Good art will change you, and sometimes that means knotting your stomach for obvious or obscure reasons. Circle of Abstract Ritual is a film that does it both ways. Without giving too much away, it starts off innocently enough with time-lapses of clouds and stars — the types of visual menagerie that Vimeo is known for and proliferates so well — but comfort quickly vanishes as footage of LA riots, wildfires, and optical illusions painted on the walls of abandoned buildings is set against equally eerie sound design. Creation, destruction, and the blurred line that separates the two acts serve as the themes for the 12-minute piece that creator Jeff Frost calls "art for art’s sake." It’s a project born out of a Kickstarter campaign that reminds us that the crowdfunding service isn’t just for potato salad recipes.
The short film is in many ways an extension of other videos that Frost has made in the past with similar time-lapse and optical illusion techniques that, while less thematically rich, were just as technically impressive. And if you find yourself unable to sleep after watching it, maybe the behind-the-scenes video will help take some of the nightmarish magic away from it.