John S. Banks
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John S. Banks
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John S. Banks is a Chicago based artist who is the visual half of the team involved in making the “Illuminated Manuscripts” DVD as well as the upcoming “Ritual Path”. John also works as an Artist In Residence at Columbia College in Chicago.

With a background in printmaking and photography, his work now focuses on utilizing special effects tools to create visual experiences. For 10 years he ran the computer graphics firm, Rising Star Graphics.

He is now doing his best to forget anything technical he ever learned and is hoping important spiritual knowledge will fill the newly emptied space in his head and heart. Most recent fun things were making tour visuals for Jon Anderson of Yes and working on the Crown Millennium Video Fountain in Chicago, which are 60’ high video glass block monoliths that spume water out of HD faces.

John’s work so truly expresses the spirit of Harmony Channel that he was commissioned to develop network ID’s for the Spirit Zone and Harmony Zone. His remarkable collaborations with Fritz Heede demonstrate a tight fusion of visuals and music that bring new dimensions to the Visual Music genre.

Harmony Channel Interview


 Tell us more about your work being broadcast now on Harmony Channel.

 John: The animations seen on Harmony are from the DVD “Illuminated Manuscripts”. The animations are shaped by a love of nature, exploration, and trying to understand the moment. Memories of “peak experiences” in nature are visualized with images from close at home as well as those from exotic locations. I have traveled with the goal of experiencing sacred places and have built a library of these sites.

Using computer tools, bits and pieces of different places are combined to make a new site that approximates what I felt on the inside as well as the vision outside. Since memory is the mechanism for re-experiencing our events, I use the idea of an old book that shows the scenes along with  cryptic writing. The writing is unspecific to allow the viewer their own interpretation, although the source of the writing is my memories of childhood or observations about the light.

The organic style I have tried to convey is constantly shifting and moving like digital weather. In nature we have weather happening all the time that influences how things look and feel. The digital equivalent of this is a constant flux of fractal motions mixed with shifting layers of imagery.

The timing of changes is often linked to breathing, which gives the work a relaxing quality. The work is rarely thought out beforehand; the final exploration happens while putting the pieces together. In this way they are more like paintings than movies.



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