Nature is capable of more than we apprehend. We take for granted many things because they have originated outside of our understanding—they simply have always been. What if they began to take on new forms, sought new molds to fill? Would we take action or watch what we know evanesce?


Time lapse of Yosemite National Park

Let’s be motionless. We’ll take turns blinking, making certain that not one millisecond is spent in darkness.


James Miller’s 40mm Snail Cinema

There are strange creatures among us.

Watching James Miller‘s lens study, aided by a Jean Michel Jarre soundtrack, I feel as though I’ve slipped into a science fiction film noir. My character sits alone in a large cinema, the kind found in the inner-workings of a government laboratory, beneath the earth. It smells of musk and decaying fabric. Curiously and with intent, I observe the foreign object in front of me, magnified almost beyond recognition, committing to memory all nuances of the creatures movements. I prepare myself for our encounter ahead. The mission leaves day after next.

via The Fox is Black


The Aurora

Terje Sorgjerd spent a week in national parks bordering Russia. Armed with patience and a motion control dolly he endured the -25 degree Celsius temperatures to capture this dance of the spirits. As I watched the sky birth florescence I began wondering what this must have been like for the first man to wander the arctic. Without being jaded by omnipresent visual effects or explained in terms of ions, photons or magnetism, what would seeing the shifting night feel like? Would it resemble a dream? Could this have been the source of his very first dream? Was he brought to his knees by terror seeing his ceiling morph? Or did it fill him with an unexplained warmth forcing the bitter cold from his mind? Whatever effect it had, it must have been powerful, spiritual, and the source of many stories shared with any he encountered. But without experiencing the aurora borealis first hand I’m sure they would have thought his stories to be the ramblings of a mad imagination, warped by arctic isolation.

Side note: I’m not a huge fan of the editing or soundtrack choice, but it will fuel the wandering mind nonetheless. I recommend muting it and scoring it yourself. I accompanied my daydreaming with Memoryhouse.


The Curve of Forgotten Things (Elle Fanning: Rodarte’s Muse)

Rodarte is a fashion company started 6 years ago by two friends who went to UC Berkley together. One studied art history while the other focused on literature and the Modern novel. But I don’t know them as a fashion line, they’ve created much more than just clothing. I’ve come to know them for their gorgeously produced short films such this one, and the previous Todd Cole collab film, 2010: A Space Odyssey, which I also highly recommend. I truly think that not having gone to school for fashion or marketing has allowed them to create a unique vision for themselves without constraint of the way things “should” be. I love that you can watch this short for it’s aesthetic beauty and not once feel like someone is pushing clothing. You come away with a warm feeling of wonder and not a sales pitch or tag line, which only makes me want something even more.

As for the story behind the film, it takes you on a brief journey of discovery through the historic Baldwin House set in the oil fields of Baldwin Hills. Here, Elle Fanning’s dress becomes chameleon and takes on the atmosphere of each new room. Thoughtful inspection of each new space leads her into the garage of the estate where she encounters a sun-like orb. Basking in its glow and warmth, she offers herself to it. The storytelling is very loose, and with the addition of an ambient score provided by Deerhunter, you feel like the whole thing is a lucid dream.

Read more and watch it larger on Nowness.


Think or Smile | Nathaniel Whitcomb © 2011