During the recording for the 1982 film on William Burroughs (the resulting programme airing in the UK on 22nd February 1983), Arena followed him to the home and studio of old friend Francis Bacon, where he drops in for a cup of tea and a catch up. This meeting has never been fully broadcast, and the clip is supposedly shown uncut as the pair discuss their views on painting.
This unofficial, Fair Use/Fair Dealings compilation by Barrington Arts also includes all other related footage from that day in 1982 that has ever been publicly leaked.
This unauthorised edit also includes a soundtrack of COIL tracks recorded in the same period as the film footage (1982-83).
The majority of the footage here was directed by Howard Brookner and Nigel Finch.
The flicker effect was identified by the famously independent-minded scientist W. Grey Walter in his best- selling 1953 book The Living Brain.
Grey Walter – who was soon to become the father of Artificial Intelligence – discovered that by using high-powered stroboscopes and experimenting with trigger feedback techniques where the flash was set to fire in synchronization with the brain’s rhythms, the brain is, “transformed temporarily to a different sort of brain.” Walter found that time itself could become lost or disturbed. As he observed of one subject:
“[He had] the sense of having been pushed sideways in time by flicker. Yesterday was no longer behind, and tomorrow was no longer ahead..”
Stroboscopic light, or light flashing on the eye between 8 and 13 flashes per second, induces alpha wave activity in the brain – a state normally associated with dreaming and creativity. Subjects often report seeing shapes and colours, some have full-blown hallucinations, others mystical experiences. Approximately one in 4,000 people will have an epileptic seizure.
In 1997, ten million Japanese schoolchildren, and some adults, tuned into the animé cartoon Pokemon to see a “flashing explosion with high frequency red and blue flicker stimulation” hit the screen and persist. What happened next sparked international headlines. Some viewers went into a trance-like state, as if hypnotized. Others experienced altered vision and shortness of breath. Some passed out, others had seizures. Hospitals all over Japan received admissions, though nobody was permanently damaged.