Tuesday, September 13, 2011


The original inspiration for this short bit of soundwork/video lies in the work of a little-known Swedish avant garde filmmaker with the unlikely name of Viking Eggeling (1880-1925).  His friends included dadaists like Tristan Tzara and Hans Richter,  yet he seemed more artistically aligned to non-objective painters like Wassily Kandinsky and the Russian Suprematist,  Kazimir Malevich,  whose use of non-referential geometric forms was certainly a strong influence. It was Eggeling's rhythmic use of those simple geometric shapes that really set him apart from those influences.  Yet much like those painters that preceded him,  Eggeling's style was completely devoid of naturalism or narrative,  and that is why his work has been aptly described as "absolute film and visual music".   He is most well known for "Symphonie Diagonale (1924),  seven and a half silent minutes of mechanically shifting geometrics that proved to be his requiem,  as he died six days after its premiere at age 45. He had only been experimenting with film since 1920. It is this piece (57 seconds of it) that provides the raw material for This Second Sleep's EGGELING,  a video that takes hard-edged geometry and morphs it into something far more organic and subjective.  

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