Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Black Panther Marks a Major Integral Cinema Milestone

Marvel's Black Panther is taking the world by storm, raking in over a billion dollars worldwide in its first five weeks of theatrical release, garnering rave reviews from critics and fans, challenging racial and diversity biases and boundaries in Hollywood film culture and beyond, spawning numerous testimonials about the films positive impact on individual viewers and minority communities, and eliciting glowing commentaries on how the film is a milestone in these and other various domains. After analyzing Black Panther and its impact on the individual and the collective, it appears that this wonderful superhero film is a major Integral Cinema milestone as well. 

Black Panther's Integrally-informed cinematic structuring beautifully and subtly mirrors multiple stages of development in all aspects and levels of its narrative, visual, auditory and temporal/editorial expressions. It also shows both healthy and pathological manifestations of each developmental stage and represents subtle ways that one can transcend the pathologies and evolve to higher stages of development. At the same time, the film tackles major psychological, cultural and social issues, from primal psychological wounding to complex issues of race, gender, class, oppression and isolationism, in subtle and deep ways. Most extraordinarily, all of this is elegantly hidden beneath the surface of a wonderful, fun and seemingly-traditional superhero genre piece.

In terms of Black Panther being a milestone in the history of Integral Cinema and the cinema itself, it appears to be groundbreaking in its advanced capacity to integrate and synchronize all dimensions of cinematic expression (Text, Image, Sound and Time) through all levels of storytelling (Textual, Subtextual, Metatextual and Transtextual). While this form of synchronization is at the heart of the cinematic expression tradition, dating back to Sergei Eisenstein in the 1920s and used by many filmmakers since, Integral filmmakers like Ryan Coogler appear to be creating an advanced form that also integrates the different structures of consciousness, culture and society (Archaic, Magic, Mythic, Rational, Pluralistic, Integral). Mr. Coogler's use of this type of cinematic expression in Black Panther is unparalleled in its depth and breadth and the sublime way it hides and integrates its complexity beneath its deceptively simple surface. This approach has the potential to induce subtle yet deeply immersive and transformative experiences in the viewer, transformation that could potentially extend to culture and society as well. This potential is hinted at by the cultural impact the film is already displaying.

From an Integral Cinema perspective, our research suggests that major advances in cinematic expression like those represented by Black Panther affect other creators and their cinematic works. These advances in expression create a major shift in cinematic consciousness, which is the collective way moving images in a given era communicate with the viewer. In turn, these types of advances in cinematic consciousness tend to entrain the audience to perceive in deeper and more expansive ways. In this way the moving image, consciousness, culture and society can be seen to co-evolve.

For more on all of this check out the new Integral Cinema TEHNC podcast series on Black Panther...

3 Keys to Unlock Black Panther (Short introduction to full-length analysis) - This special preview episode introduces you to 3 important keys you can use to unlock the hidden genius of Marvel's blockbuster Black Panther. This 5-minute summation by Integral Cinema Project research associate Jonathan Steigman is a sort of Cliff Notes version to whet your appetite for the full-length examination of the keys and how they manifest in the film with Mark Allan Kaplan, ICP lead researcher and the leading scholar of Integral Cinema.

The Hidden Genius of Black Panther (Full-length analysis) - Mark Allan Kaplan of Integral Cinema Project joins ICP research associate Jonathan Steigman to discuss 3 major keys that can help viewers discover the hidden genius behind the recent Marvel worldwide smash hit, Black Panther. Mark and Jonathan believe the film holds the potential to transform consciousness the world over and they unpack some of its secrets and point to why the film could transform cinematic consciousness as well. Filmmakers and others, take note!

Be sure to also check out Jonathan's short preliminary podcast on The Subversive Brilliance of Black Panther and Mark and Jonathan's short bonus podcast exploring The Previous Films of Black Panther Director Ryan Coogler.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Research Report: Integral Cinema Project 2017 Year in Review

Due to the profound shifts in the American zeitgeist, this past year has been deeply soul-searching for many individuals and collectives, and that includes myself and my work through the Integral Cinema Project. I have been asking the question, how can I and the Integral Cinema Project respond to this new landscape and be of service to the evolutionary moment in which we find ourselves? Life as usual just isn’t working any more. I feel a deep impetus to rise to the calling of this moment and seek the what-when-and-how of that calling. While I still do not have all the answers I am called to finally communicate with you and update you on the state of the Integral Cinema journey…

With the ongoing support of many of you, I have been working on several projects this past year, each exploring in some way how to respond to the calling of this new zeitgeist. These include:

An Integral Cinema Project presentation to the Carey Institute for Global Good outlining an integrally-informed approach to media literacy designed to help people discern what is the truth in this age of fake news, reality bubbles and invisible propaganda networks. 

A collection of moving image meditations that attempt to use advanced audiovisual and cinematic entrainment technologies along with animated abstract art to explore the human perceptual field, potentially inducing shifts in our awareness of our own perceptual field and bringing the normally unconscious perceptual construct-forming system of the human mind to conscious awareness.

My 45 day lived-inquiry experiment of doing a video journal recording and creating a work of art  (still and/or moving image) every day, along with video journal notes on my integral cinema research and soul searching process. The 45 day time-frame is purported to be the time it takes for the human brain to lay down new neural pathways to make a behavior feel natural and easy. Given my history as stutterer, I chose video journaling to see if I could transcend my awkward feelings around speaking in front of the camera. I chose daily art creation to see if I could transcend the constructs that prevent me from fully owning my creative soul.

I have also been busy on the integral cinema research front:

  • Exploring an integral approach to more deeply understanding the language of the moving image;
  • Developing an integral transformative approach to cinematic and experiential design to help creators storify and gamify the spiral of human development;
  • Experimenting with new inception and creation practices designed to help creators tap into the evolutionary impulse and generate new story ideas that will speak to the calling of the evolutionary moment;
  • Working on a new integral cinematic lens (The Evolutionary Lens) based on the work of Sri Aurobindo and others, and;
  • Continuing to write my book on integral cinema (stay tuned...).

At the same time, I have continued my research into the co-evolution of the moving image, consciousness, culture and society, and testing cinematic works for signs of the integral structure of consciousness. For those interested I have posted the 2017 new integral movie and television discoveries on the IMDb Integral Movie and TV List.

On the publication front, I wrote a short piece on What Sam Sheppard Taught me about Storytelling and Life to mark his passing.

On the education front, I am redesigning the meta-movieology courses on using the moving image for the evolution of consciousness, and developing them into asynchronous online courses for general release.

On the enactment front, I am currently in production on an integrally-informed avant-garde video meditation on the wind, and am in development on a low-budget feature film and a television series, videogame and VR/AR/MR transmedia project designed to storify and gamify the individual and collective evolutionary spiral. These projects are all enactment experiments designed to utilize and test the new integral-evolutionary inception and design approaches I am been researching and developing.

And amidst all this I was honored that the Integral Cinema Project was named one of the TransTech 200 Innovators for advancing the work of using technologies for individual and collective transformation.

I believe every problem we have is a problem of consciousness, and that media is one of the most powerful tools humanity has created to affect consciousness on a deep and expansive level. As we have seen more clearly this past year, media has the capacity to shape the hearts and minds of millions of people, for good and for bad. We live in times of ever-present and hyperreal media, fake news and vast propaganda networks. We must find more ways to mitigate and transcend the use of media to manipulate and limit our capacities, and to use media for higher and nobler purposes. I am committed to continuing to work towards these goals and deeply appreciate all the support I have received.

With deep gratitude,

Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D.
Integral Cinema Project
Founder and Executive Director

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Media Literacy for a Post-Truth Age

Announcing the release of "Media Literacy for a Post-Truth Age," an Integral Cinema Project presentation to the Carey Institute for Global Good outlining an integrally-informed approach to media literacy designed to help people discern what is the truth in this age of fake news, reality bubbles and invisible propaganda networks.

This approach has been developed from an integration of the some of the most recent understandings and advances in the fields of communication theory, propaganda theory and practice, media psychology, human perception research, and Integral, complexity and systems theories. Topics covered include identifying truth frames, discerning types of truth, sorting truth by spotting propaganda framing techniques, and a set of practices for good media literacy hygiene in the post-truth age.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Integral Movie and TV List Update for 2017

2017 has been a challenging year for many of us and sometimes taking a break from all the challenges in these times is needed; sometimes we need an escape or release from the stresses and sometimes we need some distance on our lives and the world to see things from a different perspective. Great integral movies and television or streaming series can often do both at the same time. In addition, integral cinematic works can exercise our perspective-taking capacities, something that can only help us in dealing with these challenging times...plus we get to have popcorn while we are doing our integral cinematic workout...

So here are this years additions to the IMDb Integral Movie and TV List of cinematic works that tested positive for elements of the Integral structure of consciousness by the Integral Cinema Project. Some of these are new works released in 2017 and some are older works that have been rediscovered as integral gems from the past. For the complete list of Integral movies and series check out the full list at: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls074613980/


Star Wars VIII - The Last Jedi (2017; Now in Theaters) - The evolutionary arc of the Skywalker dynasty continues with a second major tetra-evolutionary cycle (inner and outer selves, cultures and systemic forces) following the Skywalker lineage and their world through their evolutionary arcs. This latest installment of the saga has some major twists in the evolutionary arcs of both the characters and the greater and deeper archetypal patterns, including the challenging of the duality between the dark and Light Forces toward a more mature and complex understanding of the ultimate non-dual nature of the Force. We also witness the healing of Luke's major regression and primal wounding from his past and his conscious transition into the Kosmocentric Witness.

Dunkirk (2017; Now On Demand and Disk) - "Dunkirk" is a masterful representation of the integral mind at work. According to integral philosopher Jean Gebser, the main impulse of the Integral structure of consciousness is to concretize all dimensions of being and becoming and attempt to integrate them into a meaningful whole. With this film, filmmaker Christopher Nolan has given us an experientially powerful "integration" of the multiple strands of existence within a specific historical event that includes the subjective, objective, relational and systemic aspects of the event and the varying temporal realities that unfold in relation to different perspectives on the event from these multiple dimensions of being and becoming. Through this process Nolan gives us a simultaneously simple and complex emotional, visceral and existential experience that concretizes and integrates the event into a whole that is way beyond the sum of its parts.

Blade Runner 2049 (2017; Soon On Demand and Disk) - A haunting and beautiful sequel to a cult classic that deepens and expands the Blade Runner universe to include elegant and complex evolutionary arcs for the main character, his cyber-lover and their relationship that transcends the boundaries of human death, digital eradication and the notion of what constitutes sentient existence.

American Gods (2017; Starz Network) - This Starz cable series personifies various stages of evolutionary development in the form of the Gods we create and project at those stages, exploring the possibility that consciousness precedes our reality and that we create our world and even our Gods. This well crafted exploration has the potential to give the viewer a potential experience of stepping back and witnessing the different stages of development in ourselves and our world.

Rogue One (2016; On Demand and Disk) - "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" is a wonderful addition to the Star Wars universe, deepening and expanding it's integrally-informed evolutionary arc while also portraying a unique evolutionary arc for its main character, Jyn, who's developmental arc is repressed until re-connecting with her father through a hologram that triggers the release of the repressed forces within her and propels her forward till she faces her mortality with a glimmer of Kosmo-centric awareness.

Westworld (2016--; HBO Network) - HBO's brilliant and multi-layered remake of the Michael Creighton 1973 sci-fi movie about an adult AI amusement park gone astray. In this new cinematic journey, the nature of consciousness and its evolution is viscerally explored as the human's are forced to deal with their loosing touch with their own humanity while the AI's are on the cusp of their own great evolutionary awakening.

The Lego Movie (2014; On Demand and Disk) - A fun and surprisingly deep animated film based on the Lego universe that follows it's main Lego character's evolution from archaic unconsciousness to Kosmo-centric awareness and action as he transcends the boundaries between the Lego world and the human world.

Game of Thrones (2011--; HBO Network) - Epic groundbreaking series integrating the reimagining of deep mythic and magical archetypes, the tracing of the emergence of rational and pluralistic cultural constructs, and the mapping of evolutionary story arcs with glimpses of a bigger picture from a Kosmo-centric perspectival field. This masterfully executed synthesis creates a vast yet intimate multi-layered visceral experience of the human quest for power, for meaning and for goodness.

Black Mirror (2011--; Netflix) - "Black Mirror" is a brilliant and haunting series in the "Twilight Zone" tradition that puts the audience in the Kosmo-centric witness seat to bear witness to the evolutionary gap between the evolution of technology and the evolution of individual and collective human consciousness. Some episodes, like "San Junipero" give us a full evolutionary arc while others take us to various evolutionary inflection points in a projected not-to-distant future.

Diva (1981; On Demand) - "Diva" is a French cult film classic from the early 80s that integrates European and American cinema conventions into a hip uniquely styled hybrid Comedy-Thriller-Romance-Mystical tale. As we go along for the ride of this zeitgeist capturing film, the camera moves the audience from the deeply personal and emotional to the intellectual and philosophical to the big-picture, overview, and kosmo-centric witness position. The young male lead character evolves from ego-centric to ethnocentric to socio-centric circles of care and concern while he navigates through a maze of life threatening and existential "challenges," helped by an older street-wise cosmopolitan kosmo-centric holy man.

The Twilight Zone (1959-1964; On Demand and Disk) - This classic anthology television series explores the further reaches of our inner and outer world within a Kosmic-witnessing frame for the viewer. We are put in the observer seat at the beginning of every episode through the shows opening that includes both visuals and text spoken by the host and show creator, Rod Serling. And as we observe, the stories, visuals and soundscapes they shift us into and out of the observer, witness position and into deeply subjective experiences and expansive existential and philosophical reflections. When you combine the witnessing framing and the expansive reflections you get a taste of the Kosmo-centric Witness perspectival field; in many episodes we, the viewer, can have the sense that we are glimpsing a big picture so big it is beyond our comprehension, that there is a meaningful pattern to it all, to all the dimensions we are observing and the multiple layers of hidden dimensions just beyond our reach, and that there is a much greater intelligence at work.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Art-in-Motion Series

The Integral Cinema Project announces the ART-IN-MOTION SERIES, a collection of moving image meditations that attempt to use advanced audiovisual and cinematic entrainment technologies along with animated abstract art to explore the human perceptual field. The intention behind these works is to potentially induce shifts in our awareness of our own perceptual field and bring the normally unconscious perceptual construct-forming system of the human mind to conscious awareness.


ICP cinematic artist and researcher Mark Allan Kaplan attempts to morph one of his artworks into a transformative cinematic meditation using an adapted form of the "Cine-Sculpture" approach developed by ICP research associate James Lusero and combines it with Integral Cinematic Metadesign techniques to synchronize visual, auditory, textual and temporal expressive forms with an underlying transformative perceptual and conceptual field.


We would like to acknowledge the works of the following individuals and organizations who inspired and laid the foundation for the approaches used in these cinematic works: Integral Cinema and Cinéma Pur pioneer Germaine Dulac; cinematic Montage and Synchronization-of-the-Senses developer Sergei Eisenstein; Filmic Expression pioneers Slavko Vorkapić, Lestor Novros and Bruce Block; Visual Music innovator Jordan Belson; state of consciousness cinematic induction trailblazers Dorothy Fadiman and Ken Jenkins; cinematic creation state explorers James Broughton and David Lynch; audio and visual brainwave entrainment pioneers, innovators and explorers Pierre Janet, Arthur Hastings, Robert Monroe, Dr. Jeffrey Thompson, Kelly Howell, Eric Thompson, iAwake Technologies and Subtle Energy Sciences; the integrally-informed metatheories of Ken Wilber, Jean Gebser, Edgar Morin and Sri Aurobindo; the consciousness hacking innovations of Mikey Siegel and fellow explorers of the Consciousness Hacking movement; and the integrated transdisciplinary “Cine-Sculpture” explorations of Integral Cinema Project research associate and multidisciplinary artist James Lusero.


We would like to give special thanks to the folks at iAwake Technologies for their generous donation of the audio entrainment track. To learn more about iAwake Technologies visit them at: http://www.iawaketechnologies.com

You can view the whole series at the Integral Cinema Project's YouTube Channel at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQg0cPXteHDOnD9ehSBTxHXFZ5vL93_pE

Monday, October 30, 2017

Research Report: 45 Day Integral Art and Media Experiment

I have been asked by several people what the origin and intentions are behind my most recent works of art, including the Integral Cinema Project's new Art-in-Motion Series.

Both the origins and intentions are multi-layered. In terms of origin, the deep origin of my current and past creative work is and always has been connected to my becoming a stutterer as a young child and using art as a means of communicating without words. In essence, my creative work became my voice.

The more specific "origin" of my more recent stream of creative works began back in April 2017 when I decided to do an experiment of creating a work of art every day for 45 days. The goal was to see if I could deepen my self-owning of identifying myself as "being an artist"...something that I have struggled with for most of my life. The 45-day time-frame was from the book Habits of a Happy Brain by Loretta Graziano Breuning. In the book Breuning explores how it takes 45 days of repeating a pattern (activity, behavior pattern, for instance) for it to begin to feel natural due to the laying down of the neural pathways for the pattern within the brain.

As part of the experiment I also recorded a video journal every day where I explored and reflected on my process. I used video journaling to see if I could learn to feel more natural in front of the camera. As a stutterer I have always had some degree of discomfort using my voice...especially on camera.

During my experiment I created at least one drawing per day, these being integrally-informed meditative mandalas and abstract forms arising from different states of consciousness. I also found myself animating some of my drawings, showing the various stages of creation and setting them to meditative audio entrainment music and sound in what I call art-in-motion videos. Somehow my process evolved to include a deepening, expansion and integration of my varied research interests into a daily "lived inquiry" practice. These research interests include exploring integral and transformative approaches to art and media, the experience of inner guidance and the nature of consciousness itself.

My experiment was so successful for me that I kept doing a work of art every day long after the 45 day period (until my tablet died in October 2017), for a total of 188 days. During the process I found that doing a creative work every day fed my soul, gave me boundless joy and energy, and became a form of therapy and healing for me. The work evolved into a deep integrally-informed, psycho-spiritual-political creative practice that did indeed deepen my self-identity as an artist. My video journaling appeared to expand my process and helped me feel more comfortable and natural using my verbal "voice" both on- and off-camera. The integration of these practices with my research interests created a vibrant daily existence that filled my being with purpose and joy.

As part of my new creative lived-inquiry practice I would start by performing an integral meditation practice I developed and try to connect with the evolutionary impulse or what Jean Gebser referred to as the inner commission that guides our individual and collective evolution. I would then attempt to follow that guidance through my daily explorations of art making and lived inquiry. Through this work I have come to deeply feel and believe that every problem in our lives and the world is a problem of consciousness and our individual and collective development. Because of this my deep intention for my creative and lived inquiry work has become the healing and elevation of my own consciousness and that of the world.

During my experiment, I viscerally discovered three distinct creative guided-inquiry states where I became immersed in what seemed to be either a stream-, field- or arc-of-consciousness and these appeared to be connected to my experience of being, belonging and becoming…

  • BEING or beingness is our Self in the moment; it is who we are when we are being fully present, fully aware and fully who we are in the NOW, in the fluid NOW, for the NOW is any given moment within the STREAM of individual and collective consciousness. 
  • BELONGING is our beingness in relation to the beingness of others and the world. It is our awareness of our interconnectedness with that which appears to be outside of ourselves in various relational and spatial FIELDs of consciousness. 
  • BECOMING is our evolutionary journey; it is our awareness of the whole stream and its place within the ocean of streams. It is where we have been, where we are, and where we are going along our own individual arc of consciousness and within the greater collective evolutionary ARC of humanity. 

As part of this creative guided-inquiry integral evolutionary process I am attempting to dive into, capture and share with myself and the receiver experiences of the different streams-, fields- and arcs-of-consciousness which in turn can potentially offer us tastes of beingness, belonging and becoming...and hopefully help me the creator and you the receiver to evolve to higher, deeper and more expansive ways of being, belonging, and becoming…

If you are interested in delving deeper into my 45 day experiment you can check out my Lived Inquiry Video Journal on my YouTube Channel...

If you check out the intro and day 45 journals you can get a pretty good idea of the intentions and the results.

I also created a video of all 45 works of art during the 45 day experiment, which can be found on my YouTube Channel...

And for those who want to check out all 188 works of art you can find them on my Tumblr blog or Instagram feed.

If you are touched by my work and would like a print of one of my pieces check out my Artpal page for print options. If you cannot find the piece you want on Artpal, you can contact me directly at arcofconsciousness@gmail.com and I will make it available for purchase on Artpal for you.

And finally I would like to express my deep gratitude for Mr. Lietso, my 7th grade science teacher, who threatened to haunt me after he died if I did not live my life as an artist; to Jill Mellick, who taught me how to use art for personal and collective transformation; to Ken Wilber and Michael Schwartz for inspiring me to explore an integral approach to art; to fellow artist Jimmy Lusero for re-awakening the artist in me after years of creative slumber; to dear friend Jonathan Steigman and my amazing sister Mardi who gave me shelter while I did this experiment; and to all my friends, family members, colleagues and strangers who bore witness to my journey and gave me their wondrous words, likes and emoji’s of affirmation along the way.

Integral Cinema Project Research Report
Date: October 30, 2017
Researcher: Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Integral Cinema Project Honored as one of the 2017 TransTech 200

The Integral Cinema Project (ICP) has been chosen as one of this year's TransTech 200, a list that highlights the key innovators, makers, researchers, influencers, organizations, scientists and entrepreneurs who are expanding the known limits of human thriving in the emerging field of Transformative Technologies.

We are deeply honored to have been recognized for our efforts to apply Integral Theory to the domain of moving image media, from film to VR, AR and other transformative Perception Technologies. We look forward to deepening our contribution to the TransTech movement as we continue to map the transformative capacities of various moving-image-based TransTech mediums and platforms, with the goal to develop content creation technologies to help enable TransTech creators to more precisely use their medium to target a particular transformative effect. These include inducing various states of consciousness, shifting perceptual constructs, assisting in emotional and psychological healing, and catalyzing shifts in stages of individual and collective human development.

For more on the TransTech 200 visit their website at: http://transtech200.com

Information about the Integral Cinema Project: http://www.IntegralCinema.com