Alabama Contemporary Art Center

As part of PRE-GLO, CLA is launching a robust series of educational and public programs for all ages that explore globalization and it’s implications for the Gulf Coast. The PRE-GLO summer film series begins at dark on June 27 with KOYAANISQATSI in the CLA Art Park on Dauphin Street, and continues throughout the summer with critically acclaimed films including Waste Land (July 11) and Life In A Day (July 24). Please bring your own chairs, blankets, and beverages. An ice-cream truck will be available!

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This series is made possible through a generous grant from the PNC Foundation and support from the South Alabama Film Festival.



Koyaanisqatsi, trailer (1983) from augustin sauvadet on Vimeo.

KOYAANISQATSI, Reggio’s debut as a film director and producer, is the first film of the QATSI trilogy. The title is a Hopi Indian word meaning “life out of balance.” Created between 1975 and 1982, the film is an apocalyptic vision of the collision of two different worlds — urban life and technology versus the environment. The musical score was composed by Philip Glass.

KOYAANISQATSI attempts to reveal the beauty of the beast! We usually perceive our world, our way of living, as beautiful because there is nothing else to perceive. If one lives in this world, the globalized world of high technology, all one can see is one layer of commodity piled upon another. In our world the “original” is the proliferation of the standardized. Copies are copies of copies. There seems to be no ability to see beyond, to see that we have encased ourselves in an artificial environment that has remarkably replaced the original, nature itself. We do not live with nature any longer; we live above it, off of it as it were. Nature has become the resource to keep this artificial or new nature alive.

That being said, my intention in-other-words, let me describe the bigger picture. KOYAANISQATSI is not so much about something, nor does it have a specific meaning or value. KOYAANISQATSI is, after all, an animated object, an object in moving time, the meaning of which is up to the viewer. Art
has no intrinsic meaning. This is its power, its mystery, and hence, its attraction. Art is free. It stimulates the viewer to insert their own meaning, their own value. So while I might have this or that intention in creating this film, I realize fully that any meaning or value KOYAANISQATSI might have comes exclusively from the beholder. The film’s role is to provoke, to raise questions that only the audience can answer. This is the highest value of any work of art, not predetermined meaning, but meaning gleaned from the
experience of the encounter. The encounter is my interest, not the meaning. If meaning is the point, then propaganda and advertising is the form. So in the sense of art, the meaning of KOYAANISQATSI is whatever you wish to make of it.

This is its power.

Synopsis courtesy of the KOYAANISQATSI official website.

PRE-GLO summer film series schedule:

KOYAANISQATSI – Friday, June 27 at 8 pm in the CLA Art Park

Waste Land – Friday, July 11 at 8 pm in the CLA Art Park

Life in a Day – Thursday, July 24 at 8 pm in the CLA Art Park