Liberation of the Senses

Here is Bill Viola’s “An Ocean Without a Shore”:

In The Sydney Morning Herald, an interview with Viola:

Video artist Bill Viola first came to Death Valley with a friend in 1973. A child of the green summers and freezing winters of New York, he had just graduated from university. He was 21, a student of religions. He stood in the middle of a salt flat, simultaneously inconsequential and enveloping, and felt his horizons extend.

“For the first time in my life I felt like my senses were liberated,” he remembers. “I felt completely open. I felt part of me was going out that hundred miles to the mountain range and encompassing that whole thing. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

“At a certain point I became frightened. I felt like the landscape was so vast, if I got lost out here, they would never find me. And God could come down and [as if I was] a little bug, just flick me away.