Ultra Violet (UV) Ensemble Statement

Ultra Violet wavelength emitting BlackLights are used to identify legal and counterfeit currency, to reveal forensic evidence at crime scenes, or to check "invisible" hand stamps when people re-enter nightclubs. They have been used in many Eastern European theatrical companies since at least the end of World War II. And in American pop culture, they are of course associated with haunted houses and head shop psychedelia.

Because the culture industry most often correlates BlackLights with Halloween and Hippies, they carry an implied kitsch. Within the milieu of 21st century kitsch, blacklight art is in kinship with velvet paintings of thin Elvis or Warner Brothers cartoon lawn ornaments. The UV Ensemble categorically asserts there is absolutely nothing wrong with velvet paintings or cartoon lawn ornaments. Kitsch is, after all, only a word. It is simply worth noting our contemporary understanding or unconscious consumption of the goods and services signified by the word "kitsch" results from a blurry Dionysian gaze.

Nietzsche previously mapped the fork on the artist's path that splits Dionysus from Apollo, apart from the whole. Apollo, the staid, seriously contemplative god, is best represented by sculpture; Dionysus, the Hippie, is best represented by dance. Blacklight art is traditionally dance art, an atmospheric gestalt of social interaction. The UV Ensemble acknowledges and celebrates this tradition.

In addition to triggering a shamanic dance quest, however, the UV Ensemble also aspires to hold the sacred circle of Apollo open, until all sojourners who wish to return have returned-to the stability of a temporary construct known as the Ancient Gallery. The Ancient Gallery is a hitching post for the golden chords of all participants, so that as they ride into the ethers of Elysium they can nevertheless glance over their shoulders into the stillness of a suspended Apollonian realm.

In other words, The UV Ensemble strives to demonstrate BlackLight art has as much depth as it has breadth. Our work is a perhaps-naïve and certainly-immature semiotic gesture, the crafting of narrative without semantics, syntax, or consistency. The Ancient Gallery embraces the constantly evolving meme-plex of information and awareness living through time as art and ritual.