Monday, September 1, 2008

John August and The Nines

A direct link to this video can be found at:
In my last blog entry "David Jay Brown and Psychedelics", I spent some time talking about the various connections that we all find in our lives, memes of synchronicity or shared experience that connect us all together. When I recently watched John August's film The Nines, I was amazed at all of the ideas I saw behind this wonderful movie that connected to my own ways of understanding how our reality is constructed, and how the universe we observe could be just another layer of illusion triggered by the shadows of higher dimensions. As I've discussed in entries like Hypercubes and Plato's Cave and Anime, Gaming and Cusps, that could really be all we're talking about here - that ultimately there is a seemingly random background of information, and (as Gevin Giorbran revealed) there are natural processes of grouping and symmetry that reveal patterns within that information... and the patterns that become one organized reality or another are natural occurrences from within that data. In entries like God 2.0, Unlikely Events and Timelessness, and Randomness and the Missing 96%, I've tried to show how the idea that those patterns that create our reality and seem to have selected our universe from out of the multiverse (or omniverse) of all other possible universes can be called many things: and ultimately what we call those patterns is irrelevant, because those patterns that selected our universe exist no matter what we call them.

My Mini-Review of The Nines...
The Nines is a lovely and entertaining exploration, and that's all I want to say about this film because to reveal more about the surprise twists and turns of its multi-layered plot only ruins the experience. Go out and rent it, go out and buy it, I loved this film.

... and The Fountain...
I was discussing this film with Jake Kotze (of "synchromysticism" fame), and he reminded me of another wonderful film about the nature of reality: Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain. The Fountain is a hugely ambitious film, the story that it sets it out to tell is as large as any we can imagine, and I am in awe of what Aranofsky achieved with this film.

... and Terry Gilliam's Brazil...
But while I'm ranting about great films, when is the last time you watched Terry Gilliam's Brazil? This is still one of my all-time favorite films, and the fact that I was lucky enough to co-write a song that appeared on one of Gilliam's later films has nothing to do with that. With all the discussions about parallel universes resulting from different sets of chance and choice, a film that is set "somewhere in the 20th century" but is apparently not part of our own universe has got to be part of my list of great films about the nature of reality.

... and The Omniverse Almanac
Here's a new project I just came across: "The Omniverse Almanac". This is currently an unpublished literary trilogy, but which may be coming to a major movie screen near you some time in the next few years. I could quibble about the use of the word "Omniverse" in this project (since, as I've made it clear with many previous entries, according to its scientific definition the Omniverse is not really another universe with creatures and planets, but rather, it's the indeterminate background, an enfolded symmetry state from which all other possible universes and expressions of matter and energy spring), but we'll chalk that up to literary license. Follow this link and read the opening excerpt from this series of books, and please tell me if you don't see some insightful explorations of the nature of reality and consciousness wrapped up into an entertaining package.

Connecting the Dots
What is it that connects one person to another, and makes a particular artist's creation resonate so strongly for different people across the planet? Last blog I attached my song "Connections", which is about this idea. In a blog entry published last year I explored those ideas from my book a little more: do I have a "grid of awareness" which is unique to me, but which also shares a number of elements with other people around the planet? Is it those commonalities that will make me love the same music, the same books as those people? And if the task of any great artist is only to create things that they personally feel a strong affinity towards, then won't the artists who are most plugged into a grid that a lot of people around the planet share be most likely to achieve a large fanbase?

My project is certainly a good example of that. With virtually no promotion, and no coverage whatsoever in the mainstream press, my Tenth Dimension website has generated 50 million hits since its launch 2 years ago. What is it about this project that continues to attract new people to the site? Clearly, some of the high-falutin' ideas I'm discussing here are not something that your average person on the street will be interested in, but there is still that shared "grid of awareness" that connects a certain subset of the world together through this project, and for that I'm very grateful.

Insidious Trends
With the instantaneous connections that people can make across the world via the internet, those memes that connect us all together and rise and fall across time and space are more powerful, more self-reflective, and therefore more active than ever. Something can zoom to popularity one day and be submerged a week later. My song "Insidious Trends" is about that idea: it's always possible for some crazy new concept to suddenly vault to popularity around the world. This song is about that game and how it's been played up to now, and the vintage commercials from cut together by Ryan Hill reinforce that part of the idea. But this is not just about advertising: ultimately we all enjoy participating in a shared experience, whether it's the latest goofy video on YouTube, the latest Stephen King novel, the latest outlandish thing Stephen Colbert said to a guest, or the latest politician caught in a lie. Regardless of how an idea rises to prominence we are social creatures who love to connect to each other through whatever our circle of friends and associates is now interested in, and some of those insidious trends can even make our lives better.

A direct link to this video can be found at:

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Related Entries:
Information Equals Reality
Music and the Dance of Creativity
The Geometry of Music

Next: Jake Kotze and Mystical Numbers

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