17. Appendices (pt 4 of 4) – Feedback on films

Feedback received from audiences on the films and videos created by Gil as part of the research.

All names of people giving feedback were removed to keep their privacy. Names were replaced with ‘xx’. Under each feedback is the format (feedback sheet or email), event, and date feedback received.

List of the films:

‘Quantum Words’
‘Trembling Words’
‘The Prince of Hampshire’
‘Unfolding Hearts’
‘Whispers in the dark’
‘Interview with authorial-Self’
‘What is Love?’
‘Explorers of the Heart’
‘A Fallen Angel’
‘Confessions of an Angel’
‘Illuminating the word’

‘Quantum Words’

Beneath/under reality is the surreal? as much if not more so than romanticism of performance and Dada and Surrealism that was outgrowth of Romanticism. Certainly your performance suggests this.

Quantum physics embraces streams of consciousness, rejects rational.

Original, beautiful, sublime. Better than anything I’ve seen in Documenta, Gil, bravo!

xx, feedback sheet, 2nd Intl Conference on the Arts in Society, Kassel Uni, Germany. 22 August 2007.

Powerful body, soft image, powerful culture, soft nature.

Pray together, breath colour. Grasp colours – grasp these emotions, lightness of emotion.

Anonymous [sheet 03], feedback sheet, 2nd Intl Conference on the Arts in Society, Kassel Uni, Germany. 22 August 2007.

Gorgeous and mystical and emotional. Good philosophical exploration, provocative.

xx, feedback sheet, 2nd Intl Conference on the Arts in Society, Kassel Uni, Germany. 22 August 2007.

The joy of a baby’s laughter.

xx, feedback sheet, 2nd Intl Conference on the Arts in Society, Kassel Uni, Germany. 22 August 2007.

Very intrigued. I was very taken by the combination of the Tefillin, the letters of the Holy Name, and what seemed to be a martial art uniform (and martial arts moves.) there is power in the Name and power in ritual and the imagery you used (as well as the words and the glowing light/halo) seems to ask me what is that power, what is its potential and how can/should it be used?

xx, email 19 September 2007.

Both [films Unfolding Hearts and Quantum Words] strike me as earnest and innocent in the best senses of those terms – straight from the feeling center, trusting to openness in your viewers, and willing to try out deep matters in a very small compass.

What is your story, if I may ask, and where are you from originally?

xx, email 18 August 2007.

Powerful imagery and mantra! Thought and emotion provoking.

xx, email 28 June 2007.

Unique. Unusual.

xx, personal communication 11 January 2007.

There are different treatments of person/nature, and a few types of fonts used.

Fade in/out represents passage of time. Is it time-line? There is a man, then a baby, as if going backwards. Sea represents passage of time and childhood.

xx, personal communication 9 November 2006.

What I like in your film is that the light was a natural integral part of the chanting man; it was not forced out. It did not feel like an ‘added special effect’ made on the computer.

It is amazing that when we see things our brain can accept what it sees. The brain accepts those images of you chanting with the light coming in and out. The brain takes that as obvious since the brain perceives what the eye sees – although we cannot see such light in ‘reality’ outside the film. So the brain knows that this is special effect made on the computer but still it accepts it as normal since it is something that the eye can see.

xx, personal communication 26 August 2006.

The film does not leave you indifferent. It raises questions such as, What is the contribution of Judaism to spread the spark of creativity?

The move between thoughts to emotions in the film is presented as a feeling of a beginning, genesis, compared to a feeling of the self.

We felt the text was too fast to follow. The repeating mantra sound connected us to emotions that one can feel in mystical experiences.

xx, email 18 July 2006.

I’ve watched your DVD quite a few times and particularly like the beginning – the sight and sound of the sea, cloth rippling… I’ve always found that the sea gives me feelings of yearning and longing. [Enclosed is a short prose piece that I wrote on the sea, from the heart, when I was trying to describe these feelings.]

The images of Gil binding his left arm with tape [writing up/making a connection?] miming – use of head, arms, hands and fingers; chanting, facial expression, juddering, sensations; gesticulations, symmetrical rays of light and colour, squashed and crumpled at the end… I’m not sure that I understood all this – particularly the Hebrew, which I would love to have understood but I particularly liked the aura of colour and light around people (interspersed with poems). I’m not sure that I can describe the feelings about the latter at this stage but will tell you, if I can. What were the words at the end of these parts – I wanted to understand them – the ‘Amen’ one of them and what were the others? Were you endeavouring to get the words out of your brain or the atmosphere, being tuned in?

Now the short poems I liked and found meaning in them: firstly, the wooden set in the enclosed area of grey stone; then the way the words started small, emerged, became readable, turned and enlarged, turned and disappeared with the steadfast green trees; lastly, I particularly liked the grey sea and stones, the crystalline drops of the water [should it be ‘of your soul’?] and the baby crawling, gurgling [your baby?] with Natalie chanting softly. Also, I liked the fish tank and Natalie chanting softly, so peaceful.  … Well, I must stop now but I will read this again and see if I feel differently at a later time, as others thoughts or feelings are triggered. Please now tell me your thoughts and meanings. I would really appreciate it.

xx, letter 24 June 2006.

Your short film was very interesting. I wasn’t sure what the chant was but found the whole thing effective and quite disturbing. The man character reminded me of a suicide bomber or maybe a miner of the truth. I’d be interested to talk to you about it.

xx, email 12 June 2006.

Made me smile. Changing colours of the aura. I thought you were having fun. Enlightenment is fun.

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Interesting mixture of imagery – phylactery / Hebrew prayer peace? And bondage (?!) becoming aggression / natural imagery – trees and baby… beautiful voice.

Not sure about the poetry… I liked the bit about where emotion comes from / how do you know it’s yours?

What about Buddhist idea that there is no reality as commonly accepted…?

Idea of Now which you speak about links with quantum physics.

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Super-hero praying with poetry. Fragmented of feeling and text.

Anonymous [sheet no. 3], feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

This is a film about becoming a man – self realisation. It is also about ‘man’s’ place in the world – the body at the end moves forward to adventure.

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Dada. Nature. Sea, sky, grass, trees. Sense of being a part of the God and part of the environment around you. Man and humming, poetry, music. Baby as small animal.

Anonymous [sheet no. 5], feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Self-presentation? Integration of feelings/images. What happens next?

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Not clear about meanings. Pleasant but confusing. Stimulates many mental sparks in attempt to ‘understand’ the intended meaning, but failed, unclear.

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Emotional; artistic; narrative of movement and light; self enclosed inside reel. Poerty overlaid.

Anonymous [sheet no. 8], feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Puzzlement – then recognition of Jewish prayer and ritual; interest in modern aphorism. Human / no human – no time to think about them.

Message – ways of enlightenment.

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Call for understanding through the embodiment of a superman-like figure. Distinguishing between the man depicted and the images of river, trees etc’.

Anonymous [sheet no. 10], feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

A creative mind in action.

Anonymous [sheet no. 11], feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Interesting. Beautiful video. The message wasn’t too clear to me however. But I think it might have something to do with emotions […]

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

I was struck by the mixture of languages and their effect on the viewers/myself as I don’t speak/understand Hebrew. This part was more inaccessible and depended on visuality.

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

The light and the body (Gill’s) suggest a halo and enlightenment. Is it searching for the soul and enlightenment through sound, songs, prayer, words?

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

What it is about? Peace, communication, searching for the self? Its like interior about the inside of us.

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

I was touched by the words – but the scene was quite funny I thought – it reminded me of a rapper – it took a while to get used to the dynamics of the film. I thought the film had a rhythm on the end.

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

I wondered what the inspiration was – it seemed like a personal meditation – maybe religious – and then I wondered if I just thought this because the main context I see Hebrew written in Britain is in a religious one.

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Words don’t grow on trees. I liked the embodiment of memory theme. Life writes a story in the language of the body.

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Prayer, meditation juxtaposes with control, soul/aura/body. Pretension to bridge a divide – successful? Or not? Not for me, could be for others.

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Identity is not the property of any one individual. The creative process is the identification itself.

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

The images are very emotive – especially the bit with the empty bench.

Don’t […] the ordinary image and yourself unless of course it was meant as the God-like creation. I think the main message was about space and peace.

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

What a tortured soul, alienated by words; songs that I didn’t understand, but interpreted as a religious intent. Uplifting, reconnection of nature… but this was rather problematic nature/culture.

Anonymous [sheet no. 22], feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

I have no idea. Individual verses something.

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Left with letters in mind. Message, but not sure what. Image vs message.

Anonymous [sheet no. 24], feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Contrast – continuity. Man – woman.  Heard soft symbols. Challenging images interspersed with familiar ones, possible metaphor.

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Main message – power of religion? A challenge to ideas of seeing the world. The surrounding of the spiritual. Contrast between a world centred spirituality and religion.

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

I think the ‘quantum’ analogy doesn’t work. A ‘quantum’ analogy is a package of information. Perhaps you are referring to discontinuities between states? In any case, I think using metaphors from physics is not useful if it’s not properly justified (it can be a bit banal.)

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Experimental feelings. Hearing music increasing them; poetic going thorough the body. The connection of the body and emotion.

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Surprised, puzzled, confused, want to know a bit more. The main message is to get me to think about the image before me.

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

How our words convey what we feel? How authentic we are when we speak?

xx, feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Lose, isolation, confusion.

Anonymous [sheet no. 31], feedback sheet, Neglected Narrative Conference, Edinburgh Uni. 20 October 2006.

Energy, movement, chanting, meditation. Movement of energy within, and transference of that energy to one another and other things. Freedom of movement/flow.

xx, feedback sheet, Presentation to PhD students, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 3 August 2006.

Faith, spirituality, meanings of life, emotive, cellular memory.

xx, feedback sheet, Presentation to PhD students, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 3 August 2006.

Confused! Odd expression, and images don’t suit each other, but I thought Gil was trying to offer something odd and not suiting to our day imagination.

xx, feedback sheet, Presentation to PhD students, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 3 August 2006.

Expression of emotions, thoughts and feelings. The unseen?

xx, feedback sheet, Presentation to PhD students, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 3 August 2006.

Puzzling? Invoke thoughts of religion, and of God and the question of why we are here.

Anonymous [sheet no. 5], feedback sheet, Presentation to PhD students, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 3 August 2006.

Only thing I would say was that all images were of nature.

Anonymous [sheet no. 6], feedback sheet, Presentation to PhD student, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 3 August 2006.

Implication of body language, communication and mind.

Anonymous [sheet no. 7], feedback sheet, Presentation to PhD student, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 3 August 2006.

The film is great, and is showing technology at work. The message is so poetic.

xx, feedback sheet, Presentation to PhD students, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 3 August 2006.

Words are of great importance.

Anonymous [sheet no. 9], feedback sheet, Presentation to PhD students, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 3 August 2006.

The Spiritual Cinema Circle would like to thank you for your efforts in not only envisioning, but actually creating ‘Quantum Words’. It takes incredible courage, persistence and faith to make a movie, and you are truly an inspiration to us. […] we can’t wait to see your next completed project.

xx, email 22 June 2006.

I was interested in the relationship between gestures (masculine movement – kinesis). Both word and image, or words made visual. So word is energy and image is energy. The loveliest image for me was the ice, or was it […] A frame of […]water.  I like the ice.

xx, feedback sheet, Great Writing Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 10 June 2006.

I don’t like doing this. [writing feedback]

Anonymous [sheet no. 2], feedback sheet, Great Writing Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 10 June 2006.

Initial impressions… white light; enlightenment; flash; nature; breath and breathing; green; trees; movement. ‘Reminds you your soul’ is poetry, is breathing, is light.

xx, feedback sheet, Great Writing Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 10 June 2006.

Interesting images and sounds, mixing with words. A sense of reality being subjective, mood being subjective.

xx, feedback sheet, Great Writing Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 10 June 2006.

Confused and amused. Nature. Violence. Horror.

xx, feedback sheet, Great Writing Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 10 June 2006.

I felt: quite a strong resistance to the experience – the trapping of spirituality (the visible glow, the white clothes, the power to create light) around a figure we know to be yourself…

And the capitalisation of ‘Heart’ and ‘Soul’ – makes me feel you have your own sectarian meaning for these common words.

Maybe I’m biased against ‘message’ in poetry… – ‘a poem should not mean, but be’ – or at least invite the reader/hearer to participate.

xx, feedback sheet, Great Writing Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 10 June 2006.

Poetry – is several things. Reading the branches of the tree. Wholeness with the environment. Zoom in/out – why? Metaphor of dance – Psalms – dance as worship/delight?

Anonymous [sheet no. 7], feedback sheet, Great Writing Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 10 June 2006.

Initiation, I found the sentiments in English (the only part verbally accessible to me) platitudes. I thought how Tracey Ervin and fellow artists turn […] from demanding technical skills to banal philosophy, ideas and words. As someone skilled in words I resent this. That’s how I felt.

xx, feedback sheet, Great Writing Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 10 June 2006.

That the soul is forever searching for its natural place.

A feeling of nature, peace and space, being the fountain from which we grow and return.

xx, feedback sheet, Great Writing Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 10 June 2006.

I felt rather fluid – as thought the images were suspended in fluid. The text worked differently – its comprehension happened elsewhere.

xx, feedback sheet, Great Writing Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 10 June 2006.

Strange collision between vulnerability and power. ‘God suit’ – Elvis Presley – interchanged costuming? Made me think about authorship. Natural images and power, religion, fear. Words sort of slotted in.

xx, feedback sheet, Great Writing Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 10 June 2006.

Image ≠ word.

Anonymous [sheet no. 12], feedback sheet, Great Writing Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 10 June 2006.

The structure of sound important, particularly silence. The silence makes the text, poems, very powerful. The texts sit against chosen still background. At first this seems intrusion, at second watch is seems to work well.

This is a very short piece. How a short piece could create relation with the subject? This film does this relation. This film is like poetry that has flickering images. Metaphor about images, about a fish that could appear in a poem. In a poem it is there and then gone, in similar way it comes in the film. Methodologically, it could be seen as structuring experience in which poetry is distinct from other forms of written culture. These distinction been taken into the film.

Use of short sequences juxtaposes. Images created by words. Experiment in video poetry. Documentary will be more loose in capturing things. In this films, it is more structured, poetry video. Parallel structures of poetry.

This is documentary of inner insight. Structural parallels between qualities of poetry written, and qualities of visual and audio representation of poetry.

Hebrew language could distance audience, yet it adequacy represents your experiences. Who is the intended audience?

Sound/Silence work well.

There is chanting, and sound non-linguistic, i.e. ‘woosh’ sounds of movements. The physical sounds. The language that is there is through chanting, thus brings language together with sounds. Then there are poems in language that you read in the silent sequences.

xx, personal communication 1 June 2006.

The film is imaginative, using the chant and the man and maybe a bit unusual and alien, if not explained later.

xx, email 24 May 2006.

Faith – something you can’t describe but that is in everything around you and what you do. Feelings vs. practising religion? God being within you?

xx, feedback sheet, Song, Stage & Screen Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 30 April 2006.

For me it explored the relationship between peace and power. Images of willows, water and babies, play alongside images of light being emitted from fingertips and the sounds of religion. It effectively showns the impact of both.

xx, feedback sheet, Song, Stage & Screen Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 30 April 2006.

I am uncertain of the meaning of the film, thought I get a sense of empowerment in the embrace of freedom and nature.

Perhaps the suggestion is to be like a child (hence the baby in the end) to gain happiness.

I rather liked the touch of music; it made the film seen free.

xx, feedback sheet, Song, Stage & Screen Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 30 April 2006.

It came across to me as an exploration of what forms your inner self. – thoughts, feelings of isolation, emotion. – nature and the world around you and how you connect with it. – religion, faith.

xx, feedback sheet, Song, Stage & Screen Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 30 April 2006.

Prayer – to? Or at?

Power – within? Aggressive? Creative?

Languages: is what we hear when we see? Does it matter.

Natural images – these are more powerful than the words, thought contextualising the words within the images works well.

Comic strip: hero? The baby is a wonderful surprise/subversive.

xx, feedback sheet, Song, Stage & Screen Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 30 April 2006.

Struck by silence during images / the translation into English.

Ritualistic nature of the sound (chanting). Visual distinction between pastoral images and scientific signs of character.

xx, feedback sheet, Song, Stage & Screen Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 30 April 2006.

– performing religious identity. – religion gestures.

xx, feedback sheet, Song, Stage & Screen Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 30 April 2006.

Images very evocative. Shame there was sound troubles as I think the sound would/could have filmed in the gaps. I liked the iconographic impact of the Hebrew – it makes me wonder what these symbol means.

Questions about life come to mind. Nature and rebirth.

xx, feedback sheet, Song, Stage & Screen Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 30 April 2006.

There feels to be a conflict between 2 aspects of the film – 1. personal, body language with possible unknown text/language suggesting power. 2. nature and text, which feels integration text to the power of the figure – very much in conflict. The power feels uncomfortable.

Poetry = the post modern of awareness.

xx, feedback sheet, Song, Stage & Screen Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 30 April 2006.

It is about contemplating, hearing and seeing deeper (spiritual?) levels.

Jewish prayer meets  […]?

I’m left unsure about it, thought, emotionally detached.

Anonymous [sheet no. 10], feedback sheet, Song, Stage & Screen Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 30 April 2006.

I found particularly interesting what I perceived to be a lesson of Kung Fu style cinema with specific religious content. Now, I must clarify that this is just a perception (I’m neither a student nor a scholar of Kung Fu cinema nor religion).

Anonymous [sheet no. 11], feedback sheet, Song, Stage & Screen Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 30 April 2006.

Elements, but in extreme forms: sand like flames, works as ice. A person controlling things, or gaining control, but also reaching out to his audience.

xx, feedback sheet, Song, Stage & Screen Conference, Portsmouth Uni, Portsmouth, 30 April 2006.

‘Trembling Words’

I was primarily struck by the great (and positive) energy in the ideas and delivery of them. They’re very ‘playful’ (in the postmodern sense, perhaps?). I enjoyed the format, the talks, the use of multimedia and the ideas above all.

The one place I think I wanted more, was in the actual art. This is entirely down to my own perspective – I’m approaching this as a lover of poetry, art. I think it is easy to create art that demonstrates, or executes, as set of principles. I really wanted the video/poetry to use language in a more exciting way – currently the symbolism and charging comes from visual and audio layers, rather than from the potency of the words, /in themselves/. Perhaps a video-only artist, or sound-only artist, would have similar gripes in their respective are forms.

But I’m sounding like a purist, now, which I don’t intend! The work gains a lot by existing between disciplines and it is pushing back boundaries in various areas by exploring the territory it does. I would be interested to see further work – are there any online images from your exhibition in Portsmouth.

xx, email 10 July 2006.

Very inspiring presentation which is well delivered.

From my understanding it seems that your research is about the creative process and when a poem is written, in its linguistic form, this is where your research ends.

This poses a challenge therefore, as the academic thesis involves putting these ideas into words, just like a poem.

When the poets put the creative process, though, inspiration into words, it becomes not only material but also social and historical. The poet uses language and so can pass on their ideas to others and meaning it produces. Also, the poet writes with a historical moment, even though their work maybe studied some time later.

The reader of the poem also brings some creativity to the process of interpretation. So the meaning of the poem and the creative process does not begin and end with the poet themselves (or the quantum field in which creative ideas are to be tapped into). The reader may interpret the work according to their beliefs, values and on the basis of other poems they have read.

The meaning of the poem is not just the written word either, poems are not just meant to be read, they are to be spoken so the meaning involves the different tones of sounds as well as the written language.

During my PhD I found that it was necessary to define the terms that were used.

xx, email 25 May 2006.

From this film it sounds like  you have a lot of knowledge but it seems a bit confused at the moment and not very well structured. But that’s reasonable of course because you are only at the beginning.

It seems to me that it is important first of all to make a distinction between language and image. You are using these two method sand at the moment it is not clear what is the relationship between them (poetry and film) that you wish to explore. Then, I think, there must be a distinction between poetry and other forms of language expressions, and then also the same distinction between film (moving image) and still image.

You have many deep ideas but again it is important to distinguish between them, so it will make your ideas more clear.

xx, email 15 May 2006.

‘Trembling Words’… I really like your title, it epitomises what your film and explanation is trying to say.

When you talked about Affirmation…saying thanks to life, not petitions for this and that…parallel is the Christian acronym for Prayer; ACTS (Adoration, Contrition, THANKSGIVING, Supplication.) And fully agree with you Gil….it is an attitude of gratitude.

I believe that intelligence is in the mind as well as the heart. IQ, EQ, and SQ. Heart, I suppose, is emotional and spiritual.

You analogy of fish is fantastic, all the parallels you drew. Stance of observing something from the outside….forming images, using stumbling, trembling language and encapsulating that in poetry.

What you explained re: baby, is what you said in you exhibition in Eldon [Gallery]. Indeed poetry is the verbalization of love….in its fullest sense.

Enjoyed watching it, much to chew on. And it also stretched me Gil, thanks for that.

xx, email 24 May 2006.

‘The Prince of Hampshire’

Very surreal.

xx, email 26 February 2007.

Unique in terms of context. To me it was quite similar to Krishnamurti’s words.

xx, email 31 July 2006.

This is very inspiring.

Have you thought upon a theoretical framework with which to analyse the creative process. Whilst the creative process itself exceeds analysis, in the sense of breaking things down into logic, academic study involves this type of creativity.

Some theorists claim that language both causes and limits what we can or cannot know (Ludwig Wittgenstein, Benjamin Whorft), because it is intimately bound up with conscious thought. Other theories such as psychoanalysis claim that we gain so much with language – as you mentioned in your presentation, without words what would we know of Einstein etc. on the other hand, we also loose something – psychoanalysis says this is a loss of wholeness (Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan).

With poetry language is patterned and sequenced in specific ways, in other words the creative process is channelled through a media – words, poetic style. Therefore the poet is working within a framework, which shapes the creative process and meaning.

xx, email 6 July 2006.

I could compare it to the best episode of South Park. Remarkably good.

xx, email 5 July 2006.

Entertaining and thought provoking and original.

xx, email 27 June 2006.

 

‘Unfolding Hearts’

Even the smallest atom has free will? Not sure, they are linked into larger systems, molecules. They are byproducts of those systems. Both creating them and being created by them.

Good visual components.

xx, feedback sheet, 2nd Intl Conference on the Arts isSociety, Kassel Uni, Germany. 22 August 2007.

Both [films Unfolding Hearts and Quantum Words] strike me as earnest and innocent in the best senses of those terms – straight from the feeling center, trusting to openness in your viewers, and willing to try out deep matters in a very small compass. The visual effects, and the color-toning of the main frames in the poetry short, are pleasant, vivid, and charming. The sans-serif lettering matches many of the qualities I’m itemizing here…

What is your story, if I may ask, and where are you from originally?

xx, email 18 August 2007.

I’m sorry for the delay in responding, but your DVD has caused me to spend some time revisiting those ideas I worked on so long ago. I think your DVD is very beautiful, both in content and in the way it’s made. If I understand it right, you see the ‘peak experiences’ as giving direct access to some kind of divine or what you call in your letter collective unconsciousness.

xx, email 17 April 2007.

Your performance shades a feeling of security, even thought I did not understand the content of the film.

xx, email 14 November 2006.

Experiences of the process of a poet. The third person, Maggie Sawkins, puts another layer, so the audience can see how other people read your poetry; how ordinary listener of a first time reads your poems. In this way the general audience can relate better.

Remember that what is in your head as a filmmaker may not be in the audiences’ head.

The editing choices, colours, flowers images – do work well. You could use more sound effects, sea, flowers sounds. Be careful when you change the fonts of the films titles in sequential scenes.

xx, personal communication 3 October 2006.

I watched itoncebut I think I should have a look at it again. It is very well designed piece of work with interactive features and playing with images, texts, music ctc’, very well. But, I was thinking how much influence it may have on daily Life of ordinary people. Does it arise the most important question in their mind?: ‘Who am I?’

My definition of a good film is to emphasize on the big question (above) either thought poetry, art, physics,… and give a shake to the observer. Subsequently, show him/her the hints to look for the answers.

In my opinion, a mind shaking film should not necessarily be complicated, artistic, or include so much features for attraction, but, inviting a viewer to a whole attention on his existence in a simple and understandable clip may produce a better result/impact.

xx, email 8 October 2006.

I really liked some of the poems verses with you the poet speaking – really effective – not sure about the film imagery – flowers ahhhhhh! Would like to hear and see more.

xx, email 1 September 2006.

The symbolic of flowers is rejuvenation. As much as the flower is delicate and its life is short, it insists to appear in the next season, year after year. Trees also die, but flowers die much faster than trees.  Flowers are beautiful and produce scent, and they reappear year after year, fresh and gentle, sending calmness to their surrounding.

xx, email 30 August 2006.

The part I enjoyed the most was the way in which the film conveys the joy of being. That the atom and the cell dance together because they are so full of joy of existence, a useful reminder to the ego self of what truly ‘matters’ – that matter is energy, joy and a dance of light.

Gil has an extremely good presenting style, looking directly at the camera really engages the viewer entering into a dialogue with them.

xx, email 30 August 2006.

A very pleasing and atmospheric movie!

xx, email 25 August 2006.

Some nice ideas Gil. I liked the philosophical issues raised.

xx, email 25 August 2006.

What I really liked about it way the ways in which the images unfold themselves in a beautiful and sensitive way. There are no hard edges between figure and the ground rather the images came and went. I did not get a good reception on the sound on my PC so apologies if the following comments are based on a misinterpretation. In one part of the film there was a comment about does the atom asks why it exists? I was wondering if maybe it does ask this question but it is at a level than humans cannot detect. Humans can ask themselves this question through chemical signatures, or other patters/formations of energy. Also some people do not ask themselves existential questions; they avoid them, because it might provoke some deep questions about how to live life etc. or they might ask themselves this question and suppress the emotions that result from it etc.

The title of the film Unfolding Hearts reminded me of a book by David Bohm called Wholeness and the Implicate Order, where he talks about the Universe being unfolded and different forms of energy.

xx, email 24 August 2006.

It is very powerful. I think my attention wanders slightly, I am very tuned in, to start with, and then again at the end, but seemed to drift during the middle, perhaps you need to change the state. Possibly a light on dark background change in the tone of voice, introduction of contrasting images.

The other thing that is interesting is the fact that you not only have three voices but also two differing accent’s and tones. You and Gil are both confident and projecting a certain tonality to your voice whereas the third person is interjecting with a very different approach. Is this intentional?

My feeling too is that perhaps less is more here, maybe to stop my mind drifting I need to take in all at once? It’s like being hypnotised slightly. Maybe that is your intention and at the end we’ll come out full of love.

You on the white background works well particularly it focuses on the detailing of the narrative and the gestures of the narrator, and I think it is great to open the film like this. I think the flowers just slightly detract from the otherspeakers, maybe tone them down more when the other speakers are talking or use the flowers more predominantly in the pauses in between, the pauses can often allo the ideas to sink in.

It’s one of those films I think I would want to watch over a few times, just to make sure I got the whole message you were putting across. Are you trying to give people a message or just expressing a feeling or idea in which case I’d guess you would have to ask what people felt or discovered from the film.

The poems are vitally important messages and the weight of them really drawn away from the story you began to tell. I think you need to save these for the next chapter and put your finger more on what it is you are exploring oa narrating.

As a watcher I think that may be why I am switched off. I’m neing asked to think of this the free will, then flower buds opening to roses, my mind doesn’t know where to go with all these concepts and it is looking to find the link. Am I talking rubbish or do you see what I mean?

Why did you start with the lovely clip of writing in the book with the nice handwriting  and then not use it anywhere else – in some ways this is disjoined, perhaps you could use some of that writing as the third element; you on the black and white, Gil and the lady with the flowers, and then the writing. Perhaps the handwritten phrases you are reading as we do see you reading from a book.

There is also quite a contrast in styling between the opening title and then straight into the crisp clean black and white which comes as a surprise.

I really see how valuable and specia alyour work is, keep it up.

xx, email 24 August 2006.

Wow – what an inspiration! you are very talented and inspiring pwople! I really enjoyed watching your film.

One little comment though, it wasn’t always easy to hear every word that was said. This probably frustrated me because I didn’t want to miss anything of your wisdom and insight!

xx, email 24 August 2006.

I just enjoyed that.

xx, email 24 August 2006.

Beautiful.

xx, email 23 August 2006.

It was so beautiful and well designed. I liked the colours as it was the sign of the seven magic colours in Chakras.

xx, email 23 August 2006.

The music for the film brings calmness to the heart and so promotes and heal people from hate. Hate comes as a result of fear. In this music there is an intensification of the beauty of nature, which needs like Mantra to accompany people’s lives.

xx, email 23 August 2006.

The poems touch my thoughts, and the narration gives it life. As if giving birth to the poems. It touches all senses, and relaxes. I have a feeling of falling from a height place on to a carpet of feather…

It translates existing feelings into words.

xx, email 23/24 August 2006.

‘Whispers in the dark’

I don’t think I ever realised how scared people on the Israeli side are; I think all the people on both sides should sit and talk together like we did today.

xx, email 12 June 2007.

I think that since this movie is a motion picture… it should have more movement and less still pictures.

xx, email 1 September 2006.

The film offers a fresh perspective on ways of living together in peace without denying the aggression and loss of life that has occurred. Gil has an extremely good presenting style, looking directly at the camera really engages the viewer entering into a dialogue with them.

xx, email 30 August 2006.

A moving film.

xx, email 8 August 2006.

They are very moving; more people in this country should see them!

xx, email 8 August 2006.

Very touching and dramatic.

xx, email 8 August 2006.

‘Interview with authorial-Self’

I like the twin image of yourself talking to You… it was a popular idea when I was a child growing up in Ireland…

xx, email 28 August 2007.

Authorial Self – very brilliant, excellent/useful observation technique.

xx, feedback sheet, 2nd Intl Conference on the Arts in Society, Kassel Uni, Germany. 22 August 2007.

It’s a honey. And at the moment both touching and quite objective. The matter-of-fact setting on a couch, one man in long sleeves and the other in a short sleeves with perforated fabric, one man with blue trousers and the other with tan, the empirical ego with his sheaf of paper and the non-ego factor free to use his arms and hands free of any textual support or destination, is all quietly and intelligently witty.

I’m impressed with its consistently wise, gnomic formulations, all expressed with light touch and a consistent sense of humour. The final gnomic saying about choiceness luminescence seems just right—an eloquent capstone to the dialogue. Mazel-tov.

xx, email 18 August 2007.

The content is interesting, original and challenging. I was distracted from the content, though, by queries that cane up while watching as to the intentionality or otherwise of editing choices. What were the reasons, I asked myself, of the ‘costume’ for the two Gils, for their position to each other, esp. their movement, where esp. the Gil on the right kept crossing his legs as if in a repetitive manner (as if the same clip has been dubbed with different sound). I don’t know what part of the film will play in the submission of the PhD, if any. If it is part of the submission, you may want to reshoot with clearer ideas re. the above, or use some of the written components of any submission to reflect on the editing choices.

xx, email 1 August 2007.

I watched it once, and right now I’m at a loss for comments. The first part sounded very true, and I reacted with a smile at your reference to the multiple personality. Having had an experience following intense period of meditation, that medically diagnosed as schizophrenia, it rung so true.

The second part, more technical, will require a second viewing.

Right, second viewing. Again the first part up to 3min 5.53 has a kind of undeniable logic that sounds so true. I found the explanaition of the process of making the poetry interesting, and again, it just sounds right. I like the mathematical rigor of it.

The one aspect that I question is the reference to emotions. First of all, emotional intelligence. It seems to be a phrase commonly used at the moment, with courses offered to improve it. So what is it? The ability to recognise one’s and other’s emotions? This allows detachment and hence the ability the use that knowledge for further ends (like communication)?

Yet does emotion come to one’s heart? Or is emotion created within each of us, by what ever comes to our heart.

One experience or memory will not create the same emotional response in each of us. Our emotional response is dictated by other factors: past experiences, association, habit, conditioning, environment… so how can emotion be an entity that exists beyond us?

3rd viewing.

I tried to concentrate on the references of emotion.

In the second part, you explain the process of poetry flow from consciousness to idea – thought – awareness – words and choice of words. The emotion evolves alongside this process, every aspect has appropriate emotion.

Later you refer to a sense of a feeling, filtering of experience of this life, logic and then verb. One split second inspiration, transformed into highly charges emotion, undergoes self ??? (I just cannot understand this word).

Still later the question how you produce logic from emotion.

So in the 2nd part emotion is separate from the process. Yet the final question links them in a sequence. (I personally think that logic bypass emotion).

Maybe I should listen to it a few more times, and it would make more sense but right now the function and place (and value to some extend) of emotion in the process is not entirely clear to me. I feel there are slight contradictions here, possibly only due to the choice of words.

What also struck me in the last viewing is the realisation of the importance of goalsetting within one’s project, career, life… your interview explains why, by bringing that particular light down to us.

And to finish of, self observation and enquiry may also produce philosopher.

xx, email 23 May 2007.

The authorial-self conversation was very entertaining and had a depth of honesty in it which I found captivating.

xx, email 8 May 2007.

An interesting version of a Socratic dialogue I thought to myself but beyond that I don’t really know what to say. I fear that your thinking and your approach to a thesis leave me way behind… My loss, no doubt, but it does raise the serious question as to whether I’d really be a suitable person to function as editor of your thesis  if you were seriously considering that in the future.

xx, email 1 May 2007.

Very original!

xx, email 30 April 2007.

This is an amazing creation. I’m impressed! Again.

xx, email 29 April 2007.

I like the idea tremendously. You will already know it’s a bit jerky so I needn’t tell you! Sometimes you do not articulate your words very clearly but that seems to be the fashion in films these days. Please keep sending things like this!

xx, email 28 April 2007.

Gil, you are on the right way. I felt very profoundly how you coped with yourself. The penetration into pre knowledge is not always an easy task but this is the only way to find yourself and the mystery of poetry particularly and creativity in general.

xx, email 15 December 2006.

‘What is Love?’

Intriguing, Gil.

With a question like that, you can’t fail to get expressive snippets, full of implication. If I’d been one of the subjects, what would I have said? Something a mile away from the almost-inexpressible totality of what I might mean or want to say, that’s for sure. I’d probably have been very embarrassed to see myself represented by a snapshot-soundbite.

You might be claiming one or both of two things with this technique –

(a) that the instantaneous response to a question will be in some sense the most authentic (possibly in the non-visuals as much as the words.)

(b) that everyone’s response is partial, so the approach to the truth might be in the assembling of many parts.

On the other hand, we could being sidetracked by the fantastic historical and emotional weight that rests on one word. (Famously, ancient Greek had several words that translate to the English ‘love’.)

I’m sure part of the project must be your thinking about these meta-questions, as much as the love question itself.

xx, email 28 April 2008.

Very Intriguing.

I found it so interesting just how many people are unable and unwilling to answer the question, to attempt to define in words the concept of love. I was also struck by how many people were shaken by the question, made uncomfortable, even displaying somewhat inappropriate responses (i.e. anger, giggling.) It has left me thinking how I would define love, especially in a quick answer. At the moment, I’m not sure I can give an answer – it is a deceptively complex question.

Thank you so much for sharing this with me.

xx, email 19 Sep 2007.

These are great – thanks very much. Can I show them to my undergraduate students?

xx, email 27 September 2007.

It’s a shame most people laugh or can’t answer, or some know the answer but they are too afraid to say it.

xx, email 8 August 2007.

Made me smile and feel happy and sad all at the same time. It is this love….!

xx, email 22 July 2007.

You should pursue the idea further, expanding the project, and perhaps making of, let’s say, kind of trilogy, where you cover three emotions/feelings in the same way. For instance, love, hate, peace etc., or any other sentiment which features in your poetry, or previously made works.

xx, email 19 July 2007.

[Gil Dekel, 20 June 2007 email response to xx: Many people tell me they would like to see What is Love, part 2, with some more variations… I actually wanted to go to a military training base and ask the soldiers… Gil]

It would be interesting to see how you were received by the commander of a military base? Or maybe you could just interview soldiers at a distance from the base? Would many refuse to talk to you? or maybe they would see love as ‘defending their country’ or ‘fighting for the truth’ or some other similar thing…

xx, email 21 June 2007.

Great project. I think it could be a longer film.

Try some more people when the weather is bad? Or in an airport? Or outside the courthouse? Or outside a nightclub when people are drunk? Or on the actual university campus on a graduation day?? Or even down in St Mary’s area. Or outside a religious temple when people are coming and going to worship?

xx, email 20 June 2007.

You film is wonderful and innovative, with a great methodology to invite people to fall into love.

Have you read Paulo Cohelo’s ‘The Zafir’? in that book there is a character who is a war journalist and she says she has found that the soldiers experience the joy and wonder of being alive when they are in such extreme war like situation… as if the war brings about an extreme enlightenment.

… your idea of going to an army camp is a good one and would probably provide some interesting insights on love.

xx, email 20 June 2007.

I enjoyed the film, very interesting stuff.

The question what is love, could itself frame the type of responses received. The question is formulated using language, concepts and in this way shapes the communication of love. The word love is a concept, the act of love, or experience of love is a state of being. Yet on one level we still need language to describe that state of being to one another. We can be in a state of love, rather than define it as something that is external (such as the loved one, partner, wife, husband, children) or as a thing, something which can be possessed.

One lady responded ‘find out yourself’ as if it is something to be found, out there, or did she mean find it within yourself?

It was also interesting that some people seemed to be uncomfortable talking about love, perhaps embarrassed by such a beautiful experience as love. Some people might even feel more comfortable talking about their dislikes, than admitting what they think love is.

It is interesting that the very act of going into the street and asking passers by ‘frames’ the condition of the question what is love. For example, one woman seemed to think you were trying to ‘sell’ something as perhaps she had prior experience of being stopped on the street by a marketing company or similar.

What sort of answers would be given in a town/city where there is conflict, such as war. How would they respond to what is love – would the answers be different, would they contradict what was happening around them?

xx, email 18 June 2007.

I like it… I would advice you to continue with it and maybe do ‘What is love, part 2’ and go a bit deeper into it. Also, it would be interesting to do the same with children and ask them for their definition of love. For me, love is the reason to live, Love is hope.

xx, email 18 June 2007.

In my opinion: ‘Love Reveals When Oneself Vanishes’

xx, email 15 June 2007.

It looks interesting, and you managed to get good variety of answers.

I find the low angle shot rather appropriate, as it suggests a kind of submissiveness by the interviewer.

xx, email 15 June 2007.

The film is dynamic; there is an advantage in the speed.

xx, email 25 June 2007.

I was amazed at the number of people who said ‘good question’ and ‘it’s a difficult question’.

xx, email 15 June 2007.

The film is intriguing… the soundtrack is beautiful.

xx, email 15 June 2007.

… it’s a great question and it might be better to interview people who are prepared to engage at least for a few minutes… the concept is really good…

All the best with your project – always fun, challenging and original!

xx, email 15 June 2007.

Well ‘What is love?’ it struck me as a nice ice breaker video into a group discussion. Very much of the iff of the head with moments of people trying to be reflective.

I think the best responses were from people who didn’t know, or who couldn’t answer. It is a very overloaded question really – maybe ‘How do we recognize love?’ or ‘how do we show love?’ might illicit more response. Maybe a ‘love’ chair could be useful where people sit to talk about love for X amount of time and receive a cup of tea and a cake … – an exchange of love!

Just a few immediate thoughts off the top of my head.

Rather fun… …

xx, email 15 June 2007.

I think the film is good, the music is perfect, the colours fit weel, and it looks jolly and interesting. I once wrote a poem about what is love, with the idea that there are different types of love. Mother to her child, a child to his father, man to woman, old man to his grandchild.

My conclusion is that each generation has its own happiness; in the universe which is made of love.

xx, email 15 June 2007.

‘Explorers of the Heart’

These are great – thanks very much. Can I show them to my undergraduate students?

xx, email 27 September 2007.

Gil, you are in a higher state of mind; I myself not ‘there’. I am more connected with people, while you are connected more with ideas, and none of my ‘earthy opinion’ cannot be parallel to the feeling within you.

This is wonderful, only few people can have such a frame of thought and such sensitivity.

xx, email 20 August 2007.

I just don’t think life is like that – and I don’t care for the graphics which are a bit too floaty (might be clever graphically) and not appropriate – esp the purple patterns – remind me of some 1960’s plastic curtains… why didn’t you go for some real photographs?

xx, email 19 August 2007.

Thanks so much for this!

I’m thinking of showing it on the smartboard … (I teach English to asylum-seekers and also have been running a poetry workshop with them).

xx, email 17 August 2007.

I enjoyed the emphasis on words particularly highlighted within the film!

xx, email 17 August 2007.

You Gil talk about being an innocent observer – no one in an ‘innocent observer’ – the very act of observing draws you in to whatever you are observing.

anonymous

‘A Fallen Angel’

Interesting video piece… however, perhaps it is just my own hang up, but I start to feel rather uneasy when people talk about God (unless in a religious setting), especially in such a personal matter… though I realise this is one of the main elements that run through your work.

xx, email 9 April 2008.

Found the video quite hypnotic – are you moving away from using yourself as the muse/performer? Is this what happened to you?

xx, email 27 march 2008.

I think that was pretty interesting. A very unusual way to tell a story – I liked it. I think I felt what the actor was feeling, perhaps a bit surprised though. I don’t think any technical glitches really matter too much because the main scene was clear.

xx, email 26 March 2008.

It seems very dramatic.

xx, email 25 March 2008,

Thank you so much for sending me a link to ‘A Fallen Angel’. Unfortunately the sound was not very clear, even on maximum sound level on my PC, so I didn’t hear much of the dialogue or understand how it related to the performance.

Was the performance an enactment of your experience of meeting God when you were sixteen?

xx, email 26 March 2008.

I couldn’t relate it to the title (why fallen angel?). Wasn’t sure how they represented the given task (i.e. to write poetry). I wish I could see your face during the performance… but hey, why not record it right now?! This is about you after all.

xx, email 26 March 2008.

Hard to hear at first and not sure whether it was supposed to go from black and white into colour at the moment it did.

I was not drawn to it except at the beginning when you told your story.

xx, email 26 march 2008.

I liked the video; I guess different people will hear different things. I was in Bethlehem at Christmas at a charity art show; I have known God in my teens. But being in Bethlehem if I’m honest left a bad taste in my mouth, I would guess most people who think of the birth place of Christ as a very holy place. I couldn’t see it myself, though I could feel it. All I could see were teens with machine guns at the checkpoints and towers.

The video was interesting for me personally as I have a heart condition called long q-t syndrome, before I was diagnosed I had collapsed and saw the tunnel with the light at the end of it. With hindsight I see it as God’s way of telling me I still have work to do.

xx, email 25 March 2008.

I thought this is a very powerful piece… I enjoyed the  revelatory experience improvised on the screen, the piano scaled ascending, descending became sort of God’s voice, and the acting sequence was fantastic – the echoing of the message and hand gestures etc – yes, very clever filming. Also thought black n’ white to colour change effective.

What is the story behind this Gil? Is it a new piece?

xx, email 25 March 2008.

Nice use of black and white / colour contrast. As usually you try to alert people to fundamental questions in a poetic way while others try speeches or worst: wars.

Well done. Hope your work will be recognised one day.

xx, email 25 March 2008.

‘Confessions of an Angel’

I enjoyed watching the film very much, the words and imagery went together very well, it was very inspiring.

xx, email 1 April 2008.

I watched it, but I’m afraid it’s way outside my experience to make any intelligent comment on it, just as I have never understood performance art. For me text is paramount, and always has been, so it’s no surprise I’ve spent the last thirty years and more professionally engaging with text in one form or another, just as I was in love with text before becoming professionally engaged. Sorry, but I can’t be of any help.

xx, email 1 April 2008.

I think there is ‘more poetry’ in this work in literary and in visual sense in comparison with some of the other works.

xx, email 31 March 2008.

‘Ah! Planet Earth’

‘remember who I am’

‘Thank you thank you’

Simply enchanting…

xx, electronic correspondence in facebook.com 31 March 2008.

I guess my main question, Gil, is what do you get out of the videos? This is the conversation I would want to have with you. I’m not connecting intellectually or emotionally nor with an understanding of content and significance. That in many cases as you know means simply that the viewer has a poor knowledge base, where the absence in the knowledge base might be from many many perspectives. Hence it might seem if one published without the knowledge that one was disseminating views and depth of thinking and intent with purpose with which one agreed on one endores when in fact one has no idea what the deeper significance is. Hence my need for experts in their field.

xx, email 30 march 2008.

Very intimate…

xx, email 30 March 2008.

The visuals and sound effects very effective. I wasn’t sure about the title – Confessions of an Angel – as there seem to be a lot of similar titles along the lines of Fallen Angel. Also I wondered what the effect would be if the pronoun ‘I’ was removed from the narrative. I liked the brevity of the piece and the sense of movement.

xx, email 30 March 2008.

‘Illuminating the word’

I am impressed by his research, but quite honestly cannot subscribe to his philosophy about the poetic beauty of life. I do enjoy something a little more real – Phillip Larkin for example – although of course Wordsworth whom he cites, was a bit of revolutionary – his work is beautiful – historic – of its time, and I love it…

I also think his ideas of Germany conference are also a little romantic!!!!!

xx, email 28 August 2007.


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