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#001 BY HYPER MEDIA, FOR HYPER MEDIA


LOST FUTURES #001 Open City Documentary Festival 8.30pm, 9th September 2017 The Castle Cinema, Hackney

A series of recent artists’ moving image works exploring the internet, digital technologies, virtual realities and other forms of networked existence. Together these short films open a window into outer realms of the digital present, ruminate on our connected past, or speculate towards unknown futures.


BY HYPER MEDIA, FOR HYPER MEDIA

“As you look at the screen, it is possible to believe you are gazing into eternity. You see the things that were inside you. This is the womb, the original site of the imagination. You do not move your eyes from the screen, you have become invisible.”


Still Life (Beta Male) (Jon Rafman / 2013 / Canada / 5’) Colossal Cave (Graeme Arnfield / 2016 / UK / 11’) Wherever You Go, There We Are (2017 / Jesse McLean / USA / 12’) All That Is Solid (Louis Henderson / 2014 / France, UK / 16’) SELACHIMORPHA (Joey Holder / 2017 / UK / 5’) (3u) [u ≤ f and u ≤ m] (Isiah Medina / 2013 / Canada / 1’) whoiswatchingiam (Ciaran McWilliams / 2016 / UK / 3’) t a r d i g r a d e (Eduardo Makoszay / 2016 / Mexico / 6’) I (FRAME) (Karissa Hahn & Andrew Kim / 2016 / USA / 11’) Disobedient Children (Dorine van Meel / 2016 / Netherlands / 17’) 20160815 (Tina Frank / 2016 / Austria / 3’)


Bringing eleven films together under a unifying theme, the internet, ‘By Hyper Media, For Hyper Media’ presents visions from across the spectrum of digital culture. Over three acts, these films show multiple possible pasts, presents and futures for humans as electronically connected beings, thrown together in order to replicate the ‘down the rabbit-hole’ experience of browsing the web. “I’ve been feeling so lonely these days. Everything is getting colder. The universe is not as shiny or fluid compared to the days we spent together. Do u think of me at all?”

I. OUR CONNECTED PAST Before any leap forward, we must look back. Jon Rafman’s 4chan celebration Still Life (Beta Male) mines the outer edges of the early-modern web’s fetishistic fringes, bringing various eclectic expressions of the self into revelatory dialogue. Further afield still, Graeme Arnfield’s Colossal Cave crawls through caves to find - through an early online gaming experiment - the blueprints for a contemporary networked existence. Calling out to connect, Jesse McLean’s Wherever You Go, There We Are also contains oblique electronic messages. Spam email dialogues are choreographed against vintage picture postcard scenes, these hyper-saturated images the perfect companion for the almost-real communiques. Lost transmissions, broken signals. Hyperlinks or it didn’t happen. II. THE DIGITAL PRESENT IRL > URL? Louis Henderson’s All That Is Solid examines the point in which virtual detritus becomes material, exploring the complicated implications behind technological obsolescence through a computer graveyard in Ghana. Joey Holder’s SELACHIMORPHA dives into underwater conspiracies, investigating into how truth (or even meaning) can quickly become lost in the spiralling meta-narratives and manipulations that occur online. With (3u) [u ≤ f and u ≤ m] Isiah Medina hits viewers with a splintered micro-vision of our hyperconnected present, blending virtual worlds with the “real” one, and building emotional bridges in-between. In whoiswatchingiam, Ciaran McWilliams flips the lens back. As we peer, through a cycle of public webcam feeds, blearily out into the world - it doesn’t look like such a great place to be. Close the curtains, log in. Second Life is Still Life. III. SPECULATIVE FUTURES What next? Eduardo Makoszay’s t a r d i g r a d e shows, through a collage of fractured sound and generative design, some kind of prospective landscape for a post-digital age. I (FRAME), from Karissa Hahn & Andrew Kim, presents, through a berserk glitch-ballet of datamoshed robotic architecture, an imagined next-world built out of the machinery of the present. Then, Dorine van Meel’s Disobedient Children visualises our unknowable future through data trails and computer patterns, the narration exploring the peril and possibility of this particular political juncture through a patchwork composite of thoughts and found sounds. Closing matters by blowing them up, Tina Frank’s 20160815 fires out a signal of electronic overload, a pattern-frenzy composed from the deconstructed texture of digital images. But after total collapse, there is space to imagine something new... better maybe? Astronauts of the Deep Web, it may be time for a web 3.0.


Still Life (Beta Male) (Jon Rafman / 2013 / Canada / 5’)

All That Is Solid (Louis Henderson / 2014 / France, UK / 16’)

“As you look at the screen, it is possible to believe you are gazing into eternity. You see the things that were inside you. This is the womb, the original site of the imagination. You do not move your eyes from the screen, you have become invisible.”

This is a film that takes place. In between a hard place, a hard drive, and an imaginary, a soft space – the cloud that holds my data. And in the soft grey matter, Contained within the head.

Colossal Cave (Graeme Arnfield / 2016 / UK / 11’) "Somewhere nearby is Colossal Cave. Magic is said to work in the cave. I will be your eyes and hands." Excavated from the world’s largest cave system Colossal Cave is a love letter from the prehistory of the Internet. Retracing the production of a pioneering video game the film finds in its debris the blueprints of our contemporary digital network and the emotional remapping of the world. Compiled from amateur caving videos found online, these sources are relocated inside a history of geological representation, adaptation and redistribution.

As technological progress pushes forward in the overdeveloped world, enormous piles of obsolete computers are thrown away and recycled. Pushed out of sight and sent to the coast of West Africa these computers end up in waste grounds such as Agbogbloshie in Accra, Ghana. On arrival the e-waste is recuperated by young men, who break and burn the plastic casings in order to extract the precious metals contained within. Eventually the metals are sold, melted and reformed into new objects to be sold – it is a strange system of recycling, a kind of reverse neocolonial mining, whereby the African is searching for mineral resources in the materials of Europe. Through showing these heavy processes, the video highlights the importance of dispelling the capitalist myth of the immateriality of new technology to reveal the mineral weight with which the Cloud is grounded to its earthly origins.

SELACHIMORPHA (Joey Holder / 2017 / UK / 5’) Wherever You Go, There We Are (2017 / Jesse McLean / USA / 12’) Efforts to sound human and look natural go awry. Autochromed vintage postcards provide the scenery for a road trip narrated by automated correspondence (all dialogue taken from spam emails). Aspiring to look more realistic by adding color to the image, the postcards instead are garish, while the narrator’s entreaties become foreboding and obtuse, in his relentless effort to capture our attentions.

SELACHIMORPHA takes a particular scene from the 1975 film Jaws to look at the ways in which manipulated images are appropriated and circulated by Internet culture as ‘fact’. The scene, which shows a shooting star flaring behind hero Roy Schneider, has become fodder for conspiracy theories. The ease of ‘adapting’ and then distributing images – such as deserts, outer space and oceans – offers a rich breeding ground for the fictional and make believe. Taking its name from a scientific classification for sharks, this project morphs between factual and fictional images, symbols and memes; exposing the continually shifting belief systems we use to define our world.


(3u) [u ≤ f and u ≤ m] (Isiah Medina / 2014 / Canada / 1’)

Disobedient Children (Dorine van Meel / 2016 / Netherlanda / 17’)

"Please choose another name,"

Disobedient Children sets out to unravel the relationship between our own desires, and desires as they are formulated by others for us. Van Meel’s script investigates how identities could be produced differently and how one can be political within an increasingly neoliberal society. The visual language which the artist adopts – the atmospheres which the work produces, the 3D generated landscapes, the use of digital glitches and technologically produced moire patterns – can be understood as a stand in for an unknown future, something which cannot be seen but the shape of which can already be discerned. As the camera moves through a hazy field of colours in which a physical reality is yet to crystallise, a semi-transparent sheet flows majestically across the frame as if caught in a gust of wind. Perhaps aspirations for a better future may be transient, but nonetheless they must fly.

whoiswatchingiam (Ciaran McWilliams / 2016 / UK / 3’) captured in ephemeral frames, whoiswatchingiam portrays digital isolation as caught through unsecured webcams.

t a r d i g r a d e (Eduardo Makoszay / 2016 / Mexico / 6’) "I've been feeling so lonely these days, everything is getting colder."

I (FRAME) (Karissa Hahn & Andrew Kim / 2016 / USA / 11’) A video is a stream of information, and this moving image relies upon the relationship of static frames which are algorithmically determined.... In the language of video compression, the (I) frames are the reference points between which movement is interpolated. Manual deletion or misplacement of (I) frames results in a video glitch known as a datamosh … the stream of nformation d srupted, d sorgan zed … nterupeted … lost … the ( ) frame removed, rejected … BUT, reclaimed, the (I) frame, the burning bolts of the machine, are at once reasserted in this dance macabre.... (I) FRAME is a mechanical ballet set to the original tempo that characterizes motion on screen at 24 (I) frames a second….

20160815 (Tina Frank / 2016 / Austria / 3’) Do androids see phosphenes? The video 20160815 depicts patterns that androids might interpret as raw liquid crystals. Tina Frank processes imaginations that already have been envisioned in the early years of digital video art – but were not yet realised. Todays world of images is superimposed by overbearing resolutions suggesting almost crystal clear and flawless images. The windows to the world of images are the glaring displays of our various devices and their LCDs – liquid crystal displays. Allowing the crystals to flow in conjunction with Peter Rehberg’s music, the video 20160815 sparkles like a charming roughness #againstallglossiness.


001 - BY HYPER MEDIA, FOR HYPER MEDIA Lost Futures x Open City Doc Fest Special Thanks to: Akash, Beth, Chloe, Edwin, Matthew, Michael, Ollie, Tristam & Xenia.

LOST FUTURES 001  

9th September 2017, The Castle Cinema, Hackney. Presented with Open City Documentary Festival “As you look at the screen, it is possible to...

LOST FUTURES 001  

9th September 2017, The Castle Cinema, Hackney. Presented with Open City Documentary Festival “As you look at the screen, it is possible to...

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