The city of Gods and Villains - from Ignorance to the Sublime

by Sandra Radja / Jim Coad

You made this.  You made your city what it is today.  You and the population you live with decided on a way of being, over time and with a lot of personal experiences tied together. You grew accustomed and created a culture.

The initial purpose of a city was to provide food via agriculture to an organised group of people for trade overseen by an organised body of government. It was also to bring together a place for culture to be experienced and ideas to be exchanged. It formed a unique personality based on the subset of it's individual counterparts and the natural resources within it's reach. It also created the stage set for the war within. 

It is a wonderful concentrated space to experience yourself via the energies of Tamas, Rajas and Sattva, namely Ignorance, Activity and the Balancing effect of the Sublime.  Within us all live Gods and Villains.  Deep inside lies the desire to know the extent of who we are, whether it lies in the dark night of the soul to the passion behind breaking obstacles to the sublime feeling of separation from our dramas.

The idea of Rajas (activity) and Tamas (inertia) feel more direct, like things we feel we have control of. And the Sattva, the sublime, well it's that feeling, that moment that's indirect, like a grace, that just comes in when the moment seems too much. It's love or light or the kindness of a stranger. It balances the other two when we least expect it. It's subtle and etheric and needs attention and stillness to see it. But it's there, like an angel, in the background, making sure we don't fuck up too much.

You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.
— Alan Alda

The play of the light and the angle of the buildings can effect a shadow or inspire a mirrored effect. The space between two objects of industry may create an alley of desire. It's the cracks where life begins inert.  It coddles itself with a smell pungent from passion. It can pull at your base hollowed- out desires of loneliness, insecurity, craving, lack of self confidence and the inability to tap into your heart. It provides the libation, soft curves and red stained doorway of sexual possibility. It smiles a wicked smile only for you and offers you an easy hand. It breeds possibility in darkness when sleep overcomes and the lack of interest in life remains stagnant.

But nothing is ever stagnant for long because the stars twinkle and the moon provides light enough to rouse the energy inside. Dawn breaks and with it comes a flood of movement.

People come with ambition, they get on the round- about and chase the almighty dollar. Running around in circles within the limited confines of the mind's imagination, they follow a pattern and form.  The marketing giants create momentum. The desire has now moved to protection, self expression, self worth via home living and dress. Status and connections, it's all about knowing the right time and place to mix and mingle. Running after work, take a yoga class, pick up the kids and organize the bills to be paid. Start ups and building bridges.  It's the rat race, with rats living underground and people above it.

And then.

Every now and then, you happen to look up and see the light play just so. Between the trees, it dances quietly and it catches you. You remain still. It's just so beautiful, this moment between worlds. The light feels like a part of you, it's familiar and comfortable.  Your breath calms, your mind feels clear and the sounds of the traffic fade away. The mind has stopped and so the desires have stopped. There is a sense of a connection. What you came from and how you got here, all of it was necessary for this moment. 

And then...the circle begins anew. Another chapter, if you so choose.

Video by Jim Coad.


Jim Coad is a video artist, working with film, animation and projection with a focus on physical arts media. See Video Architecture to make contact or via Facebook.

Originally from Australia, he currently resides in Berlin. His project EinTag (des Lebens) or “a day - in the life” is a series of 60 second clips, filmed, edited and uploaded in 24 hours using just an iPhone to record image and sound.