WE ARE DATA
Programme curated by Arjon Dunnewind, Impakt Festival, Utrecht.
With each gesture we make and every act we undertake we transfer information, information that is part of our interaction with the people that are close to us and with the institutions and concepts that define our society. In the past these processes mostly happened directly from one human to the other, without an intermediate. Only the most important communications where recorded and archived, in contracts, treaties, paintings or books. With technological developments in the 20th century, the invention of the Internet and the rise of big data, this situation has changed radically. We have created systems that record and archive almost everything we do and virtual realms to mirror the physical world we live in. We’ve filled our habitats with datafied objects and more and more we have become sets of data ourselves. What we do and how we express ourselves is tracked, quantified and coded. The datafied individual is categorised and stored in massive databases that are built and managed by companies and governments. They tell us that they want to “connect us” and provide us with better services, but they are also there to make profit and control us. We are allowing ourselves to be commodified and manipulated in systems of predictive analytics and micro-targeting and the amounts of private data we are handing over every day of our life, is unprecedented. What will happen now that the way these systems function is determined more and more by artificial intelligence and algorithms ?
- The Hands on Tuesday (Ruce v úterý) – Čeněk Zahradníček (Tchécoslovaquie 1935, 13 min)
A witty day-in-the-life of a man, his fantasies, love life and all, shown through his hands. The motions of the hands symbolize the course of everyday. In collaboration with Vladimír Šmejkal.
The programme is curated by Michaela Freeman and organised by Czech Centre London in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery as part of Made in Prague Film Festival (3-29 November 2015).
- The Expression of Hands (Der Ausdruck der Hände) – Harun Farocki (Allemagne 1997, 30 min)
Historically, the cinema close-up was initially employed to convey emotions through facial expressions. But soon filmmakers also began focusing their attention on hands. Using film extracts, Farocki explores this visual language, it’s symbolism, Freudian slips, automatisms and its music. Often, hands betray an emotion which the face tries to dissimulate. They can also function as a conduit (exchanging money) or witness to a form of competence (work).
- Toute la mémoire du monde – Alain Resnais (France 1957, 21 min)
This film is an essay on the potential and the limits of dutifully archived human knowledge, masquerading as a documentary on the organisation of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Resnais explores the inner workings of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, its priceless treasures and how humanity remembers itself. A meditative piece about the fragility of human memory and the ways in which we try to shore it up
- A Dialogue with Cyberspace – Brian den Hartog (Belgique/Pays-Bas, 2018, 14 min)
Is the world just a place where our bodies live? What is it like to have a body and how is it related to what we feel? While we are trying to navigate our way into a new virtual existence, a digital entity starts to admire our capacity to perceive. In our everyday face-to-face interaction, we express ourselves with our bodies. It gives us to ability to physically be with each other. Since a few decades an increasing part of our interaction takes place via new technologies, with the result that we’ve created a digital version of ourselves that we can shape however we want it to be. By trying to replace our physical way of being by online interaction we started an ambiguous quest that confuses us. This confusion, of our physical self opposite to it’s virtual replica, forms the foundation of this film
- Remind Me – H5 (Ludovic Houplan & Hervé de Crécy) and Röyksopp (France 2002, 5 min)
A computer animated music video that the French motion graphics studio H5 made for the song Röyksopp. It features a day in the life of a woman working in London’s Square Mile solely through infographics; this includes labelled close-ups of everyday objects, product lifecycles, schematic diagrams, charts, and is generally illustrated in a simple isometric visual style.
Remind me won the 2002 MTV Europe Music Award for best music video.
Directed by Ludovic Houplan & Hervé de Crécy
- Hyper-Reality – Keiichi Matsuda (Colombie 2016, 6 min)
Hyper-Reality (total runtime approx 6 minutes) is a concept film by Keiichi Matsuda. It presents a provocative and kaleidoscopic new vision of the future, where physical and virtual realities have merged, and the city is saturated in media. It is the latest work in an ongoing research-by-design project by Keiichi Matsuda; previous works include Domestic Robocop, Augmented City 3D and Keiichi’s Masters thesis Domesti/city. If you are interested in supporting the project, sponsoring the next work or would like to find out more.
Our physical and virtual realities are becoming increasingly intertwined. Technologies such as VR, augmented reality, wearables, and the internet of things are pointing to a world where technology will envelop every aspect of our lives. It will be the glue between every interaction and experience, offering amazing possibilities, while also controlling the way we understand the world. Hyper-Reality attempts to explore this exciting but dangerous trajectory. It was crowdfunded, and shot on location in Medellín, Colombia.
Een blik in onze nabije toekomst. Fysieke en virtuele werelden versmelten tot een hybride omgeving waarin we continu verbonden zijn met andere werkelijkheden..
- Wir sind Daten – Peter Weibel & Hotel Morphila Orchester (Allemagne 2013, 5 min)
Peter Weibel & Hotel Morphila Orchester’s famous song “Wir Sind Daten”, a tribute to Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden from 2013, recorded in collaboration with Weibel for their last album Artstravaganza (2014), including contributions from a diverse range of collaborators like Yoko Ono and Julian Assange, among others.
Visuals by Bernd Lintermann and Nikolaus Völzow