Artist Chris Golden seeks to channel the spirit of nature within his digital practice, rendering natural objects within a virtual space and in so doing manifesting what he understands to be their true essence.
“It’s about the rebirth of a new reality,” says artist Chris Golden of his new film, Psychic Magic. Working in Unreal Engine and Cinema 4D, Golden seeks to connect objects, colour and form across digital and physical planes, developing his practice around the belief that a consistent energy flows through the natural and the virtual world, a belief which allows him to explore both the real and the unreal. “The film starts in this rocky desert space where we come across this summoning sculpture,” explains Golden. “The sculpture awakens the spirit of nature and the world is reborn.” Setting esoteric imagery – an alabaster horse head balancing on a stone pine cone, a bed of flickering candle stubs – against a gently euphoric score from Ross Ross, the artist lends cinematic weight to a tableau brimming with hidden meaning, an abandoned ceremony of a lost civilisation, the release of an earthly power long forgotten. “Psychic magic focuses on exploring the essence of reality,” continues Golden, “spiritually influenced and sharing alternative states of being.” As plucked MIDI strings and a chorus of synthesis mark a shift in perspective, the process of rebirth begins in flashes of blue light, snatches of voice marking the start of a new world, the natural reborn inside the digital.
“I see this spirit of nature as a manifestation of our true essence,” says Golden. “In my own practice, escaping into nature allows me to re-centre myself and allows myself to connect to an alternate perspective that I can bring into my life to spark creativity and inspiration. Bringing the need of balance into my life is so important to continue to grow and expand continuously, so the film is inspired by this point of view.” Golden’s new reality exists in this balance, blossoming from the overlap between natural forms and 3D render, caught in the interplay between photorealism and uncanny digital textures. We are presented with a sequence of scenarios that challenge our perception of reality and unreality: an open flower with a metallic stamen, tree bark dappled with impossible blue light, dense foliage frozen in time. What is reborn in these images is our own grasp of reality, each a manifestation of the natural and the digital in superimposition, existing across multiple planes of existence, coursing with psychic magic.