Ideas emerge above the level of description, in the realm of raw imaginal stuff, and the act of attaching symbols or words to them; a ballast of semantic and semiotic material, drags them down, inevitably mis-shapen and only partially described. This effort is however required to make conceptualisations available to others, for pleasure, and for the critical purposes of dialectical exchange.

Ideally in the course of time, such attempts at definition refine and hopefully become more congruent with the original, grasped notion.
These writings should be recognised as such tentative articulations, gleaned in part from intuition and observation, but also drawn from the ideas of all of the others who have attempted this same process, ideas that have happened, for whatever reason to pass through this local, noospheric sensorium.

Therefore, also included, are thoughts and intentions which have been unintentionaly corrupted or similarly misunderstood, en-route. As such, these scribblings are not to be considered as propositions of truth, simply the queriously curioidal and playfully humble, speculations of one that is many.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Our Spaceship Earth

I feel compelled to write a short something in praise of a film that I was lucky enough to stumble upon the other day. The film is called 'Home'; a paean to our planet, directed by the photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, well known for his stunning and emotive aerial photography. 'Home' combines this photography (in motion), with a gentle and intelligent narration about the history of our planet and our species.

I was initially ambivalent about the concept of a voice-over, having very much enjoyed similar visual cinematic pieces, like Ron Fricke's Koyaanisqatsi and Baraka, that simply employed an emotive soundtrack to complement a sequence of imagery that was intended to tell its own tale, leaving the viewer to construct their own interpretation and emotional response.

Home's monologue is however, exceptionally sensitive, both to the imagery and the viewer, and is surprisingly unsententious, being poetic and informative, yet unobtrusive. The intent of this work I believe, is to emphasise whole-istic thinking against reductionism, and to negate the separation of Homo Sapiens, both physically and psychologically, from the natural world. Rather than being part of its continuum, a facet of the dynamic meta-organism that is Earth, we have to come to see nature as somehow external and separate and ourselves conversely as hallowed and special.

The style of aerial photography also reminds us that we place ourselves (and are placed) in a personal, local sense of scale and limited awareness (both of size and time), and a cultural (religious? scientific?) context, because it shows us an effectively new perspective. Similarly, our habit of mental dividuation, our faith in the validity of our own temporal 'reality', and our innate fear of the vastly void of the unknown, can limit our perception, glorify ignorance, and make us too often oblivious to the consequences of our behaviours.

The philosopher John Gray has spoken sardonically and ironically about somehow removing or debasing our innate (yet often unrealised) biophilic inheritance, so as to prepare us for some potentially horrid grey prosthetic future. In contrast to such a dark intuition, 'Home' seeks to appeal to those better aspects of our character with an unpretentious simplicity, the vast, dynamic, integrated complexity of Earth speaks for itself; a universal, unambiguously valuable quality, that speaks through the simple pleasure of a walk in the woods, or the unveiling of an unexpected vista.

I heartily recommend this film to all of you, and hope you all receive as much from it as I have, and I suspect you'll also wish to share it with everyone you can. Home was made under patronage, seemingly with the intent to inspire and educate, and as such was released under a creative commons license, so it is free to share and show to all and sundry.

Home Homepage

Torrent Link
Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.