New Video – “does water kill”


Hi All,

As promised, my latest work is now online.

The program notes are below.

Enjoy!

Dan


Notes:

This work is an exploration of a Zoroastrian text from The Zend Avesta, Part I, translated by James Darmesteter in1880. The text struck me as fascinating by saying that it is not the elements of the earth (in this case water and fire) that kill a human—rather, the demon of death has a noose around each of our necks, and when destiny (“the air”) calls, the noose tightens. Water and fire merely enable us to go from life to what lies beyond.

In this way, according to this text it is not actually the world—disease, violence, normal causes, etc.—that cause us to die. Rather, destiny calls us and, being ready to die at any moment, the demon of death concludes our lives and the world is the mechanism that carries us out of life.   Water is not a killer, fire is not a killer; the world is not a killer. When things happen, they are meant to happen.

I do not particularly agree with this text, but it is a fascinating thought that we are ready to die at any moment and the world is merely the mechanism for destiny to act. I encourage the viewer to ponder this aspect of destiny while examining how the audio and video interact to depict literal and abstract concepts of fire, water, and purpose.

-Dan Lis, Hartford, CT, January 2018

Text:

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One!
Does water kill?

Ahura Mazda [The Holy One] answered:

‘Water kills no man: Astô-vîdhôtu [the demon of death] ties the noose around his neck, and, thus tied, Vaya [the air] carries him off: then the flood takes him up, the flood takes him down, the flood throws him ashore; then birds feed upon him, and chance brings him here, or brings him there.’

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One!

Does fire kill?

Ahura Mazda [The Holy One] answered:

‘Fire kills no man: Astô-vîdhôtu [the demon of death] ties the noose around his neck, and, thus tied, Vaya [the air] carries him off. The fire burns up life and limb, and then chance brings him here, or brings him there.’

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