Video: 1923 AKA Heaven

The French artist Augustin Lesage was an avatar of French movement known as art brut�a scene like outsider art, but with a spiritual and shamanic overlay�the old, weird Europe, to paraphrase Greil Marcus. Lesage, a former miner whose worked was celebrated by Andre Breton and the surrealists, painted vast, intricately patterned canvases that call to mind visions, trance states, the Egyptian Book of the Dead�anything but technology as we think of it. But technology is older than the computer, older than electricity. And as animator Max Hattler’s film inspired by Lesage’s 1923 painting A Symbolic Composition of the Spiritual World shows, the strobing, massing, fluorescent patterns of technological imagery�calling to mind both the neon aesthetic of Tron and the glowering industrial edifices of Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis�have something visionary in them as well.

[1923 aka Heaven (by Max Hattler) from Max Hattler on Vimeo.]

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