The Watchtower, a primary structure of the utmost importance in ancient Israel’s vineyards and cities, was a place of refuge amidst the storm and a lookout for the watchman to spot potential danger nearing the land and people. Keeping this ancient understanding of what a watchtower is, the current person or artist-watchman hopes for their “watchtower” (art and local church), to be a refuge in ordinary as well as difficult times.
Secondly, the use of the word Projections is in reference to the task of the watchman if the land and people were actually in danger. Upon seeing the coming of turbulent weather or an imminent attack of an enemy’s army, the watchmen of old would sound the alarm by voice or trumpet and project to the people a warning sign. In light of the importance that these projections had, artist’s may act as a watchmen prophesying future events, presenting artistic images on a surface like that of canvas, film, or the digital frontier, and promoting someone or something in a persuasive way through speaking, music, and written word. This act of projection through the medium of the arts is seen as a necessary task of the person who sits in the watchtower, that is, the Artist aka the Watchman or woman.
In response to the commission and call to proclaim and portray openly what has been communicated to them, the Artist-Watchman projects to the people from their designated position in society and art medium. As their watchtower is a place of security, the Artist-Watchman also hopes for their projections, which are service through art, to be a medium for spiritual vigilance and aesthetic sobriety amidst the evil onslaughts and ills of the world. In this spirit of obedience rather than that of a pride seeking vain glory the Artist-Watchman begins their task by saying, “hear me as one afraid to speak, but cannot remain silent.”
The Call of the Artist
Regardless of the age a person might live in, we are ALL called to “speak in the light” what has been spoken to us in our hearts through art AND the lives we live. In order to carry out this seemingly divine commission, we must be still and alert, becoming sober-minded while continually growing in the ancient wisdom of experiencing the beautiful on our way to God.
It is the hope of B. Watchman (Watchtower Projections) to continue to make full-length feature films and various projections that will instill a sense of mystery and reverent awe in people’s lives through their experience of the beautiful on the silver screen and the “black mirror.”
In collaboration with youth and other avid artists, B. Watchman projects to nearby and distant lands in the hope of sharing this experience of the beautiful with others. The works and artistic findings of Watchtower Projections seek to have an appreciation for the rhetorical, literary, visual, musical, and performing arts, as well as the art of prayer and the sacred arts found in The Divine Liturgy or Holy Mass. Emphasis is also placed on the details of the created universe through “deep space” imagery and everyday captures that usually go unnoticed. All of which may invite us to open our hearts to transcendence and leading us in conspectum Dei – before the face of God.
An Orthodox Christian called as an artist-watchman for the people, B. Watchman projects from a worldview, which holds a deep yearning for the unifying of peoples through the person of Jesus Christ, who is Beauty Himself, the Divine Logos of God. Projections will share and reveal the roots of the mystical traditions of both east and west, especially those found in Ancient Byzantine and Oriental Christianity (Orthodoxy), such as Hesychasm (stillness with God) and the writings of the Watchful Fathers and Mothers. All the while there will be a dialogue with and an understanding of the paths seeking truth in all religions, philosophies, and cultures of the world. May Watchtower Projections call us to an internal and unceasing prayer bringing healing to our own lives and those around us in union with the Body of Christ – “So all may be One.”