contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

 

           

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Weekly BTS

Weekly behind the scenes updates on the work of Lev Omelchenko. 

BTS 11 - FEBRUARY

Lev Omelchenko

PART ONE - UKRAINE

In the past month I've assembled a 45 min edit from the footage I shot on my grandmothers farm. I have enough footage to make it into my first feature length film. However, as I cut it, I keep wishing I shot things differently. As the film stands right now, its mostly all cut from footage shot on a single day, really a single morning of my grandmother's 70th birthday. After the morning, the footage becomes a lot more sparse, with practically nothing from the evening. I'm conflicted about the quality of the film, of the footage, and my approach to it. If this is going to be my first feature film, I would really like to do something more polished. Yet, I also like the rawness of this film. I didn't know how I would be cutting this film. I didn't know what kind of film I would be making. By the time I was leaving Ukraine, up until I started going through the footage, I thought this would be a multichannel installation. However, it has emerged as a long form documentary film. 

It's been a really interesting process, especially paired with my work with Sunday Morning at Seven. I've watched several Chantal Akerman films in the past month, which have informed how I think about space and time within a frame. Constantly I find myself wishing that I didn't move the camera, that I just let it soak in all the detail of my grandmother's home, her farm, her space and time. 

I'm considering a fundraiser screening this film once it's "done" as a first iteration, and using the money I might make off the ticket sales and prints to go back to Ukraine this summer to do a fresh take on the film. Maybe it'll be a whole new film, maybe I'll interconnect the footage between the years. Maybe it'll become a ritual, a pilgrimage. 

All I know is I want an excuse to go back. 

 

PART TWO SUNDAY MORNING AT 7

My work on this project continues. I'm struggling to find enthusiastic commitment to this project from my filmmaker friends. It's a big film, and to ask anyone to work on it for free is a huge leap. I'd like to do a crowdfunding campaign, and am comitted enough to it to put my own money into it as well. (Hoping crypto does well in the coming months). 

Here's a draft of the script:

And some photos from the lovely SIP+SUPPORT:

PART THREE - ZAMI

Anicka came to my birthday bonfire when I got back from NYC, and got me a book as a birthday present. 

"Zami. A New Spelling of My Name" by Audre Lorde. 

The book is the only one I finished in February, and it's a beautiful and wild read about the loves and struggles of a young Audre Lorde. One of the reasons this post is coming so late, is that I wanted to do a review of the book, but I have a hard time articulating anything intelligent about it. She just writes so so beautifully about the love life, about the passion and about the pain. It really cultivates a desire in me to fall deeply in love with someone. 

Her adventures, to Mexico, her survival in NYC with no money, her pereservernce in difficult and suffocating situations, give me such inspiration. And makes me want to demand more of myself. 

And this is true when I look at my grandmother work. There's a powerful perseverance. Survival. Motion.  

I think someone should make a film about Audre's life, based on this book. 

So here are some really powerful quotes from the book that I Starred or "Wowed"

" 'Just because you're strong doesn't mean you can let other people depend on you too much. It's not fair to them, because when you can't be what they want they're disappointed, and you feel bad.' " (153)
"It was here in the breathtaking dawns and quick hill-twilights of Cuernavaca that I learned it really is easier to be quiet in the woods. One morning I came down the hill toward the square at dawn to catch my ride to teh District. The birds suddenly cut loose all around me in the unberlievable sweet warm air. I had never heard anythign so beautiful and unexpected before. I felt shaken by the waves of song. For the first time in my life, I had an insight into what poetry could be. I could use words to recreate that feeling, rather than to create a dream, which was what so much of my writing had been" (p169) 
"in a paradoxical sense, once I accepted my position as different from the larger society as well as from any single sub-society - Black or gay - I felt I didn't have to try so hard. TO be accepted. To look femme. To be straight. To lok straight. To be proper. To look "nice" TO be liked. TO be loved. TO be approved. What I didn't realize was how much harder I had to try merely to stay alive, or rather, to stay human. How much stronger a person I became in that trying" (p181) 
"Muriel and I talked about love as a voluntary commitment, while we each struggled through the steps of an old dance, not consciously learned, but desperately followed. We had learned well in the kitchens of our mothers, both powerful women who did not let go easily. In those warm places of survival, love was another name for control, however openly given" (p214)
"I lost my sister, Gennie, to my silence and her pain and despair, to both our angers and to a world's cruelty that destroys its own young in passing - not even as a rebel gesture or sacrifice or hope for another living of the spriit, but out of not noticing or caring about the destruction. I have never been blind to that cruelty, which according to one definition of mental health, makes me mentally unhealthy" (252) 

PART FOUR - WORK HUSTLE 

Sooo for real, the reason I didn't make more posts this month is cuz I didn't do that much. The whole, gigs will come my way and I'll totally make enough money to pay my bills didn't pan out that well in January. And it didn't seem to improve in Feb either...

So I was feeling kinda stressed, thinking about my options, considering ways to not burn through my savings while I spent a fortune repairing my car. Waiting on people to hit me up. etc etc. Not having a job can be very stressful and time consuming when you don't know where your money is coming from! 

And then things are seeming to come thrruuuu. It looks like I'll have a contract with  WonderRoot, which, if it goes through as it seems that it will - will provide me with a pretty consistent income for several months. Not a ton, but enough to ease some of the stress I've had to deal with in February. I would also get the opportunity to meet some interesting people through the gig and hopefully expand my community in this city even further. 

Here's to hoping it all works out!!!

 

PART FIVE - LIBRARY

Being involved with this organization is cool - giving me a chance to slowly get more familiarized with "Solidarity Economy", "Next Economy", Coops, conscious consumerism, non-hierarchical decision making etc etc. I realize that ultimately everyone has certain skills, a certain awareness and if I can contribute with what I know how to do and like to do, I can feel ok with not being as skilled in other areas. 

I haven't done graphic design in a while, especially not for anyone other than myself. I was pretty happy with the logo I came up with - and it's definitely inspired by my father's process of drawing things out by hand and then translating it into a digital design. 

BTS 10 - JANUARY

Lev Omelchenko

This is my first BTS update in 2018. The longer I put off doing one of these, the harder it becomes. After this I plan on going back to doing  weekly/bi-weekly updates. 

One "resolution" I made is to take more casual phone videos, which still have the feel of a home video rather than a professional videography. There's charm and sincerity to that, and having those videos to look back on in the future will be very valuable. So in this post I will feature some videos that capture some intimate and private moments of the first month of the new year.

PART ONE - NEW YEARS 

"Love - In my heart, in my mind, in my gut"

New Years is the one holiday that I absolutely have to come home for. I appreciate it as a yearly ritual - an opportunity to check in with family. Because the Soviet Union officially had no religion - New Years became THE holiday. In a lot of ways it's similar to Christmas: New Years Tree, Grandpa Frost (our Santa), gift giving, a feast - family. As children we would dress up in costumes - we haven't done it in many years, but maybe next year. Since I was coming home for New Years, Sequoyah and I organized another album release on Jan 7th in Brooklyn. He came up with me from Atlanta and was with my family and I through the Holidays. My friend Emily also joined us for NYE, which I'm very grateful for. My cousin got engaged, his fiance Maria was there. Overall a packed, and very festive new years. I got everyone my favorite books from the past year as presents, so I hope they resonate with everyone as well. (Books: Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde, Of Woman Born by Adrianne Rich, The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin, The Coming Insurrection by The Invisible Committee and Dreams, Memories, Reflections by Carl Jung.)" 

 

PART TWO - NYC DREAM SEQUENCE ALBUM RELEASE

Sequoyah and I put on the second iteration of our Dance Dream Tea Room (name still in the works). The week leading up to the show broke records in how cold it was. It was compounded with a bomb cyclone. Through the frigid conditions, Sequoyah and I spent stressing, laughing, shivering, indulging and exploring as we schemed the show. Ultimately the show gave me a huge high - my family, friends from middle school, high school, college and from Atlanta, were all there for a wild clashing of worlds. 

One of the best aspects of the show was that I finally shared some of my footage from Ukraine, during the INCREDIBLE opener, Natalie Moses + Monster Truck.  The reception of the footage has motivated me to finally start working on the installation work. 

PART THREE - TURN 25

"I have a lot of joy in my heart. Power in my muscles. Love in my veins. Thankful and Grateful for the opportunities life has and continues to offer me. Relationships are the most sacred bonds I can create and cultivate. My art helps in that journey." 

I'm officially in my mid-20s. At my current age, my parents had a 2 year old child. In another 2-3 years (perhaps at 27?, an important year I've been told) , I will enter a new stage in life where I will be the same age as my parents in my memories. I wonder what kind of psychological effect that has on people? I wonder if adults having children later and later in life, meaning that their children don't have memories of their parents their own age until later in life, effects their overall maturity. Or preparedness for parenting. I wonder if anyone has ever studied this phenomenon in any detail. 

In any case, I'm very excited for this year. Looking back I'm very happy with how many collaborations I was able to manifest. I have forged some really powerful bonds in the process, which I am carrying into my 25th year. Decisions compound and life becomes more and more interesting. This bring me to a new challenge that I'm very excited to tackle:

PART FOUR - SUNDAY MORNING AT SEVEN

This project has definitely been at the forefront of my mind. I was discussing the script with close friends before I left for NYC and was one of the last things my sister and I discussed while I was there. Their insight was really invaluable.

As soon as I got back to ATL, I jumped into the script and made a solid rewrite, which I shared with Anicka. She loved it. So now I'm fine-tuning it and am starting to reach out to people to build a crew as I also apply for grants and funding. 

As part of my process in developing this film, I've been watching films directed by women, starring strong female leads and/or about the erotic. Some of my favorites are: The Meetings of Anna by Claire Denis, Home by Ursula Meier, The Marriage of Maria Braun by Reiner Fassbinder, and the Piano Teacher by Michael Haneke. (Isabelle Huppert is an absolutely stunning actress).

I've also been watching a lot of dance shorts and this is one of my favorites:

 

PART FIVE - THE BAKERY/THE LIBRARY

While I was gone, The Bakery threw a very succseful NYE Masquerade Ball inspired by David Bowie's The Labyrinth. When I got back The Bakery hosted Power to the Polls AKA Womens March Year 2. It was the most number of people I have ever seen there, close to 3 thousand? It all went very smoothly thanks to everyone involved. Because I'm out of space on my Vimeo profile for the week, I'm linking a life Facebook video that I recorded during the event. 

The Library also officially opened while I was in NYC.

While you can learn in detail what The Library is about on the Patreon, here's a quick rundown:

It's a Co-Op (multi stake holder) organization (official legal status to be determined) that will be home to 4 main initiatives: Citizens Consumers United, Digital Sovereignty, Next Economy Alliance and the Seasonal Convergence.

Citizens Consumers United An association aimed at galvanizing the tremendous untapped purchasing power of individuals and communities. Through education and community accountability, we hope to change buying habits away from exploitative, extractive, monopolistic industries, and instead nourish ethical alternatives while forming a symbiotic relationship between producers and consumers. 

Next Economy Alliance An educational series providing a space for a variety of discussions and educational series centered on how to make a just transition to a more equitable and sustainable socio-economic system.

The Digital Sovereignty Collective A forum for diverse individuals from the tech, arts, wellness, food, civic and social justice spheres to converge and discuss how decentralized, p2p (peer-to-peer) tech can facilitate the emergence of bottom-up economic alternatives, enable sovereignty over our own data, and empower grassroots coordination for exchange and decision-making.

Finally there will be a quarterly Seasonal Convergence on the solstices and equinoxes. I co-founded this with Sophia with the first Winter Solstice end of 2017 and it was a great turn out of local creatives and activists that has already led to some really exciting collaborations. 

BONUS: IS TACO A SANDWICH 

Happy to be back home in 1254 with these fools. 

BTS 2017

Lev Omelchenko

BTS 1 - LIVING WALLS

Finally got to do some work with Living Walls. Got to meet Chip Thomas. Got to meet Killer Mike. One of the better Mondays. 

 

BTS 2 - A LATE NIGHT JOURNAL ENTRY

Katy "What is the intention?"

Sequoyah's Music Video. Intetion: Make Something Beautiful. <-- Memory: Anicka reminds me of this in a coffee shop. Beautiful Collaboration.

What are we digging into/ Our desire for connection --> language

Vulnerability 

#ME asked ME "King, why did YOU wake up in the morning". I respond by repeating the question, which made no sense to ME.

#ME woke up to "Serve"

"Why did I wake up?" and "What is the Intention?" 

"Why do I wake up in the morning" - To build community. The more skills I have, the more useful I am. Freedom. Friendship. 

"'Friend' and 'Free' in English come and "Freund' and 'Frei' in German come from the same Indo-European root, which conveys the idea of a shared pwoer that grows. Being free and having ties was one and the same thing. I am free because I have ties, because I am linked to a reality greater than me". (To Our Friends p 127) 

The more freedom I have, Fuck #Me, Mean

 Follow @greetingsme7 to plug into what #ME has to say. #ME KNOW #ME

Follow @greetingsme7 to plug into what #ME has to say. #ME KNOW #ME

BTS 3 - LIVING WALLS

Living Walls. After the storm cleared, I was out on Buford Highway filming most of the week. Filming the talented artists as they put up their work, filming the Living Walls crew and volunteers working tirelessly to support the artists, filming the community as it joined in the passion of the work. 

Here are some pictures:

 

BTS 4 - THE BAKERY

Finished "Heart Balance", my first mural at The Bakery. The biggest change was the addition of white flourishes, which really opened up all the energy stored in the colors and geometry. I knew white was the answer, and one of the motivations for using it was advice I got from an art teacher back in first grade. I was working on a painting of underwater fish that was meant to be in a "stain glass" style. He told me to add white to the paining to really make it pop. I didn't really understand what I was supposed to do, and he added some elements for me. It really worked, and the painting was featured in the school calendar for the month of January. It's really beautiful how advice from 19 years ago helped me find the way with this piece. 

The Bakery Opening. I'm disappointed that I didn't take more photos and video of the work that we put in before the opening, but I'm very happy with how things went. Willow is a badass and I have really high hopes for what we can accomplish with the space.

 

BTS 5 - THE GUILD

I've spent a solid part of this week finishing The Guild video. Niki and I met almost a year and a half ago at Atlanta Film Festival. We started talking about doing a video, and it slowly materialized over time. In that time I built a real relationship with her and her team. Connecting in unexpected places through beautiful people. The video should be coming out soon. 

 

BTS 6 - SUNDAY MORNING AT 7

I've been brainstorming with Anicka on how to approach her dance project "Sunday Mornings at 7" from a film perspective. Part of the challenge is for me to really understand the core of what this work means to her and why she is developing it. The work is based on the Cupid and Psyche myth, and I'm trying to understand what "myth" means in a modern context. I can probably find some literature on the subject. 

For inspiration I watched "Pina" by Wim Wenders and was blown away by the quality of dance, and the masterful translation of the work to cinema. I hope I can develop my craft and perception to approach the level of sincerity and emotional depth of Pina. The diversity of people, the actors is really breathtaking. The quotes they share from her are brilliant. 

"Go on Searching" "Make me Scared" "Dance for Love" "What are you longing for? Where is the yearning coming from?" 

Attended a rehearsal this Sunday. Had a conversation with Anicka to further discuss the heart of the project. Feel like I got some real serious closure. As a man - this is a rare opportunity that I need to value as deeply as possible. 

Read the introduction to the book Bloom, that my friend Ariana let me look over while at the Goat Farm. (I should make an effort to be there at least once a week).

"Desire needs to be embedded in empathy"

"praying to the energies from the earth, willing the limped serenity of the skies, meditating on the still reflections of the waters. Honoring the gods of small things."

"But a Fool's Paradise also where comical and surreal creations are paraded with zeal to act out the trivial aspects of human condition, stretching the borders of belief to include a hallucinating faith in the power of imagination and story telling, a fold tradition that thrives and even gains importance, giving wings to the carnival of naked truth." 

"Delving in a deep well of human experiences tokes from the selvage of time." 

-Lidewij Edelkoort

 

BTS 7 - COLORADO

Journal Entry November 6, 2017

"On a plane back to Atlanta. A wonderful and very necessary trip. "Be in the moment with Joy" 

The waterfalls. 

The mountains.

The sky.

The water. 

The fire. Warm bodies.

Full moon. Bright white.

Alec - from Donetsk.

Infinite gratitude to the energy of Colorado. It has worked its healing magic on me. I am focused and clear. I must actively maintain that state of mind for my own good."

Finished the tea bus video as soon I got back from Denver with some footage that I got there.

 

BTS 8 - BLUE JAYS

Friday November 17th Sequoyah and I premiered his album Dream Sequence and the "Blue Jays" film at Argha Noah. This week's post is a reflection on my experience collaborating with him so far. 

"I found a rare gem in Sequoyah as a Collaborator" - Journal Entry

Another big inspiration on this project was Wong Kar Wai. Specifically his brilliant use of color and the step printing technique. (There's an cool video essaythat explores ways in which Moonlight by Jenkins might have been influenced by Wong Kar Wai's work.)

This video is from a rehearsal at the Work Room. Sequoyah and Anicka had been praciticing his movement for several weeks and  I came to see how it translates to video, espesially at low shutter speeds/low frame rates.

 

BTS 9

Enchanted. Crowned by Shira.

This film premiered December 2nd at Shira Benson's launch of her new website and release of her Crowns. It was an awesome experience and I'm very honored to have been part of the event. I was humbled the reception of the film and hope that it helps spread her work to a wide audience.

When she commissioned this film, I was reading Carl Jung's writings on alchemy, specifically his thoughts on Coniunctio or the "sacred marriage".
"Literally, “conjunction,” used in alchemy to refer to chemical combinations; psychologically, it points to the union of opposites and the birth of new possibilities."
In conceptualizing the film my goal was to understand and communicate Shira's intention with the Crowns. I needed to cinematically manifest the Power of her work.
It was a challenge. I first met Shira as her new roommate when I arrived to Atlanta. Our personalities were strikingly different and we came from alien worlds. In many ways we were opposites. Our yearlong collaboration on this film, with all its complications, reflects our new friendship and is itself a "union of opposites and the birth new possibilities".
I think that's beautiful, and it inspires me to seek new collaborators.

 

One more interesting note:
In originally envisioned a scene lit by moonlight. It was an unrealistic goal considering the limitations of the shoot. Looking back at my notes on the project I found this quote from Jung striking:
"Seek the coldness of the moon and you shall find the heat of the sun."
I wish her the best of luck and envision much success for her work.

Here are some BTS photos of the film shoot:

 

If you've made it all the way down the page, Thank You very much for following my work. I'm excited to continue collaborating with you.

I wish you Love, Peace, Joy, Gratitude, Kindness, and Beauty in 2018. 

 

 

 

 

BTS 9 - DECEMBER

Lev Omelchenko

PART ONE

THANKSGIVING.

Anneliese made an all vegan Thanksgiving Dinner. Really proud of her and her new Vegan Catering business - By Way of Plants

Journal entry:

"I'm grateful for the support system of this home. Food - abundance, laughter - warmth

Grateful for opportunity - this point last year I hadn't even started working on Life.

Ebrima spoke of twenty seven. 27.

I will be 25. 

I have time - will not wait for it like some magic moment.

Rather I will reflect on it as  life flows through it."

 

PART TWO

SUNDAY MORNING AT 7

Been working on the Sunday Morning at 7 film. A lot of conversations with Anicka. Going to rehearsals. Rereading Audre Lorde. Talking with women in my life. Watching female directors. 

A really awesome moment came when in trying to create a narrative structure for the film with Anicka. We were able to use a painting I finished back in March as a reference to the narrative flow. The sketch is the foundation of the painting, and the dances happen at major points within the diagram. 

"My Heart is a Volcano" sketch, used as a diagram to lay out the narrative and dance flow of the Sunday Morning at 7 film. Photo by Lev Omelchenko.

 

Journal Entry with quotes from Audrey Lorde's "Uses of the Erotic"

"Erotic offers a well of replenishing and provocative force to the woman who does not fear its revelation, nor succumb to the belief that sensation is enough" 

pornography supression of true feeling

"Erotic is a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings"

guide own destiny

"For the erotic is not a question only of what we do, it is a question of how acutely and fully we can feel in the doing."

Our world defines the good in terms of profits rather than in terms of human need. 

"The principal horror of such a system is that it robs our work of its erotic value, its erotic power and life appeal and fulfillment."

"Eros the personification of love in all its aspects - born of Chaos and personifying the creative power and harmony" 

Conversation with my sister. "Finding my Voice"

Conversation with Katy. "Fear and Power to give life. Same power Nature has. Erotic energy is just being human. It's feminine. 

 

PART THREE

ENCHANTED. CROWNED BY SHIRA.

This film premiered December 2nd at Shira Benson's launch of her new website and release of her Crowns. It was an awesome experience and I'm very honored to have been part of the event. I was humbled the reception of the film and hope that it helps spread her work to a wide audience.

When she commissioned this fashion film, I was reading Carl Jung's writings on alchemy, specifically his thoughts on Coniunctio or the "sacred marriage".
"Literally, “conjunction,” used in alchemy to refer to chemical combinations; psychologically, it points to the union of opposites and the birth of new possibilities."
In conceptualizing the film my goal was to understand and communicate Shira's intention with the Crowns. I needed to cinematically manifest the Power of her work.
It was a challenge. I first met Shira as her new roommate when I arrived to Atlanta. Our personalities were strikingly different and we came from alien worlds. In many ways we were opposites. Our yearlong collaboration on this film, with all its complications, reflects our new friendship and is itself a "union of opposites and the birth new possibilities".
I think that's beautiful, and it inspires me to seek new collaborators.

One more interesting note:
In originally envisioned a scene lit by moonlight. It was an unrealistic goal considering the limitations of the shoot. Looking back at my notes on the project I found this quote from Jung striking:
"Seek the coldness of the moon and you shall find the heat of the sun."
I wish her the best of luck and envision much success for her work.

Here are some BTS photos of the film shoot:

 

PART FOUR

WINTER SOLSTICE AT THE BAKERY. PRESENTING THE GOOD WORK.

Winter Solstice at The Bakery presents The Good Work. Sophia Gallagher brought together a wonderful group of creatives, artists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and local people doing good work in Atlanta. 

 

Journal Entry after the Event:

Katy "The magic that we thought was magic, is hummanity" 

"The Winter Solstice - thank you Sophia for inspring us all to meet and discuss our work. Willow and Sophia and Olive all showed me gratitude for hosting - something that came pretty easy to me - and thankfully it was good. 

The real joy comes from feeling like we're growing something meaningful. Powerful.

Willow is really experienced - really knows what shes doing - even if she doesnt - she knows more than anyone else in the space. Whatever happens, she will a very powerful ally.

And I'm glad I can be an instrument in bringing her vision to life." 

"I had the vision in Ukraine of a space - like The Bakery - I had a vision of it - it motivated me through a literal vibration through my bones. Vibration. Energy. 

I was honored to screen a short documentary on one of the most inspiring people I've met in the past year, Guisepe Spadafora. The Tea Man. 

 

PART FIVE

PREPARING FOR NYC

Sequoyah and I are traveling together. First few days will be spent with my family before and on New Years. We plan on exploring the city for the first week of January, as we prepare for the second Album Release of the Dream Sequence at The Glove in Brooklyn on January 7th. I will hang back in NY for another week until my birthday, to spend it with my family for the first time since I was in High School. There is always a mix of emotions going home, seeing family, seeing old friends, re-discovering and exploring a city I left behind. Here is a poem:

"Family

How often do we think

of our heart.

A well of emotion

of Love

of pain

We must remember

our shared humanity

Unconditional Love

I extend to you all

Love as well as I know how" 

 

BTS WEEK 8

Lev Omelchenko

Friday November 17th Sequoyah and I premiered his album Dream Sequence and the "Blue Jays" film at Argha Noah. This week's post is a reflection on my experience collaborating with him so far. 

"I found a rare gem in Sequoyah as a Collaborator" - Journal Entry

PART ONE - BLUE JAYS TREATMENT

I first met Sequoyah at his tour kickoff at the Atlanta Contemporary. I thought I would miss his set and almost didn't leave the house, but took the chance. I had been listening to his music while filming practical effects for LIFE and was captivated. 

I got there just as he went on. His dad was on drums and his mom was the back up singer. He was even better live. I offered to do a music video with him and he sent me some demos. Blue Jays stood out. I developed an idea and shared it with him in Inman Park after a long conversation about our lives and loves. I created this treatment to prove the concept.

One of the biggest inspirations for the project was Kahlil Joseph. I first became familiar with Kahlil's work after attending a Liquid Blackness talk at GSU with him as a guest speaker. His work totally entranced me, and became a huge inspiration for the project. Some of the images used in the treatment come from his work on "Process" by Sampha,  and "Until the Quiet Comes" by Flying Lotus. 

Other images are sourced from: "Moonlight" by Barry Jenkins, Alexandre Moors & The Little Homies music video "i" for Kendrick Lamar, Grace Jones' performance footage, Maceo Frost's "Raised by Krump" documentary, "Shame" and "Voodo in my Blood" music videos for Young Fathers, and "Key and Peele" sketches

PART TWO

Another big inspiration on this project was Wong Kar Wai. Specifically his brilliant use of color and the step printing technique. (There's an cool video essay that explores ways in which Moonlight by Jenkins might have been influenced by Wong Kar Wai's work.)

This video is from a rehearsal at the Work Room. Sequoyah and Anicka had been praciticing his movement for several weeks and  I came to see how it translates to video, espesially at low shutter speeds/low frame rates.

 

PART THREE

Some photos that I snapped here and there during the development/filming/post process. I wish I had taken more, but when I'm doing a lot of jobs on a project, I can forget to pick up the camera. 

 

PART FOUR

These are some of my journal entries while I worked on the project. 



PART FIVE - DREAM SEQUENCE ALBUM PREMIERE

Months after the project was finished we premiered the album "Dream Sequence" and the music video at Argha Noah. We created a tea house with a dance floor. There was free tea, cocktails, vegan food and a warmth to the atmosphere that was really very unique.  Kofi, a magician friend, asked what my inspiration for the project was. I said that there were a lot of things and they changed and evolved throughout the filming process. So I said it was about "Ancestry".

During the process of putting this post together, and looking through my journal for entries, I came across an entry that didn't directly deal with the project. In fact I was writing about a woman I was seeing at the time. Yet, in its own way, it describes why I said "ancestry".

"What can I know of my ancestors

What kind of dreams did they have

What blood did they

pass through into my

veins

What world could they

imagine -

what beauty can be achieved when the blood of 2 people are mixed -

whose blood centuries ago

would never meet."

BTS WEEK 7

Lev Omelchenko

PART ONE

DAY ONE - BOULDER, CO

Journal Entry Nov 6th, 2017

"Arrived in Denver - I love solo travel. I love talking with strangers. As a stranger I get to carry an air of mystery - transience. A ghost - a past life visiting a new place looking for the soul of the people." 

 

PART TWO

DAY TWO - DENVER, CO

Journal Entry Nov 7th, 2017

"On a River bank in Denver - Water is Life -

I should be drinking more water, but am distrusting of what's in it. Where is clean water - do our processing plants do a good job? Should really get a water test kit.

"I'm doing a lot bu -- and I can do more" (My former roommates and my aunt have told me that I use but a lot in conversation. Since then I've taken my aunt's advice to use "and" instead of "but" when speaking and writing. It's good advice.)

I decided to sit down and write because I thought about calling someone or looking at my phone. Solitude. Words of Tarkovsky about the benefits of solitude. Being OK when I'm alone. 

My translation of the video:

"I just want to tell the young people to learn to be in Solitude. To love to be alone with yourself. (Russian word for being alone is based off the word for ONE). The tragedy of youth is it tries to unify around very noisy experiences, it's very aggressive - the desire to unify to not feel alone is uncomfortable, it's a symptom. A person should learn from childhood to be by themselves. Not to say that they should be lonely, but to be able to be not bored in solitude (Russian word for bored implies "missing", as in the context of "I miss you" ) because a person who is bored in solitude is within danger."

 

PART THREE

DAY 3 + 4 - ROCKIES HOT SPRINGS AND WATERFALLS

"Be in the moment with Joy.

Water is Life.

I wish you love, not like the sun for it burns.

Not like the wind for it escapes, 

But like the sky, for it is endless."

 

PART FOUR

DAY 4/5 - TEA BUS IN DENVER, FLIGHT BACK HOME 

Journal Entry November 6, 2017

"On a plane back to Atlanta. A wonderful and very necessary trip. "Be in the moment with Joy" 

The waterfalls. 

The mountains.

The sky.

The water. 

The fire. Warm bodies.

Full moon. Bright white.

Alec - from Donetsk.

Infinite gratitude to the energy of Colorado. It has worked its healing magic on me. I am focused and clear. I must actively maintain that state of mind for my own good."

Finished the tea bus video as soon I got back from Denver with some footage that I got there

 

PART FIVE

A WEEK AFTER GETTING BACK I WRITE A POEM

"An Apple of Blood and Ash" - November 12, 2017

 

1

"Yugen: a profound awareness of the universe that triggers a deep emotional response"

A membrane - thin layer separating

the reality of me and you

that flow of energy

the need for empathy

solitude - loneliness

roots - rooted

"mountain healing"

ancient blood - a deep well - reflection

what frequency

listen, listen, listen

to women - the feminine energy is healing us

waking us up

wild storms

show me how to see - rid me of the demons

we have always lived with them - made offerings to the dark spirits

empathy - realigning

"desire must be embedded in empathy"

of the stars

where are you from - the stars, Ukraine

star child - earthling

Yugen

 

2

Joy is a waterfall in my heart

Receiving Annelises's earrings before she pierces my ears with a needle at my kitchen table

"Yes" - Annelise

An apple of blood and ash

Time

"The least dangerous thing, in meditation, is 'seeing' which dispenses with think thinking words" p 115 The Passion According to G.H. 

"An Apple of Blood and Ash"

 

BTS WEEK 6

Lev Omelchenko

PART ONE

SIGNS OF SOLIDARITY

Went with a more direct and political banner than previously envisioned. I think it's powerful in a way that it needs to be. Got to start on it on Friday, and spent the weekend working on it at The Bakery when I had pockets of time. 

PART TWO

SUNDAY MORNING AT 7

Attended a rehearsal this Sunday. Had a conversation with Anicka to further discuss the heart of the project. Feel like I got some real serious closure. As a man - this is a rare opportunity that I need to value as deeply as possible. 

Read the introduction to the book Bloom, that my friend Artiana let me look over while at the Goat Farm. (I should make an effort to be there at least once a week).

"Desire needs to be embedded in empathy"

"praying to the energies from the earth, willing the limped serenity of the skies, meditating on the still reflections of the waters. Honoring the gods of small things."

"But a Fool's Paradise also where comical and surreal creations are paraded with zeal to act out the trivial aspects of human condition, stretching the borders of belief to include a hallucinating faith in the power of imagination and story telling, a fold tradition that thrives and even gains importance, giving wings to the carnival of naked truth." 

"Delving in a deep well of human experiences tokes from the selvage of time." 

-Lidewij Edelkoort

PART THREE

LISTENING PARTY

Gears moving on making this release party a reality. Here are some BTS shots of the music video set by Brandon English!

 


PART FOUR

DREAMS and VISIONS

"I was taking a class w/ a Buddhist monk + and got a 1 on the test after not studying at all. I felt embarrassed

At a dinner a guest made a toast - to figuring out a new way to live. Proactively."

I've been feeling really disoriented recently - and I think it has a lot to do with a lack of structure in my day to day life. I really enjoy the fluidity, but I need to make sure I meditate and exercise everyday. I think the trip to Denver is going to be a really necessary re-balancing of my energies. Around this time last year I was traveling through the Blue Ridge mountains to get to Atlanta. The Triangle - the Mountain - Earth - has been a recurring symbol in my work, particularly my paintings, and I'm excited to receive the mountain healing.

I'm also gonna see a friend that I met in Atlanta last year - Guiseppe Spadafora. He's been riding around in a Tea Bus for the past decade giving away free tea. I made a 3 minute documentary about him in July, but never officially released it. I'm hoping to get some more footage of him on this trip, and potentially will expand it. For now please enjoy the video:


PART FIVE

ROOMMATES

Did a Tarot card reading with my roommates. We got:

7 Pentacles, 6 Pentacles, 1 Wands, 2 Wands, The Tower, 10 of Swords, 9 Pentacles, The Hanged Man

I'm not gonna go into every card, but it was spooky relevant to the questions we were asking about our lives. I suggest sitting around with your roommates and asking the deck questions and then reading about what the cards are meant to signify. We've been laughing a lot lately, which is a really positive quality of living where I live. "Apartment Humor" is a really special thing.  Here are some photos from a Thai Massage session that my roommate Ian lead at our home. 

BTS WEEK 5

Lev Omelchenko

PART ONE

THE BAKERY.

A Moroccan dinner at The Bakery. A thank you from Willow to everyone that helped on opening the space. I've had several dreams where the space has manifested itself in some beautiful shape or form. 

Willow has a strong vision and its attracting really interesting people. 

Meeting at the Bakery

I have high hopes.

PART TWO

THE GUILD

I've spent a solid part of this week finishing The Guild video. Niki and I met almost a year and a half ago at Atlanta Film Festival. We started talking about doing a video, and it slowly materialized over time. In that time I built a real relationship with her and her team. Connecting in unexpected places through beautiful people. The video should be coming out as soon as Monday!

PART THREE
SATURDAY MORNINGS AT 7: Pina, Psyche and Cupid

I've been brainstorming with Anicka on how to approach her dance project "Sunday Mornings at 7" from a film perspective. Part of the challenge is for me to really understand the core of what this work means to her and why she is developing it. The work is based on the Cupid and Psyche myth, and I'm trying to understand what "myth" means in a modern context. I can probably find some literature on the subject. 

 

For inspiration I watched "Pina" by Wim Wenders and was blown away by the quality of dance, and the masterful translation of the work to cinema. I hope I can develop my craft and perception to approach the level of sincerity and emotional depth of Pina. The diversity of people, the actors is really breathtaking. The quotes they share from her are brilliant. 

"Go on Searching" "Make me Scared" "Dance for Love" "What are you longing for? Where is the yearning coming from?" 

 I finally went to a rehearsal to see the dancers move. 

Cupid and Psyche. Photography by Lev Omelchenko. 

 

PART FOUR

LIVING WALLS and SIGNS OF SOLIDARITY

Filmed an interview with Mónica Campana for Living Walls. 

Monica Campana, Executive Director of Living Walls. Photography by Lev Omelchenko. 

Living Walls Potluck at Hi-Lo Press was awesome. 

"'Vulnerable'" featuring Franco Bejarano and Kristin Consuegra. Photography by Lev Omelchenko.

Agreed to do a Signs of Solidarity and now have a 6x8" canvas to paint. This is the banner I came up with - it's not overtly political - yet I consider it a wake up call. A battle cry. 

PART FIVE

I LEFT BOSTON 2 YEARS AGO.

Good Bye Boston. October 21, 2015. Photography by Lev Omelchenko.

"Thank you everyone who made Boston home for the past 4 years. Big thanks to everyone who let me stay with them for the past month and a half. All are loved and will be missed. See you soon!"

Body Work 1254. October 21, 2017. Photography by Lev Omelchenko. 

"Ian is leading a body work routine. 2 years ago I left Boston - I had no image -

vision - 

of this moment.

I came for Life

I created a project called Life.  It gave life to new relationships.

I cam for adventure - I'm leaving for Denver in 2 weeks - I was in Ukraine for a month

Life is wild

Insanity leads to truth

Beauty to Love" 

BTS 3

Lev Omelchenko

PART ONE

Hurricane Irma passed Atlanta on Monday. My roommate Anneliese made a big pot of vegan chili. My hands felt swollen after moving loose objects into our shed before the storm hit. Everyone fell asleep as it moved through Atlanta. Journal entry:

"Hibernating through a hurricane. My body feels different. I feel the weather. I feel my surroundings. I feel me. I. me. The world - madness - such a harsh word. Especially underlined. We toil, for what. What is the proof? The Heart.  A desire for understanding. If others understand - you're not alone. Friendship. Co-dependence. We should depend on one another to survive. Do you depend on any of your friends? Do you depend on anyone. If not- is it a sign of strength? But we do depend. On our system - government, police, global markets, bankers - we depend on everyone but our friends. Because we are all so independent that we can't bother each other. The independence is killing us."

 Anneliese feeding the home.

Anneliese feeding the home.

EDIT: After hibernation I showed The New World by Terrance Malick to my roommates for the first time. It was a powerful bonding moment. 

PART TWO

Living Walls. After the storm cleared, I was out on Buford Highway filming most of the week. Filming the talented artists as they put up their work, filming the Living Walls crew and volunteers working tirelessly to support the artists, filming the community as it joined in the passion of the work. 

Here are some pictures:

 

PART THREE

The Bakery. Inspired by the muralists and presented with a wall, I started putting up my first mural. Throughout the week I sketched out the idea and figured out the colors. I usually spend more time with the colors, but did not have that opportunity this time. 

Mural as of Sept 18th 2017

 

PART FOUR

Organizing a video installation for The Bakery opening featuring local Atlanta artists.

Currently the line up features: "Gomi Maku" by Brandon English, feat music by 10th Letter. "Silver Planet" by Chris Hunt feat music by Kasie Marie. "New Life" by Lev Omelchenko feat music by Chris Gravely AKA Red Waters. "Rhythm of Ghana" by Brandon Polack feat tradition live drum music from Ghana. "Levitate Levitate Levitate" by Ebony Blanding and Amber Bournett of House of June, feat musical score by Belle Bynone. 

On the look out for more artists to include. 

Here's a look at New Life, which I directed Winter 2017.

 

PART FIVE

Finished Journal Number XIII

Last page:

" I just came out of the shower - meditating on the mural. Colors, shapes, nature, memory. I was meditating on the ancient sacred symbols. Sun, Earth, Water. Fire, mountain, Reflection. Air - the royal creative force. The Breath - The Soul. These thoughts feel ancient. A cry for truth - for a path - for a memory. For life. Alive."

BTS WEEK 2

Lev Omelchenko

PART ONE - BLUE JAYS

I AM 99% DONE WITH BLUE JAYS MUSIC VIDEO FOR SEQUOYAH. Excited to share it with the Patreon subscribers as soon as it's at 100% in the next few days. The official release date of Sequoyah's new album - Dream Sequence - and the music video is still undecided. However, a work in progress version of the video was accepted to Y'allywood Film Festival, which showcases films from the South. It will be playing at 7 Stages in Little 5 Points at some point October 9th - 15th. Very excited to be featured in an excellent local festival.

Opening Credits with Y'allywood Festival laurels for "Blue Jays" Music Video for Sequoyah Murray's new album "Dream Sequence"

PART TWO - EXPERIMENT 002

Spent some time this week discussing the logistics of a Virtual Reality Dance project in collaboration with Anicka Austin. I've worked with her previously on visual's for Chris Gravely's "LIFE" and she was Sequoyah's  Movement Coach for "Blue Jays". This project would be an experiment in preparation for her year long project "Sunday Mornings at Seven" which will feature an experimental VR component. 

If this project is a reality, it would be with the help of Kyle Morais and Brandon Polack of Argha Noah, a new art organization in Atlanta. They're working with 9to5.tv - the winner's of Goat Farms field experiment and are bringing a ton of cool art into the digital space for the month of September and first week of October. 

PART THREE - TO OUR FRIENDS

I've been reading "To Our Friends" by the Invisible Committee. It's very good. It does a really good job of communicating and supporting its perspective on Government, Power, Surveillance, Environment, Cybernetics, Community and Revolution.

"As to the truth about the present nature of power, every European has it printed exemplar of it in their pocket. It can be stated this way: power now resides in the infrastructures of this world. Contemporary power is of an architectural and impersonal, and not a representative or personal nature. ... Power is the very organization of this world, this engineered, configured, purposed world. ... Whoever determines the organization of space, whoever governs the social environments and atmospheres, whoever administers tings, whoever manages the access - governs men."

It's the second of 3 books published by an anonymous French collective. I first came across their writing in a friend's kitchen in the form of a newspaper, then through an audio book. I decided to get my sister the first book "The Coming Insurrection" for her birthday (along with two of the best books I've read this year - Of Woman Born by Adrienne Rich and The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin).

"Life and humanity were dissected into a set of needs; then a synthesis of these elements was organized. It doesn't really matter whether this synthesis was given the name of 'socialist planning' or 'market planning'. ... The outcome is the same: a desert and existential anemia.

Nothing is left of a form of life once it has partitioned into organs. Conversely, this is explains the palpable joy that overflowed the occupied squares of Puerta del Sol, Tahrir, Gezi or the attraction exerted, despite infernal muds of Nantes countryside, by the land occupation at Notre-Dame-des-Landes. It is the joy that attaches to every commune. Suddenly life ceases being sliced up into connected segments. Sleeping, fighting, eating, taking care of oneself, partying, conspiring, discussing all belong to the same vital movement. Not everything is organized, everything organizes itself. The difference is meaningful. One requires management, the other attention - dispositions that are incompatible in every respect" (p88 To Our Friends)

 

 

PART FOUR - MURALS

I'm excited to help document Living Wall's  incredible project on Bufford Highway this upcoming week. Anyone that has time should come out and support and experience some of the events that they're putting on.

That includes: A Lecture Series, a Movie Night and the Block Party!

Come and be an ally to the communities that are facing some of the most violence and intimidation from the white supremacy of USA. 

Jess Snow putting up one of TWO beautiful murals on Bufford Highway last week.

Being around talented mural artists, has also inspired me to attempt my own mural. The Bakery is currently getting itself ready to open in October and is opening its doors on the weekends to people to come and help paint. 

I plan on heading out there next weekend to 1. Document the process of building up a new art space and 2. Starting my first mural based on a sketch that I've been playing with for a long time. Will take time this week to figure out the colors. 

It has usually taken my a long time to figure out colors before, so in the very least it might a black and white line drawing. 

 

PART FIVE- A LATE NIGHT JOURNAL ENTRY

Katy "What is the intention?"

Sequoyah's Music Video. Intetion: Make Something Beautiful. <-- Memory: Anicka reminds me of this in a coffee shop. Beautiful Collaboration.

What are we digging into/ Our desire for connection --> language

Vulnerability 

#ME asked ME "King, why did YOU wake up in the morning". I respond by repeating the question, which made no sense to ME.

#ME woke up to "Serve"

"Why did I wake up?" and "What is the Intention?" 

"Why do I wake up in the morning" - To build community. The more skills I have, the more useful I am. Freedom. Friendship. 

"'Friend' and 'Free' in English come and "Freund' and 'Frei' in German come from the same Indo-European root, which conveys the idea of a shared pwoer that grows. Being free and having ties was one and the same thing. I am free because I have ties, because I am linked to a reality greater than me". (To Our Friends p 127) 

The more freedom I have, Fuck #Me, Mean

Follow @greetingsme7 to plug into what #ME has to say. #ME KNOW #ME

BTS WEEK 1

Lev Omelchenko

ONE

"Gotta go where the love is" - Leo (my former roommate).

Really happy that I had the chance to snap a photo of my former roommates Leo and Shira at the home we shared when I first moved to Atlanta. They're moving to the West End of Atlanta. There seems to be a lot of love in the West End, and I'm finding myself there more and more often.  

This is a start to a "Shared Space" Project, which has been an idea I've had for yeaaars, where I document my current and future roommates. 

I wrote a little note after I took the photo:

"In Shira's + Leo's apartment/ They're beautiful/ Of the present/ future/ ancient"

Shared Space: Shira Benson and Leo Love. Summer 2017.

@designsbyshirabenson  @_lovebrand_

TWO

Finally got to do some work with Living Walls. Got to meet Chip Thomas. Got to meet Killer Mike. One of the better Mondays. 

THREE

Met with Phae, an awesome Atlanta dancer. We discussed collaborating on a project. It's exciting, because we seem to be inspired by similar visions. 

 Notebook sketch.

Notebook sketch.

After the conversation I looked back through relevant books and notes. Came across a good quote from a book on Kundalini Yoga by Carl Jung.  

"If you have a psychical experience, if the psychical fact forces itself upon you, then you understand it, and then you can make a concept of it." 

Also 2 quotes by Cassavetes from Cassavetes on Cassavetes.

"What's wrong with society is that people become such slaves to their lifestyles, such slaves to their politics, to their friends that they don't have anything personal left. It's as if individuals have become invisible, and nobody can see or reach their reach their real selves any longer. Nobody can be themselves. ...  They begin to think with other people's minds. The things that are the most important part of your life are your inner feelings. Your mind's eye view of yourself. If that isn't broken, you'd be a fantastic person all your life. ... When we lose our instincts for truth, we have nothing." 

"Fear is the basis of everything terrible. ... So the only thing that can save people in a spiritual or religious way or in any way is to say I'm not afraid anymore. The minute they say that they are not afraid they cannot commit a wrong act. There will be no such thing as a wrong act"

Core - Open Rehersal 

FOUR

Invested in Cryptocurrency. 

 Send Bitcoin Here.&nbsp;

Send Bitcoin Here. 

 

FIVE

Spent a ton of time working on an edit of Blue Jays Music Video for Sequoyah Murray. I'm really excited that it's almost done. It feels like this was the creative project I invested myself most deeply this summer. (Aside from going to Ukraine). Can't wait to share it with everyone. Plenty of BTS stuff on this project once its released. For now:

Blue Jays BTS - Sibling Hug

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atlanta Streets Part 1

Lev Omelchenko

Atlanta Streets are alive with energy. Protesters. Preachers. Survivors. Angels. 

Premiere of LIFE at Eyedrum Gallery - Feb 28th

Lev Omelchenko

LIFE, a solo percussion show by Red Waters AKA Chris Gravely premiered at Eyedrum Gallery February 28th. The performance was accompanied by a visual installation created by Lev Omelchenko featuring the choreography of Anicka Austin and dance performances by Bella Dorado, Raina Mitchell and Anicka Austin. 

The visual installations are currently available online with demo versions of the music as accompaniment.  Look out for more live shows summer of 2017. 

Farewell, Rowdy Dowdy

Lev Omelchenko

Shot some photos at the Farewell Show at Rowdy Dowdy. (This was the last show at 730 Pryor, but the Dowdy Girls are relocating and will be hosting soon.) It was a pretty incredible line up and a great show. (Unfortunately not all the artists that performed are featured in these photos)

DOWDY GIRLS

FAREWELL ROWDY DOWDY