What I tried to show is that the main event today is not seen by those of us that live in it. We see the surface of the newspapers, the obviousness of conflict, of social injustice, of the market, welling up of culture. But to me the greatest event, or the most important event of perhaps our entire history, nothing comparable in the past to this event is fundamentally gone unnoticed. And the event is the following:
The transcending from all nature, or, the ‘natural environment’, as our host of life for human habitation into a technological meilleur, into mass technology as the environment of life.
So, these films have never been about the effect of technology, of industry, on people. It’s been that everyone: politics, education, the financial structure, the nation’s state structure, language, the culture, religion – all of that exists within the host of technology. So it’s not the effect of, it’s that everything exists within.
It’s not that we use technology, we live technology.
Technology has become as ubiquitous as the air we breathe, so we’re no longer conscious of its presence. So what I decided to do in making this film was to rip out all the foreground of a traditional film – the foreground being the actors, the characterisation, the plot, the story; I tried to take the background, all of that that just supports it like wallpaper, move that up into the foreground and make that the subject and noble it with the virtues of portraiture, and make that the presence. So we looked at traffic as the event, we looked at the organisation of a city as the equivalent of what a computer chip looks like. We looked at acceleration and density as qualities of a way of life that is not seen and goes unquestioned.
Life unquestioned is life lived in a religious state.
~ Godfrey Reggio, Director of Koyaanisqatsi
It’s about observing accurately the distance between the image and the music.
The reason we don’t like commercials is that there’s no place for us in them.
Let’s say there’s a distance between the image and the music – and when the spectator crosses that line, that’s when they personalise the event. That’s when it becomes theirs. The transaction between the music and the image happens during the time that the listener is traversing the space between the music and the image.
~ Phillip Glass, Composer