The Ceibas Cycle
By Evan Meaney
The Ceibas Cycle is a multi-medium endeavor which began in the Spring of 2007 as an attempt to describe a sentimental liminality through a technological one. Each installment in the series explores aspects of the Central American myth of the Ceibas tree–the point of connection between this world and the next. The Mayans believed that a recently passed soul would go to the tree, and climb up its branches to the sky or slip down its roots into the soil. However, Mayan legend also suggests that if a person entwined their lives with another in life: a child, a lover, a friend–when that person died, their soul would wait by the Ceibas for their partner to come, so the next journey need not be made alone. This story represents, not only the liminality of the tree, but also that of the Mayan story's codification in language over time. Its tradition carries with it the hope of a continuing externalization. In the Ceibas Cycle, these notions are allegorically explored through a “glitching” process by which digital video files, the codified memory of a visual language, are altered through applications of colloquial language. The video files begin to rapidly decay and as they “die” one might find that the files, too, wait for someone to find them under the Ceibas' leaves. Raising questions of translation, allegory and impermanence, the Ceibas Cycle hopes to rearticulate an old story in a digital age.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Whitestone, New York in the 1980’s and raised in the Hudson Valley, Evan Meaney has been working with film, video, and emerging media for over a decade. During that time, his interests have turned to post-structuralist archival theory, break dancing, and the poetry of hexadecimal code. Meaney currently enjoys a graduate fellowship at the University of Iowa's department of Cinema and Comparative Literature where he continues his research into the deconstructed computational languages of video codecs. He also makes wonderful hummus.