POWERLINES : overview by Helen Hall
Powerlines is a poetic documentary film about the mystery of
electromagnetic fields, the promise of new energy and the dangers of
An artistic interpretation of a scientific
subject, the film integrates advanced scientific research and ancient
knowledge of energy with music, image and dance, and explores the
difference between the energy of life and the energy we have surrounded
Powerlines begins with the transition into a global
electronic culture, and then explores what happens when we leave the world
of preconceived ideas about our surroundings and enter into the pure realm
of the senses. The film vividly describes the invisible forces around us
by making electromagnetic radiation visible and audible.
Powerlines then describes the body's electrical systems and the vast implications of advanced scientific research into the invisible circuitry within and around us. In the process, it explores the electromagnetic basis of all forms of life, and the implications of the current radical changes to the earth's magnetic field.
Minimalist, expressionistic dance scenes are threaded
through the film, evoking what happens when this mortal coil is threaded
through the vast electronic network surrounding us, in an archetypal
journey from illness to health. The dance is influenced by butoh - a dance
form that emerged from Post WWII Japan and that describes in movement the
devastating effects of the atomic bomb.
Powerlines begins by tracing the path of high-tension power lines from a
field in rural Quebec, to a transformer station where the power is
transformed, and to the electromagnetism of the city - traffic lights,
street lights, fluorescent lights in office buildings, and neon signs.
The film moves inside to the exploding world of information technology -
computers, fax machines, modems, VCR's, and outside to microwave towers,
satellite dishes and antennas. Computer imaging makes the radiation
visible, and a densely-layered soundtrack weaves sound effects and music
together, making the radiation audible.
Layers of images from television, fast editing and a dense, high-energy soundtrack create a feeling of information overload, as huge amounts of information travel around the world at the speed of light and interact with the millions of electrical impulses in every living cell in our bodies.
Powerlines then goes right into the cells of our bodies, describing how inter-cellular communication takes place with very high electrical signals, and how like computers, information in the body is stored in its own energy fields.
The film then zooms in to the sub-cellular level - to somatids. Somatids are tiny, subcellular particles that are electric and magnetic and are possibly the
bridge between energy and matter - the absolute ground zero of life. The
film zooms in again to show laser images of the electrical patterns that
underlie the structure of cells.
Powerlines ends with a transition into pure energy and light.
The soundtrack is a new composition, bringing together music for solo cello
with layers of sampled sounds and sound effects.
[ sound excerpts ] [compact disk] [video]
contact: helen hall < return to main >
Minimalist, expressionistic dance scenes are threaded through the film, evoking what happens when this mortal coil is threaded through the vast electronic network surrounding us, in an archetypal journey from illness to health
Between Seeing and Hearing
Sensing Energy at Another Level
Musicworks 74 - Summer 1999
by Gayle Young
Interview with Helen Hall
Synopsis - Vol.1 / No.2
by Alexis Ducouré