Three film stills from Fathomless (1964) by Jim Davis, an astonishing display of coloured light in movement. Davis worked in special kind of way - an alchemical experimentation with light - his films are edited from filmed sequences of light refracted and reflected through coloured plastic sculptural installations. Davis would focus light from the sun using a mirror (or sometimes lights), projecting the light through various translucent coloured sculpture mobiles. He would then film the light refractions as they played themselves out on a screen.
But Davis considered light to be actually substantial - he felt his films were not really psychologically abstract or physically immaterial, but were reflections of fundamental natural forces, they were, in his words “suggestive of the causal properties of nature”.
Davis also felt that there was “something sacred, secret, that no human should know or see” in these forms, which hints toward a metaphysical intuition. This connects us to ideas of the ‘light of creation’, the alchemical/cabbalistic notion of light being a primary emanation of the divine, an intermediary substance between spirit and matter. That matter, without being impregnated with celestial light, could not in fact exist. And perhaps this is what Davis intuits - light as the primal form, pre-material.
Maybe this is, indeed, fathomless.
Note: the amazing films of Jim Davis are not available online, but can be got on DVD through the BFI or RE:Voir.