Lippens, RLG (2018) Mega/City/Crime. Notes on the Cultural Significance of Reggio's' Koyaanisqatsi' (1982). International Journal for the Semiotics of Law. ISSN 1572-8722

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In his “non-narrative” film Koyaanisqatsi (Hopi for 'life in imbalance') Godfrey Reggio documents the ecologically disastrous 'imbalanced' life in modern, industrialised mega-cities. In the film, he seems to mourn the loss of what he suggests was a more 'balanced' form of life, when Man was one with nature. This contribution draws on elements in Hopi culture and reads Reggio’s iconic film as part of a cultural trend in which submission, in all its guises, is no longer accepted. In this cultural trend submission always is submission to code (that is: to a certain structured solidity or ordered coherence), and therefore, to wasteful destruction and to ‘life in imbalance’. This trend has, however, in the course of the decades, also spawned a void of “Luciferian” desires of absolute sovereignty, and has done this to such an extent as to undermine the conditions of possibility for anything like a non-submissive life ‘in balance’ to endure.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) will be available online via Springer at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hopi culture, Koyaanisqatsi, sovereign Self, Luciferianism, conservationism, non-submission
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Science and Public Policy
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2018 07:54
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2020 01:30

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