<i>Free Radicals</i>, 1958, Len Lye.
Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation.
From material preserved and made available by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Digital version by Park Road Post Production and Weta Digital Ltd.

Free Radicals, 1958, Len Lye.
Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation.
From material preserved and made available by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Digital version by Park Road Post Production and Weta Digital Ltd.

Lens on Lye

Guest Spotlight on the pioneering artist and experimental filmmaker.

07 Aug 2020

Artists, experts, scholars, specialists and Len Lye film fans share their insights on the artist and filmmaker in this fortnightly series, Lens on Lye, inspired by the current exhibition 'The Absolute Truth of the Happiness Acid' (6 Jun — 1 Nov 2020).

This week’s blog comes from artist Anouk De Clercq, who transforms Len Lye’s lively, energetic scratch film 'Free Radicals' into poetic language, which seeks to create bodily empathy.

Free Radicals 

For a moment I knew what it feels like to live in the big old ocean.

A wave’s motion seeps into my body and I roll with it, rolling, rolling.

The sea is dark but I see my way feelingly.

I sway to the pulse of the world.

It resonates with the rhythmic patterns of my body.

A sensory ballet celebrating life.

Big bang vintage.

The greatest thing about life is its magic.

The greatest way to give thanks is to add to it.

With a touchstone,

I scratch my way through the dark space,

until I find my groove.

Scratch scratch.

Wiggle wiggle.

I am a figure in motion.

A twirling line in the dark.

A rotating bunch of particles.

A play of a mind.

A temptation for a cat.

A movement toward the desired.

A constant revolution.

An image that receives and emits energy.

Synchronized with everything around me.

Euphorically swaying.

In tune.

I am free.

Flashes of lightning in the night sky.

Drumming like rolling thunder.

Five minutes of turning, turning.

You only live forever in the lights you make.

 

Stay tuned for further exploration into Len Lye's work in the weeks to come.

You can follow Anouk on Instagram: @anouk_de_clercq

Belgium artist Anouk De Clercq predominately works with moving image, and embraces the power of computer design and animation to create potential other worlds.

Currently based in Berlin, an artistic researcher at KASK School of Arts University College Ghent, her work has been exhibited widely and is represented by Auguste Orts.

 

Images:

Len Lye, Free Radicals, 1958.
Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation.
From material preserved and made available by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.
Digital version by Park Road Post Production and Weta Digital Ltd.

<i>Free Radicals</i>, 1958, Len Lye.
Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation. 
From material preserved and made available by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Digital version by Park Road Post Production and Weta Digital Ltd.

Free Radicals, 1958, Len Lye.
Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation.
From material preserved and made available by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Digital version by Park Road Post Production and Weta Digital Ltd.

<i>Free Radicals</i>, 1958, Len Lye.
Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation. 
From material preserved and made available by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Digital version by Park Road Post Production and Weta Digital Ltd.

Free Radicals, 1958, Len Lye.
Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation.
From material preserved and made available by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Digital version by Park Road Post Production and Weta Digital Ltd.

<i>Free Radicals</i>, 1958, Len Lye.
Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation. 
From material preserved and made available by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Digital version by Park Road Post Production and Weta Digital Ltd.

Free Radicals, 1958, Len Lye.
Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation.
From material preserved and made available by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Digital version by Park Road Post Production and Weta Digital Ltd.

<i>Free Radicals</i>, 1958, Len Lye.
Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation. 
From material preserved and made available by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Digital version by Park Road Post Production and Weta Digital Ltd.

Free Radicals, 1958, Len Lye.
Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation.
From material preserved and made available by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Digital version by Park Road Post Production and Weta Digital Ltd.