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Trippy animated short Panta Rei will screen at the 2022 Fall New Jersey Film Festival on Friday, September 30


By Al Nigrin

originally published: 09/27/2022

KWA’s wild animated short Panta Rei (Everything is in Motion) will screen at the 2022 New Jersey Fall Film Festival on Friday, September 30. Here is my interview with him:

Nigrin: Your experimental animated short film Panta Rei (everything is in motion) is a wild ride that takes viewers inside their own minds and out into the universe. Tell us what prompted you to make this film.

KWA: I am driven by the social psychology of how people perceive things and then react or respond to those perceptions. For my part, I want a deep inner questioning of these perceptions, thoughtful answers and much less “instinctive” reactions on the part of my fellow human beings. I’ve found that placing people in a cinema full of aesthetically pleasing, unidentifiable sights and sounds tends to help produce the desired result there. With Panta Rhei (everything is in motion) I offer a view that “life is a flow” in constant flow is a perspective worthy of consideration. May that childish part of each of us which wishes to have certainty without doubt, results without experiments, success without failure… be totally rejected and supplanted by “Nothing ever is, everything becomes”; “All things are in motion like currents”; “All things pass away, and nothing remains”; (Plato, Cratylus)

Nigrin: So, you called your film Panta Rei to evoke the teachings of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus?

KWA: I created the image to evoke a “life/everything is flow” perspective/perspective in the Panta Rhei philosophy that is widely attributed to Heraclitus. Another way of saying this is “Mobilis in mobili”: moving in a moving element, moving in the movement, changing with the change… Everything is continuously in motion, spiraling, moving…. Everything passes and nothing remains…

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Although from a cosmological point of view this is quite obvious, there is a powerful countervailing force within the human psyche that takes a very different view. Jung describes it as follows: “Something in us wishes to remain a child, to be unconscious or, at most, conscious only of the ego; to reject all that is strange, or else submit it to our will…”

“We want to have certainties and not doubts – results and not experiences – without even seeing that certainties can only arise from doubt and results only from experience…” (Life stages)

I believe what Jung describes above is a major cause of human neurosis and with this image I seek to help alleviate it with a much more cosmological perspective and expectation.

Trippy animated short Panta Rei will screen at the 2022 Fall New Jersey Film Festival on Friday, September 30

Nigrin: How did you come up with the mind-blowing special effects for your film?

KWA: In creating these images, I use source material that reflects the concepts at hand, i.e. if one of the ways to describe Panta Rhei’s philosophy is “All things move like Streams” conducting moving image experiments using flowing liquid as a source lends itself to the concept… I think of the lens as an eye and the camera as an interpretive brain of that eye. It’s my job to get that eye and brain to see things no one has seen before, and then to combine those things together for an interesting new perspective. True to these precepts, most of the heavy work is done in camera and by composing several clips simultaneously. While editing the image, I transitioned its sections together using effects that changed the perspective of each section but never its actual content (i.e. zoom in, rotate the frame…) in order to remain faithful to the animated images captured and composed.

Nigrin: Your film’s soundtrack is pretty amazing. Tell us more.

KWA: Thanks… I’ve found that in order for the viewer to be willing to suspend their perceptual bases (to the extent that I ask), the sound must somehow tie itself completely to the image in every way imaginable. By this I mean that this unseen spectacle must have an unheard sound that corresponds precisely to what it is… how and when it moves and flows… As I am looking for something that has never been heard and that somehow corresponds to the concept of the image and the animated images themselves; I use synthesizers exclusively, as they are particularly adept at creating entirely new sounds from all the fabric. Each segment of the picture has a myriad of sounds/tracks, which correspond to its concept/flow, which are created and recorded while watching that segment of the film. The harmonics of those tracks are then mixed/composed in a way that I think “speaks” what that part of the image is saying/doing. I have found that this process completely binds the sound to the moving image in that if I only see the image, I hear its sound and vice versa…

Nigrin: Are there any memorable stories while you made this film or other information about your film that you would like to pass on to us?

KWA: It was very interesting to watch people as they look at the photo. For groups of people watching together, it’s often like riding a roller coaster together; For people watching alone, it’s often like watching someone have a solemn voiceless conversation with themselves…

Panta Rei (everything is in motion) screens at the 2022 Fall New Jersey Film Festival on Friday, September 30 as part of the shorts program. It will play online for 24 hours and in person at 7 p.m. at Voorhees Hall #105/Rutgers University, 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey. To buy tickets go here:

For general information about the Film Festival, go here:

Albert Gabriel Nigrin is an award-winning experimental media artist whose work has been screened on five continents. He is also a lecturer in film studies at Rutgers University and executive director/curator of Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, Inc.

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