Lila Moore is an artist film-maker, screen-choreographer, performance and intermedia practitioner, exploring the transformative potential of film and screen-based imagery and art forms. Likewise, she is an academic with a PhD degree in Dance on Screen, which incorporates her creative practice, from Middlesex University, 2001, UK. Her doctorate demonstrates the emergence of new cinematic art forms with a focus on the art form of screen choreography and screen-dance in the context of artists’ films and modern and contemporary art. In parallel to the formal aspect, she analysed dance for the camera and her own ritual-dance film, illustrating the mythic journey and the process of transformation as it is expressed and induced by film images, with reference to Jungian psychology, the metaphoric body in holistic therapy, and women’s spirituality.
Dr Moore holds an MA in Independent Film and Video from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London (1989) where she began researching the films and writings of Maya Deren, created performances incorporating film projection and live action, and formulated her PhD concept. In 2004-2006, she was an Associate Research Fellow at London Metropolitan University, researching the visual and thematic correspondence between film and spirituality. She has presented research papers on film and spirituality in several academic conferences in 2009-2014. Based on her research, she wrote and devised an academic course entitled Spiritual Cinema: Spirituality in Film and New Media. The course was implemented and taught by Dr Moore in 2013-14 as part of a pioneering BA programme of studies conducted by the Department of Mysticism and Spirituality at Zefat Academic College, where she is a faculty member and a curator of a Spiritual Film Club programme.
In 2000 Lila Moore established the video brand Blue Planet in London and co-produced with Rose V. Ketter, a holistic movement specialist, and television, interactive designer and producer, Paul Gibson, a series of meditative films utilising the healing powers of image, movement, colour and sound. The videos were in commercial distribution in the UK and amongst the very few pioneering titles at that time which explored film as meditation. Building on her new research of kinaesthetic empathy and experimenting with the creative potential of interactive platforms, such as Waterwheel, Lila is currently updating and upgrading her concept of film as meditation through short films which she shot and edited. Her recent body of films entitled Water e-Motion has been developed and presented on the Waterwheel platform. Her interest in film and healing has coincided with her extensive experience as holistic adviser to women. She is a UK-certified holistic life coach.
The dance-ritual film Gaia – Mysterious Rhythms, conceived, directed and choreographed for the screen by Lila Moore, including her PhD thesis, is distributed as educational package and film streaming by Artfilms, UK/Contemporary Arts Media.
Dr Lila Moore has lectured, curated film screenings, and exhibited in universities, festivals and cultural organisations internationally. As a young artist she worked in, and performed multimedia works, at the October Gallery in London, where she also practised with the Theatre of all Possibilities. Her early performance work entitled Anima Urbana – The City Spirit was produced, and transformed into an innovative and critically acclaimed video, by The ICA video department in London.
At this day and age, and in the midst of an ecological crisis, art combined with the latest technologies and scientific achievements can become a transformative force that will serve to equalise and heal the conflicts and wounds of humanity and planet Earth. My work is therefore dedicated to the exploration of transformative visions that can herald a shift in art forms and consciousness. Now, is the age of the picture and the screen, the time of transformative and embodied visions! Our time and experience, including the time we spend online in alternative worlds, is evolving into a collaborative global human enterprise! What a great time to be living in! What a great time to be an artist!
Ritualistic Art, the Collective Mind as Creative Artist, and the Serpentine Cosmic DNA Dance of Evolution and Emergence © Dr Lila Moore, 2015 Werner Herzog defines the Chauvet Cave’s paintings the subject of his film Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2011) as art in the ultimate sense of the term. He says: “It goes back to a time when there was, for example, no art market, no exhibitions, no galleries. No doubt in my heart that this is art, and it’s some of the greatest that the human race ever created, period. It can’t get any better, and it hasn’t gotten much better. That’s a great mystery”. (See: Interview) Clearly, every encounter (whether it is in print, online or on screen) with the paintings of Chauvet Cave triggers thoughts on how novelty emerges unexpectedly and evolves human consciousness and history. Despite “the abyss of time,” which according to Herzog, separate us from the early humans that created those images, we still recognize ourselves in their reflections. Images such as the Panel of the Lions that seem to externalise the beasts’ energy and focus may recall faint memories of interspecies communication which is totally alien to contemporary people. Perhaps we see ourselves reflected in the “intensity of their gaze”. Jill Tarter of SETI (Ted Talk, 2009) cites Loren Eiseley’s statement, “One does not meet oneself until one catches the reflection from an eye other than human. One day that eye may be that of an intelligent alien, and the sooner we eschew our narrow view of evolution the sooner we can truly explore our ultimate origins and destinations”. Could these paintings that represent the birth of art and the modern human soul, unfold a primordial pattern of evolution that involves the symbiosis of hybrid eyes and intelligence? Perhaps they allow insight to a state of radical compassion through the seeing of oneself in the other? In case they were aspects of ritualistic practice, they stand as the first presentations of elaborate ritualistic art. Although, we may never have a final explanation for the Chauvet Cave’s paintings’ purpose, they clearly brought forward a transformation in consciousness. Morphic Fields (See: Rupert Sheldrake – Morphic Fields and Cosmic Consciousness) of regions in which rituals have been practised for millennia, and where interspecies communication is involved, may retain patterns relating to evolution and emergence, which are best expressed through the creative fields. The Masterclass takes place in conjunction with a ceremony that reflects serpent rites and mythology typical of the Aegean region. Rupert Sheldrake – Morphic Fields and Cosmic Consciousness Master of transformations, the serpent comes in many guises. In mystical texts across various traditions, it often holds a dualistic function as the enlightening one; the opener of eyes and the leader of the way. Its wisdom is gained through a deadly initiation, in order to find the way one has to lose it first. In the Zohar, the body of writings known as the Kabbalah, there is a mythic correlation between the snake and the way, which is the path the seeker chooses to take in life. The snake reflects the dance of opposites and the way’s twofold nature, the sacredness which is above it and the impurity that lies underneath it. The tempting aspect of the way reveals the world to the seeker...read more
Part 2: Her Sight and Insight By Lila Moore (Part 1 can be found here.) The heroine’s journey is an evolving myth. It is not simply a product of ancient times like the hero’s journey, though, there are some archaic texts with leading protagonists who are often goddesses or associated with them. There are also the classics, The Little Mermaid, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and the Wizard’s of Oz that, with rich tapestry of symbols and archetypes, imaginative visuals and soulful depth, present the journey of an extraordinary heroine. This type of heroine, unlike those depicted with nothing to do in recent films, has much to do, discover, overcome and manifest. She is a different type of leader and fighter for justice and nothing like the mythic hero. The hero searches for the meaning of the Soul and a union with Her, often disguised in the form of a princess whom he marries after the successful completion of his ordeal and quest. The mythic heroine as an archetype is the Soul’s manifestation on Earth and in the Cosmos, and here to show us how to transform and evolve. Clearly, each individual heroine’s journey reflects some aspects of the Soul, a story which is part of a much larger story of evolution in consciousness and worldview. There is no way a single heroine could carry the vision and burden of the entire task. Therefore, as a global culture we need many more stories and myths about her journey, new films and interactive platforms and games. The heroine’s journey as a mythic tale is not yet fully known. We will get to know it as we make it, watch and interact with it. It is a vision about the future. It is perhaps no coincidence that the first photorealist, computer-animated science-fiction film portrays the heroine’s journey through the sight and insight of the leading protagonist. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (Dir: Hironobu Sakaguchi, Moto Sakakibara, 2001) is led by the character Doctor Aki Ross, a scientist who has discovered how to save the Earth from an infectious, deadly virus-like race of aliens called Phantoms. From the very start of the film, the post apocalyptic landscape of Earth and the ruins of New York City are seen from the point of view of Aki, with the first close-up shot of her eye signifying that this is her gaze. Hence, the viewers are subliminally informed that the story will unfold as Aki sees it. She is in a position of power to lead the course of the story and determine humanity’s destiny. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, the trailer It is also revealed that Aki’s sight is not limited to events in the physical world of action. Aki’s recurring nightmares are fundamental to her mission to save the Earth. Through her dreams, she learns that the aliens are the restless spirits of dead aliens which crashed on Earth with fragments of their destroyed planet. They are not ‘the enemy’ as the world’s leadership council and General Hein view them, but displaced and terrorized spirits in need of healing and liberation. Aki has to navigate her way towards a peaceful resolution to the world’s crisis against towering opposition. Heim is determined to convince the council that the best way forward is to attack and...read more
Part I: Introduction to the Gaze By Lila Moore There is a subtle exchange, an invisible interplay, between images and viewers in the cinema which induces emotions and meanings. As the Kuleshov Effect shows, meanings are generated by the viewers as a result of a cognitive processing of the film’s assembly of visual data. Alfred Hitchcock demonstrated the Kuleshov Effect in a 1964 CBC documentary as a manipulative editing technique that invites the viewers to make meaningful sense of the way the images on screen interrelate and unfold. Alfred Hitchcock explains the Kuleshov Effect to host-director Fletcher Markle, CBC, 1964. Hitchcock’s choice of images and their subsequent meanings also highlight socially established conventions and sexual difference that have controlled the structure and form of film, media and popular culture for decades. The female character in Hitchcock’s montage is dominated by the male gaze as an object of affection (mother) or a (dirty) sex object (the girl in bikini as seen by a dirty old man). She has no active role, or individual consciousness and meaning-making facility, beyond her service to the male gaze. The latter consists of the gaze of the hero, the male viewer, and the point of view of the camera that ensures the patriarchal order. The female viewer, like the female character, is subordinated to the same gaze. What he sees and feels must be right. She is what he makes of her. As Laura Mulvey implied, the woman is the image and not the maker of meanings. The male gaze is a term coined by Mulvey in her seminal essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, (1975). Laura Malvey Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema Examples Regardless of progress made in theory and film practice since the emergence of feminist film theory in the 1970s, it is still relevant to question the often covert patriarchal worldview represented by the male gaze in popular visual culture. It is also essential to ponder on the reasons for the lack in heroines that can bravely determine the destiny of their journeys and embody our global and collective myths. Tasha Robinson’s article We are Losing all our Strong Female Characters to Trinity Syndrome discusses the gradual, and often covert, disempowerment of female characters in mainstream cinema. Robinson emphasizes the phenomenon of interesting female characters in films that end up with nothing to do. The presence of these characters does not hint on the filmmakers’ intention to integrate intelligent and capable female characters. Many films are loosely based on the structure of the Hero’s Journey and are not occupied with the role of possibly relevant, though not central to the action, female characters. However, The Trinity Syndrome, as explained by Robinson, highlights wise, compassionate and resourceful female characters being portrayed while they are wasted away, unable to lead and transform the course of any plot or mythic tale. They are trapped in a narrative construct which, embedded in patriarchal sensibility, refuses or is merely unable to unleash and manifest their full potential. One such heroine is Robin Wright, playing herself in The Congress (Dir: Ari Folman, 2013), which reflects on her career in mainstream cinema and the limits put on her development as an actress and film character. See: the film synopsis. The Congress Trailer Robin, as a mature protagonist, is unable...read more
Transformation and again transformation, the eternal entertainment of the eternal spirit. J. W. Goethe Transformation is described by C.G. Jung as the “the basic instinct of civilization.” The desire to transform is embedded in our body and psyche. Transformation is an unstoppable impulse, and the aspiration to reveal the often invisible trends that drive it forward is as inescapable. We are destined to transform as creatures of nature and evolution. As transforming conscious beings, we express and explore our transformations not only in biological terms. Transformation happens through the unique products; technological and scientific inventions and metaphysical and conceptual revelations, of our culture. Transformation, as a deeply felt visceral and spiritual experience is an integral part of our interaction with pivotal works of art in any aesthetic medium. It is also the underlying function of religious and spiritual, myths, rites and practices throughout the ages. This column is dedicated to transformation as a motif, archetype, and aesthetic, scientific and technological factor and method. It seeks to explore transformative imagery, text and performative actions as they transpire in 2D & 3D film/video, time-based art, and as part of online, interactive, virtual and immersive environments and technologies. Here, we shall ask, can the moving image and time-based, interactive and immersive aesthetics reclaim and/or evolve art’s ritualistic, transformative and healing heritage and function, and how. In addition, what are the current transformative potentials of Artivism? This is a valid query as the strategies and aesthetics of art and activism are often expressed and operate differently. Here we engage in the exploration of the needs for transformative content, and the innovative and aesthetic ways through which transformative elements are implemented in contemporary works and settings. Moreover, this column celebrates transformation as a cyclic movement forward and as aesthetic and technological evolution which honors its terrestrial Gaian origins. Since the late 1960s, modern technology has brought the Earth and the Universe to people’s awareness through perpetual streams of striking images. Views of Earth from space and the sight of almost any geographical location in the world have become freely available. Likewise, the overall impact of human activity on the natural environment is visible to virtually everyone. It is clear that humanity has been transforming the natural environment for its own benefits, depleting natural resources and driving other life forms to a point of extinction. Utilizing the language of metaphors, the body of the Earth mirrors the human body as an integral organic part of it. Hence, the image of humanity destroying the natural world is also the image of human self-annihilation. There may be other glorious futures possible, life in other planets for the post-humans or trans-humans. But should we as creatures of this beautiful and diverse planet throw out the baby, i.e., our human heritage, with the bath water as we transform? Where do we trace our humanity? Where do we find the origins of the Soul? I believe that we instantly recognize the ‘human touch’, its darkest despair and brightest greatness, the divine spark within, in works of art. We recognize and see the Soul reflected in the poetry of the muses as they dance throughout the creative evolution of the arts. In Caves of Forgotten Dream (2010), Werner Herzog takes the film viewers down Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc cave in southern France where,...read more
Water Day Symposium – 3WDS14 FROM 17-23 MARCH 2014, more than 200 people from 5 continents will present their latest work about water. Children, youth, communities, TED talkers, scientists, activists and artists will interact with audience online and in 18 nodes (physical venues) in Argentina, Australia, Colombia, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Morocco, New Zealand, Poland, USA, Taiwan & Tunisia. The entire symposium will be streamed online via Waterwheel platform for audiences to watch and interact from their own computers anywhere in the world, free of charge! WATER VIEWS: CARING AND DARING is this year’s symposium theme. The program is composed of 42 sessions, caters to all time zones, and focuses on art, science and activism. It explores questions about how we are living, and will continue to live, with water and its contrasts. Demands for new perceptions and approaches to water management, urban planning, and cooperation, as well as renewed respect for water as a vital resource and shared heritage are highlighted through transdisciplinary approaches. Waterwheel was created two and a half years ago, by an Australian team – Inkahoots, Igneous and Suzon Fuks who initiated the platform on the basis of her main interests: water issues and “networked performance” or performance on the internet that uses mass communication tools. Fuks is a Brisbane-based experimental artist, choreographer and director, committed to making and developing art that examines, reflects upon, and helps us survive today’s disjointed worlds. Originally from Belgian where water is in abundance, she became aware of the issues and politics around water in the early 90’s after living for three years in a place in India where access to water regulated life. When she moved to Brisbane, Australia she witnessed the impact of severe drought for several years and then big floods in the city. These events led her to conceive Waterwheel which she initially researched and developed with a fellowship from Australia Council for the Arts. It has been formulated as an ongoing project open to all, for cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural water-related dialogues and exchanges around the globe. The Waterwheel platform is built on water vocabulary evoking the parallel between the theme of water and the Internet. The metaphoric interrelation between the planetary currents of water and the electronic transference of data and communication is one of the key aspects which attracted me to the platform, first as a user and audience and eventually as crew. When people enter the site they encounter words and visual signs like fountain, tap, crew and dock, which give them an idea how to use the platform. Visitors are encouraged to upload and share media which is soon after reflected in the ripples of the central fountain where it can be accessed and viewed. Overall, Waterwheel offers a participatory and holistic experience of water based on the awareness that wherever one maybe in the world, he/she is part of the same environmental tides, sharing the water of one Earth. This year’s symposium will open with a performance by Ulay, renowned artist from Slovenia – who previously worked with Marina Abramovic – followed by a performance by internationally acclaimed Singaporean artist, Jason Lim. Children and youth will have their say amongst adults in sessions such as Activism, Art and Science, Sea Level Rise, and Art and Ecology. Curator Keti Haliori from...read more