Sums & Collisions is a new experimental series by Sonorous Circle to feature rare or one-off collaborations.
The first in the series is FIR·MA·MENT, a video by TRISTAN J BROOKS, filmed in Israel, Iran and Turkey, with music edited from an improvisation between Esoterror, I.RYOKO & Matt Faisandier (of THE CONVOY) in Wellington, NZ. Watch here & read on for Brooks’ ideas behind the video…
“This work is compiled of footage I took during a trip to the Middle East – from Israel, Iran and Turkey. Two interlinked threads guide this video. First, a personal fascination with mysticism that drove me to the Middle East – a mysticism that is now largely concealed in the Middle East, buried under politics. I grew up Catholic. Spending time in Hiruharama (Jerusalem) up the Whanganui river living with the Sisters of Compassion when my mother died resurrected my youth’s fascination with biblical mysticism, but in a darker way (through grief). This resurrection created a connection with the Middle Eastern Jerusalem, and a curiosity to seek out mysticism in the flesh. Jerusalem became a pilgrimage of sorts for me.”
“On arrival, I found that the Middle East’s current soul is almost an antithesis to the mystic nature of its recorded past. It is a medley of lifestyles, passion and emotional connections that is blanketed by monoist theocratic/political governments. Looking over the footage on my return, the political gravity/bleakness was almost too overt. I wanted to draw out, and play with, the grandiose of faith, ideologies and mysticism that still underhandedly rests in the Middle East’s belly. So second, I drew on the montage and discontinuous editing techniques from early Russian film theorists Sergei Eisenstein and Lev Kuleshov. Eisenstein and Kuleshov recognised that the meaning of an image/video is derived from the images/videos surrounding it. When moving images are placed in a string of uncontextual narratives, especially a moving image with its Hegelian antithesis, complex and twisted meanings (or Hegelian Syntheses) can emerge. I hoped that stringing together my footage in Eisenstein and Kuleshov’s shadow would provide space for both its mysticism to seep through, and to confuse regular narratives conveyed about the Mid-East.” – Tristan J Brooks