built with ndxz


berman's aleph
score to wallace berman's silent film aleph
duration: 7 min 41 sec —2010

aleph is an artist's meditation on life, death, mysticism, politics, and pop culture. in an eight-minute loop of film, wallace berman uses hebrew letters to frame a hypnotic, rapid-fire montage that captures the go-go energy of the 1960s. aleph includes stills of collages created using a verifax machine, eastman kodak's precursor to the photocopier. these collages depict a hand-held radio that seems to broadcast or receive popular and esoteric icons. signs, symbols, and diverse mass-media images (e.g., flash gordon, john f. kennedy, mick jagger) flow like a deck of tarot cards, infinitely shuffled in order that the viewer may construct his or her own set of personal interpretations. the transistor radio, the most ubiquitous portable form of mass communication in the 1960s, exemplifies the democratic potential of electronic culture and serves as a metaphor for jewish mysticism. the hebrew term kabbalah translates as "reception" for knowledge, enlightenment, and divinity.

even without an own score, the film contains lots of musicalities on different levels, e.g. the rhythm of the images, color-changing phrases, repetition and the images themselfes. the question was how to support those musical structures by adding a soundtrack? i tried to make a counterpoint to the fast and flickering rhythm of the editing. in using recorded material i processed over and over again, i tried to hommage the way berman himself worked with his material, assembling copied, painted and scratched celluloid.