The works comprising the program “Artificial Ghosts” are concerned with issues pertaining to truth versus fiction, reality versus virtuality, individualism versus collectivity. They use materials extracted from the digital and virtual world—e.g. YouTube videos, computer animation, design software—to confront the declining association between images and the reality they purport to represent. What emotional validity does the image possess in the post-truth era? How does excessive information in the digital world spawn fears and anxieties in the real world? What is the role of ghosts and conspiracy theories in such a reality?
DateSaturday, June 18th
Spirit in the Wheels
Spirit Within The Wheel is a video escapade taking place within the scanned ruins of the ‘Officine Grandi Motori’, the former FIAT automobile factory in the North Italian city of Turin, which has closed on 1970 and has been standing, as if frozen in time, till this day. As the film progresses, its narration by an unknown spirit, addressing the viewer as the ‘working human’, slowly divulges a clockwork of shifting shifts – the continuous replacement of the working humans with automated machinery, oftentimes amplified with AI technology.
Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis
Young filmmaker Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis’s disturbing film addresses a phenomenon common among gamers in the United States: cyber harassment as part of which one gamer learns the personal details of another, makes a call to the police with a bogus story, which sends out a SWAT team to burst into the second gamer’s house (who is being swatted). Since all online players see one another during the game, the violent raid is viewed by the other gamers streamed live, entirely subverting the differentiation between the virtual game and actual reality. In addition to testimonies by the victims of such raids, the film also consists of animated excerpts that draw on the aesthetics of video games, creating a threatening world teeming with beauty.
The film premiered at the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA).
Watching the Pain of Others
French artist Chloé Galibert-Laîné’s work traces another work: Penny Lane’s documentary The Pain of Others. By means of a personal video diary the artist attempts to lend meaning to the film which fascinates her, finding herself plunging into a world of cyber conspiracies, YouTubers, rumors, and fabrications. The film was produced as part of the artist’s doctoral research project about “Netnographic Cinema.” It premiered at the Museum of the Moving Image, New York, and was selected by Sight and Sound magazine as one of the Best Video Essays of 2018.