James Whitney (1922-82)

Variations on a Circle (1939-43), 9 minutes

Five abstract Film Exercises (1944), 10 minutes

Yantra (1950-55), 5 minutes

Lapis (1963-66), 10 minutes

Dwi Ja (1976), 17 minutes

Wu Ming (1970-77), 17 minutes

Hsiang Sheng (1977)

Kang Jing Xiang (1982), 13 minutes

Both Jung’s writings on alchemy and the work on transformation symbols in the Mass as well as my own dreams were of considerable insight to me at the time. Yantra was basically a creation myth, an attempt to bring about a unity of cosmic happenings and inner psychic happenings, a bringing together of inner and outer realities. At one time, I considered calling it "A Study in the Process of Individuation," a title of one of Jung’s early works. The sequences in the film are roughly as follows: a descent from the uncreated (Akasha); a slow fade, black to white, increasing in tempo to a single frame flicker of pure light, ushering a lower state of energy form; a central horizontal parting of the top and bottom (parting of heaven and earth), a splitting of the primordial atom; a squared circle mandala; serpentine like particle flow movement into a circumambulation of the center; a fountain like rising kundalini revealing a mandala like turning orb, or vessel (Grail); the gradual involution and emptying process moves back to the beginning and end. The creative vessel, or Grail, is probably the peak of the film. From the vessel the Lapis or the stone will emerge. The circumambulation means the total attention on the center. Eastern lamaistic mandalas usually contain a squared ground plan of the stupa temple. Acccording to ritual, stupas must be circumambulated to the right. Much of this kind of imagery is somewhat fun to go over, although it doesn’t have much, if any, meaning for me now. Then again, bits of imagery like this do come back. For example, Dwija (which I’m working on now) uses the alchemical vessel, but my approach now is totally different.

–Interview with T. Teramaye, 1974