The American Dollar: A Cinematic Musical Dreamscape

The American Dollar: A Cinematic Musical Dreamscape

Anything You Synthesize is an entrancing cinematic music video, directed by Kasper Verweij at the Dutch studio Onesize for the Queens (NY) post-rock duo, The American Dollar.  The video turns the experimental ambient sonic music into an enveloping sensory experience, traversing a solemn landscape decaying from a beautiful fresh mountain-view-landscape into a dead, flat desert.  During the journey one views both night and day, as well as the passing of the year’s four seasons.  The concluding scenes convey a seemingly happy ending, but you know what’s actually going to happen.

After you start the video, please click to view it in Full Screen.  Also, if you have your headphones within reach, I recommend that you use them.

The American Dollar: A Cinematic Musical Dreamscape

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American Cantos: Visual Poetry Inspired by the Mystique of Remote Landscapes

American Cantos: Visual Poetry Inspired by the Mystique of Remote Landscapes

American Cantos is a wonderfully tranquil 3-minute short film by cinematographer Joe Taylor, which provides scenes of visual poetry that are inspired by the mystique of remote locations and landscapes, often found in the American West.  Taylor further describes the inspirations that influence his filmmaking: “My passion for cinematography is fulfilled only when I find that special place that overwhelms with its beauty, tranquility, and even some latent danger.  I often find beauty in the most uninspiring locale and my gift is creating a scene that encourages the spectator to find it too.  These rare moments are born of waiting at remote and inhospitable locations for hours for just the right light and magic to emerge, only to return time and time again before being satisfied.  These scenes are fleeting and are my labors of love.”

American Cantos: Visual Poetry Inspired by the Mystique of Remote Landscapes

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The Coastline of Praia Piquinia: Observing Quiet, Stilled Narratives of Humanity

The Coastline of Praia Piquinia: Observing Quiet, Stilled Narratives of Humanity

Photography by:  Christian Chaize, Lyons, France

At the Sea-Side

When I was down beside the sea
A wooden spade they gave to me
To dig the sandy shore.
My holes were empty like a cup.
In every hole the sea came up
Till it could come no more.

-Robert Louis Stevenson

The Quiet, Magical Coastline of Praia Piquinia

Praia Piquinia is a beautiful series of images by the photographer Christian Chaize, a self-taught French artist who lives and works in Lyon, France. In 1992,  Chaize was awarded the Prix European Panorama de Kodak for Young European Photographer in Arles, France. For the past 20 years, he has had a successful career as a commercial photographer.  Five years ago, while vacationing in Portugal, Chaize became engrossed with the landscape and imaginary stories of people on the beach of a small stretch of coastline in southern Portugal.

His fascination with the passage of time at the small beach, capturing the magical changes that took place from year to year, from season to season,  breathed a new sense of life  and inspiration into his on-going personal work.  The images that Chaize captured in his continuing passion to seek out the nuanced changes at Praia Piquinia peeled back layers of how he saw and experienced this magical environment.  His own perceptions came to include the call of nature’s voice within the quiet, stilled dramas, and his artistic work at  Praia Piquinia began to take increasing precedence over his other professional ambitions. His commitment to this series has thus far garnered Chaize a one-person gallery exhibition in Lyon, and two museum exhibitions in Portugal (in Sines and Lisbon).

Praia Piquinia is a body of work that spans five years and a total of twenty-seven photographs, taken by Chaize who faithfully returned to the same beach in Portugal and took photographs from approximately the same elevated angle to create the images.  He recently made his solo debut in New York City, with nine gigantic prints of his gorgeous photographs displayed at The Jen Beckman Gallery.  Seven of the photographic portraits from the Jen Beckman exhibition are presented here.  The images were shot vertically, a major departure from the traditional, horizontal format of landscape photography.  Chaize believes that this format enables him to frame his subject matter in the form of a portrait, as an ongoing  photographic chronicle of this ethereal yet playful small nook in nature over the minutes, the days, the years.

This piece concludes with a touchingly sweet music video by Christian Chaize, a video diary created of his visit to New York City for the solo exhibition of Praia Piquinia.

Christian Chaize: A Video Diary of Visiting New York City

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Train of Thoughts: A Languorous Ballet of Motion

Train of Thoughts: A Languorous Ballet of Motion

The tableau of the landscape racing past a train’s window can be in concert hypnotic, nurturing and energizing. Every display of the scenery alfresco seems to be vigorously animated simply by the train’s speed. The optical illusion of the closer objects appearing to move faster than the farther objects creates a ballet of motion perspective. Power lines along the tracks can seem to undulate urgently, while distant buildings glide by with elegant languor. A train that passes by from the opposite direction becomes a soaring and dreamy blur of motion.

Capturing video impressions now can be as spontaneous as writing or drawing. This animated film was shot with a digital still camera in the “movie mode” and it’s remarkable that nowadays something as small as part of a bar of soap can produce motion pictures. It is a notebook for the eyes or a kind of external memory hard drive with stereo sound, simultaneously both a way of seeing and remembering. The music was composed by Shay Lynch, an arrangement of 15 tracks of his guitar playing, which is an ideal evocation of the film’s trance-like quality, while also leaving you the liminal space to follow your own train of thoughts.

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The Animated Life: Train of Thoughts

Animation by: Jeff Scher

And Deeply Wishing to Further Evoke a Sense of Calm for You:

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A Beautifully Calming Island Sunset

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