Secular Light UNLTD.

Roberto Ronzani, Naim Mbundu, Dimitri Erhard & Tidiane Sane


‘herz’ is a 3-channel animation film which discusses the social and economic function of popular music in (contemporary) Western culture. Our interests and ideas revolve specifically around the spiritual agency of music in a science-driven and fact-based capitalist economy. Regardless of this economy which renders EVERYTHING as either a resource with a fixed value, or valueless trash, we feel that music is able to offer a transcendental quality to the everyday lives of people. This quality manages to thrive outside of the fixed value system and is completely subjective for its listeners (Don Giovanni may mean the world to some people, whereas others close their eyes and smile to Beyoncé or Playboi Carti).

Through this interest, we started talking about a world in which people attempt to actually force a value onto the spiritual quality of music. In the world of herz, said spiritual quality has not only a sonic but also a visual presence. Alongside all animal and plant life which is carbon-based, there are also the Fovali, the spirits of sound and music. The Fovali are a frequency-based entity of shape-shifting sound-matter who live eternally by absorbing and emitting the frequencies of their environment. 

We ultimately created this complex world in order to guide us in a rather open style of narration that doesn’t make any use of written languages. Instead, we were interested in creating a rhythm of images that functions in a similar way to music. At the same time, this approach turned our film into an artwork imitating a huge airport/times-square advertisement—which we thought was funny, because we are convinced that those who know will understand. 

Secular Light UNLTD. is an artist collective working in the fields of music and moving image.

“The human population and the Fovali once coexisted peacefully and interacted through music and sound. The humans would create strong frequencies through their music, which the Fovali would absorb and—by echoing, stretching, pitching, distorting and amplifying those frequencies—they turned human music into a vast hum of the universe. This musical union was so strong and harmonious that the frequencies it sent out would do great things: make the flowers bloom, fertilise the ground, cast stones from quarries via ultrasound, and put the kids to sleep.

Things slowly started to take a turn as humans attempted to feed specific frequencies into the fovali in order to control the spiritual entity and turn it into an industrial service.”