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By David Finkelstein | July 6, 2006

This short video begins with a symmetrical field of bright colors, which is undergoing constant small changes. The image as a whole is also shaking and shimmering. It’s like looking through a kaleidoscope while riding in a car on a very bumpy road. The music consists of a looped chord sequence of pretty, shimmering electronic sounds, which shake in tight coordination with the image. After a while, the image is replaced by a nonshaking kaleidoscope, with a glassy, marbled-looking surface. It becomes apparent that the imagery is taken from tropical fish, swimming in a tank. This is followed by more straightforward imagery of the fish, shot from above, in which it becomes clear that the bubbles, rising to the surface of the water, are what caused the glassy, shimmery look of the images from the beginning. This shimmering and shaking is gradually intensified, so that the images of fish are once again transformed into an abstract, moving color field.

“Furness,” as it moves from abstraction, to literal imagery, and back to abstraction, is one of those videos that helps you to see how the strange, blobby and distorted patterns of color which we often see in abstract painting and film are, in fact, a part of our every day visual experience, often seen in the moving surfaces of water, glass, mist, etc. It has the mesmerizing, meditative quality of psychedelic art, but, unlike a lot of psychedelic art, it shows how one can have unusual, altered visual experiences while looking at ordinary objects. (I’m not saying that Tyc’s video is “about” psychedelic drugs, since it obviously has a much wider field of reference.) The melding of the shimmering sounds with shimmering images also suggests a mode of perception in which the senses become confused with each other.

“Furness” does indeed take us on a trip, in which we are able to see a strange new world in a fish tank. The only aspect of the video I did not relate to is the punning title, since the quality of the video seems neither fuzzy, nor fiery.

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