Confession on Practice and Theory
The medium of film has an embodied dimension for me. The image (see below) of a young man covered with film strips is from a 16mm film named Traps, which I made in 1990. The man is standing in a London scrapyard, wrapping the film strips on his body ecstatically to the sound of Tibetan monks chanting. It was a film-ritual, which was followed by a live performance in conjunction with the projected film.
The filmmaker William Raban, who was sometimes behind the film projector, during live performances of Traps, was my tutor who encouraged me to pursue my practice. Raban has been an inspiration as a filmmaker as well as a model of a great teacher. He is the type of teacher who will push you in the direction of your limits so that you cross them.
William Raban interview
Houseless Shadow by William Raban, Trailer
London Republic by William Raban
Uploaded to vimeo 2 months before the referendum, London Republic is a satirical fairytale - a political provocation that invites the audience to guess the outcome of the vote to decide London's fate within Europe.
In the recent past, I collaborated with academics who chose to write about cinema. People who never felt the thrill of making a film, cutting a 16mm print with their own hands, or considering the necessity of a single frame. They reminded me of the gap between practice and theory. In my early twenties, I felt the gravity of Maya Deren's films when I viewed them on a 16mm editing table.During that time, I started my academic, theoretical research. However, the theory was a way with which to support and explore my creative practice and was never a theory for theory's sake.
My forthcoming online course on The Shamanic Spirit in 21st Century Art, Culture and Technology maintains the balance between practice and theory. The students consist of practising artists/designers in various fields alongside practitioners of transpersonal and spiritual psychology. It is an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary context of studies which generate a lab for the exploration of the interrelationship of the arts and consciousness.
Students on this course will be invited to an online seminar with Rupert Sheldrake. So there is much to look forward to!
The course is part of MSc programme of studies validated by LJM University. Open Learners can gain a Certificate based on fulfilling an assignment.
You can enrol to my course by the 21st, February! I’ll be meeting the students online in a live webinar on 27 February at 19:45:00-21:30:00 GMT. (The webinar will be recorded in case you miss it.)
If you have any questions about enrolment, please contact Nick - firstname.lastname@example.org