4/16/2012

Today's video: Golden Age — Somewhere by Paul Nicholls and Factory Fifteen

Golden Age — Somewhere. Or welcome to human technology

Factory Fifteen, again. Golden Age — Somewhere, a film by Paul Nicholls, co-founder of Factory Fifteen, explores a possible nearing future wherein time and space are dissolved — local becoming global becoming local, people are embedded in nanorobotic replications (if you have already watched Robots of Brixton, this film continues their interest for a post-world wherein robotic and human interact), etc. A world wherein you can interact one another even if you don't share h/er mother tongue. A world wherein you can re-materialise yourself. This film has been produced in 2011.
As usual, with Factory Fifteen, the aesthetic is quite dramatic, a collage of 3D, 2D, of real and virtual, of material and immaterial. While been futuristic and dramatic, I find the aesthetic of most of Factory Fifteen's films a little bit neo-romantic in some ways.
The films of this agency may belong to this trend called design fiction, or "an approach to design that speculates about new ideas through prototyping and storytelling." Precisely, here is how Bruce Sterling defines 'Design Fiction':
It's the deliberate use of diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change. That's the best definition we've come up with. The important word there is diegetic. It means you're thinking very seriously about potential objects and services and trying to get people to concentrate on those rather than entire worlds or political trends or geopolitical strategies. It's not a kind of fiction. It's a kind of design. It tells worlds rather than stories.
A trend that includes many designers, science-fiction writers, and architects, from Bruce Sterling, to Liam Young, to many others.

A list of suggested books by Bruce Sterling: here.

'Design fiction' is viewed as new set of tools, Bruce Sterling says:
[T]hat, […] they're giving futurism a second wind in some ways. Instead of talking about grand, overarching things like futurism in the 1960s — we need a new consciousness — it suits the tenor of our own period.  
Suggested post: Showtime: Golden Age — Somewhere | Bruce Sterling || Beyond the Beyond
Suggested Magazine: ARC: A New Digital Magazine about the future edited by the founders of New Scientist, including Margaret Atwood, Stephen Baxter, M John Harrison, China Miéville, Hannu Rajaniemi, Alastair Reynords, Adam Roberts, and Bruce Sterling. First issue: The Future always Wins.

Back to Nicholls' video and below the presentation of this film:
Within 'Somewhere', we are transported to a time where the boundaries between what is real and what is simulated are blurred. We live online and download places to relax, parks and shopping malls. We can even interact with our friends as if they were in the same room with simulated tele-presence. Everyone is connected and immersed in nanorobotic replications of any kind of object or furnishings, downloadable on credit based systems. Distance and time become as alien as the 'offline'. The local becomes the global and the global becomes the local. Consumer based capitalism has changed forever. A truly 'glocolised' world. The singularity is near.
The film places us into this vision, observing an average inhabitant within the ever changing environment of the latest SimuHouse. From a painting to a park and from a telephone call to a shipping mall. That is until there is a leek in the system and everything malfunctions. The film concludes with the house being forced to reset, giving the character and viewer a stark reminder that nothing is 'real' even her dog, which re-materialises in front of her. 

 

 Credits

Title: Golden Age — Somewhere
Directed by: Paul Nicholls/Factory Fifteen
3D, 2D, Tracking, Post Production, Compositing, Camera Work: Paul Nicholls
Cast: Indre Balestuta, Iffy
Soung Design: Jesse Rope
Narration: Robert Leaf
Greek Vocal Talent: Lia Loanniti
Serbian Vocal Talent: Mina Micevic
Store Voice: Guillaume Nyssens
System Voice: Anita Shim
Music: Kourosh Dini, Twighlight Archive, Pete Berwick

Official Selection: Onedotzero, Alphaville

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