Alternate Perceptions Magazine, October 2021
Preview of Carlos: Being of Light
by: Brent Raynes
Here’s a link to a trailer of the recently released Carlos: Being of Light documentary https://youtu.be/2-cVHAC9p5k
Film director Tyler Stallings, director of the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, just provided us a statement regarding the release of a new film documentary entitled CARLOS: BEING OF LIGHT. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of knowing Carlos for two decades now and hearing his incredible stories of UFO and being encounters firsthand and admiring the breathtaking artwork at his home and at his magnificent art studio here in beautiful Sewanee, Tennessee. I’ve been honored to review this awesome documentary in which Carlos recounts some of his extraordinary interactions with these presumed otherworldly intelligences. In addition, Carlos shares with us many remarkable samples of his truly exceptional and breathtaking artwork, and you meet family and friends who share wonderful anecdotal memories and stories of their times with Carlos and describe his unique and deep insights and take on many thought-provoking subjects and issues.
Details provided by Tyler Stallings: CARLOS: BEING OF LIGHT (2021), Running time: 68 minutes Produced, directed, and edited by Tyler Stallings
CARLOS: BEING OF LIGHT (2021) is a feature-length documentary by Tyler Stallings about Carlos, an artist making visible the invisible through his paintings that act as visual metaphors for his encounters with extraterrestrial beings of light. As a result, Carlos asks us to reconsider human evolution, spirituality, and ecology, and why is it that we humans must feel in control of nature? For Carlos, empathy is the key to future relationships, whether with fellow humans, the planet, or Beings of Light. Watch how Carlos, in his artistic process and through the retelling of his alien encounter experiences, collapses the emotional distance between himself, the landscape, and the subjects of his portraits, along with the aliens he encounters.
Carlos recounts his formative encounters from traveling to the island of Iona in 1990, part of the Scottish Inner Hebrides Islands, intrigued by it being an intersection of Celtic legends and Catholic expansion. On that trip, he took a hike on Easter Sunday up one of the island’s hills that turned into a strange odyssey for Carlos, during which he lost consciousness for six hours. He awoke to a hauntingly beautiful image—a beam of light, not of this world, reaching down from the skies into the ocean—and photographed it. He refers to the experience and what he witnessed as the “Lightfall,” which inspired him to paint and write about these formative encounters with beings of light.
After retiring in 2005, as a fine arts professor for 36 years from The University of the South, located on a mountaintop in Sewanee, Tennessee, he constructed IONA: Art Sanctuary nearby; an homage to the island, and as a place to explore the mysteries of his encounters with Beings of Light. Over the years, scholars have compared his encounter experiences with those by other Catholic saints and mystics. Harvard psychiatrist, John E. Mack, devoted a chapter to Carlos in his groundbreaking and influential book from 1994, “Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens.”
“Carlos: Being of Light” culminates with a summer festival at IONA: Art Sanctuary, celebrating the creative voices in the Sewanee community. Under a starry night sky, the festival concludes with the unveiling of a monumental, outdoor light sculpture, “The Celestial Sky.” It will provide an opportunity for years to come for others to come closer to Carlos’ revelations about his encounters with “light” as a gateway to the consciousness of the universe.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
Tyler Stallings received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts with a concentration in studio art and critical writing. He has curated numerous contemporary art exhibitions since 1995, along with editing and publishing several books. He has been a museum director at various Southern California organizations since the early 1990s. With Naida Osline, he co-produced, directed, and edited the 2020 feature-length documentary HOMETOWN PROUD, featured at several film festivals. Currently, they are working on two other documentaries for future release.
Stallings first met Carlos in the mid-1980s when he took painting classes from him at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, a four-year liberal arts university located on 10,000 acres on the Cumberland Plateau. Stallings came to understand the true nature of Carlos’ experiences that he only partially alluded to earlier, when he read about them in John E. Mack’s book, “Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens” (1994). At the time, Stallings was conducting research for an exhibition that he curated, “Are We Touched? Identities from Outer Space” (1997), presented on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the reported UFO crash in Roswell, NM, on the landing of Pathfinder on Mars, and in the same year of the mass suicide of the Heaven’s Gate group in the San Diego area. Since that time, Stallings has curated several exhibitions that circle back to that show and incorporate speculative fiction themes, such as “Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas” (2017).
Carlos: Being of Light will soon be shown at the OC Film Fiesta, Oct. 14-24, 2021, in California. It will be online again this year. You can buy a festival pass now but tickets for individual films will be forthcoming soon!