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Samadhi

Jordan Belson (American, 1926–2011)

1968

Medium 16mm film; color, sound; 6 min. Measurements No Measurements Credit Gift of the Women's Committee Accession Number 74.9.1 Location Not on View

Narrative

Originally a painter, Belson began making animated films in 1947. His films of the late 1960s made an important contribution to American artist films of that period. As visual director of the Vortex Concerts at Morrison Planetarium in San Francisco during the late 1950s, Belson was also a pioneer of the "light shows" popular in the 1960s. Belson's work of the 1960s consists of filmed images of actual objects transformed through a variety of homemade rephotography and color-manipulation techniques. At moments one can recognize electric lights, the sky, propane stove burners, and other images; but the films are essentially abstract. Their continually shifting symmetrical compositions are comparable to mandalas, graphic symbols uses in spiritual meditation in Eastern religions. Indeed, the importance of yoga in Belson's life is evident in the rhythms of sound and image in these films.