Thursday, February 28, 2013

Enlighten Up

For viewing

For meditation.

Artist Statement

Enlightenment is subtle idea, one that often defies a single concrete description. I've studied Buddhism fairly intensely and am often struck by the ignorance surrounding topics like Buddhist enlightenment. This .gif file attempts to “go over the top” by blatantly stating "enlightenment", then adding the figure of the Buddha achieving literal "enlightenment", at least by virtue of the candle’s flame. I wanted to provoke a bit more thought on the topic of enlightenment by making the image so blatantly obvious that it would raise a flag in the viewer’s mind, calling them to explore the idea a bit more thoroughly, if only in their minds.

I tried to extend some subtle concepts into the .gif as well. The .gif is designed to loop perfectly, a never-ending circle. This is akin to one of the views on normal living in the world as we know it, and a basic tenet in Buddhist thought. By achieving enlightenment, one can escape the never-ending circle of reincarnation. The speed of the lightening/darkening of the Buddha is designed to mimic the relaxed breathing rate I achieve while meditating.

In all, the .gif contains one "over-the-top" presentation of a complex idea (enlightenment) that provokes thought on the subtleties of that same idea through the small details within it.

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