Wednesday, July 04, 2018
Contained in an interview with filmmaker Godfrey Reggio for a 'special feature' on the DVD release of - KOYAANISQATSI, he talked about a series of public service announcements (PSA's) he made in the early 1970's (1973-1974), along with collaborator Ray Hemenez as part of an organization they formed in New Mexico called the Institute for Regional Education (I.R.E.). The Institute has been dedicated to promoting and providing information and resources to the general public on forces and trends developing in society beyond our perception and control.
About 10-years ago I contacted the office of the IRE to inquire about getting access to those early PSA's for potential inclusion in film series I wanted to develop called 'Dark Ages'. My Dark Ages concept is based on the premise that the (historical) Dark Ages never ended due to human evolutionary biology. In essence, we are still trapped in primitive instincts that drive our violent, selfish behavior.
In the mid-2000's, Ray Hemenez at the IRE, sent me a digital file containing roughly 7-short PSA's along with written and published promotional material from that information campaign in 1973-1974, for use in developing my Dark Ages film project.
The image above is from one of those PSA commercials that suggests government surveillance and computers could work to diminish individual liberties and lead to incarceration of suspected citizens. These warnings from over 40-years ago have come to fruition, in a disturbing irony of immigrant children being placed in detention by an ideologically-driven government, populated with known racists and White Supremacist political operatives.
These PSA's in my possession have been incubating - waiting for ideas - now it seems the message from the past provides a framework-for-speculation for the series I'm now developing. I want to connect the warning from the past with reality of today.
This project will be filmed in Arivaca, Arizona at the International border which is the epicenter of immigration, human rights, militarization and community mobilization.