orson Welles classic film noir Touch of Evil (1958) employs a long tracking shot of Mexican police detective Mike Vargas (Charlton Heston) and his new bride Susie Vargas (Janet Leigh) as they cross the border from Mexico into the United States.  Instead of using cuts, the camera moves and tracks multiple scenes of action — the planting of the bomb, Mike and Susie walking the bustling streets of the border town, the couple in the car who are also stopped at the border.  The camera’s mobility and fluidity contrasts with the border itself, where people must stop to be processed before entering.  The viewer learns some important parts of the backstory when Mike and Susie talk to the border patrol agents: Mike and Susie are recently married, and Mike has recently solved a case involving the Grandi crime family, which he claims isn’t quite finished yet.  Once Mike and Susie cross the border, the white car explodes and we see the first cut of the film: a reaction shot to the explosion.


Intermission – Fantasia by Walt Disney

Fantasia is a 1940 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and released by Walt Disney Productions. With story direction by Joe Grant and Dick Huemer, and production supervision by Ben Sharpsteen, it is the third feature in the Disney animated features canon. The film consists of eight animated segments set to pieces of classical music conducted by Leopold Stokowski; seven of which are performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Music critic and composerDeems Taylor acts as the film’s Master of Ceremonies, who introduces each segment in live action interstitial scenes.


Kinetic Sculpture by Fisher Technical Services Inc.

Fisher Technical Services, Inc. (FTSI) is a Las Vegas-based entertainment automation company best known for its sophisticated “Navigator” software and automation products.  Their work spans the entertainment world from movie sets to theme parks, theaters to rock tours, and everything in between.  FTSI’s mechanical design and fabrication services, automation software, and show control system were used extensively for the Macau Bubble Show, as well as in a myriad of the most technologically advanced theaters and attractions in the world.

In 2009, sixteen of the largest private corporations in China decided to finance the Chinese Private Enterprise Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo. They reached out to Fisher Technical Services to create their dream of a kinetic sculpture and 120 days later they had a grid array of 1,008 150mm diameter spheres, each suspended and motivated by its own micro winch.