This film screening brings together a series of short films by five UK filmmakers, inspired by and created using technologies commonly employed in videogame development, such as AI and 3D rendering. From delving into cyborg ontology to exploring queerness in science fiction, we invite you to join us on a journey into the boundless world of the digital age through these hyperrealist films.
• TR333 by April Lin 林森, 2021, 10 mins
• Where’s My Stick? by Clifford Sage, 2019, 4:20 mins
• Icarus by Jessy Jetpacks, 2020, 3:57 mins
• The Air in Cyberspace by Megan Watson, 2022, 3:20 mins
• Queer Theory Saved My Life by P1nk Poodle, 2023, 4:23 mins
This event is free to attend, and is being shown throughout the duration of our Pop Up Arcade exhibition.
Don’t miss out on this captivating journey into the world of videogame-inspired films!
Film details and Artist Bios
TR333, April Lin 林森, 2021, 10 mins
In collaboration with ecologist Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, artist-filmmaker April Lin 林森 presents ‘TR333’, a speculative documentary which imagines a new species of tree based on scientific literature on plants and climate hardiness. Their hybrid forms and body parts a patchwork amalgamation of different tree types, this tree is a climate adaptative response, a lifeform born out of resilience and hope. As the spirit inhabiting the tree emerges to converse with the viewer, they share with us their experiences of ecocidal generational trauma, urging us to reflect around the ways all the beings on the planet are deeply interlinked, and to honour our collective responsibility towards one another. Using a blend of 3D animation, found footage, and a musical score based on data sonification, ‘TR333’ uses the speculative to recast the ecological crisis, asking ‘Why is this important?’ from a multispecies and affective gaze.
Commissioned by Sheffield DocFest and supported by Wellcome.
April Lin 林森 (b. 1996, Stockholm — they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist and independent curator investigating image-making and world-building as sites for the construction, sustenance, and dissemination of co-existent yet conflicting truths. Working across moving image, performance, creative computing and installation, they dream & explore & critique & fret & catastrophise & imagine & play — for a collective remembering of forgotten pasts, for a critical examination of normalised presents, and for a visualising of freer futures as, of course, imagined from the periphery.
Interweaving strands of auto-biography, documentary, queer ecology, and new media, April Lin 林森’s works are topped off with an inevitable garnish consisting of the other matters dialoguing with their brain and heart during the making process of each piece. Uniting their genre-fluid body of work is a commitment to centring oppressed knowledges, building an ethics of collaboration around reciprocal care, and exploring the linkages between history, memory, and interpersonal and structural trauma.
Their work has been shown at the Museum of the Moving Image New York, Sheffield DocFest, Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, the V&A Museum, HOME, Malmö Konstmuseum, LA Filmforum, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Manchester Art Gallery, MADATAC, Arebyte Gallery, Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival, NOWNESS Asia, and 4:3 Boiler Room.
Where’s My Stick? Clifford Sage, 2019, 4:20 mins
When we see ProDance® in the Where’s My Stick video, we see him at a transmission system, an intergalactic signal post on a telecommunication exchange planet. He dials into planet Earth’s web, accessing their protocols and sends an upload request to Quantum Natives Records.
The recsund ProDance® is an Audio Visual Project combining many functionalities into one, it has been the visual basis of the Quantum Natives release Intellectual Reject series and acts as a moving image medium across live visuals, game play mechanics, story telling and Virtual Reality ventures.
Initially a light-hearted experiment, the ProDance® has grown respect in the art and music community, being show live at the ICA 2017 and at Drawing Room gallery London 2016 but also UK comedy network with Adult Swim UK re-releasing the Where’s My Stick Video.
The Project continues as part of recsund Quantum Natives releases and is currently building up to be a 3rd person adventure game, ‘ProDance® Music Academy’ where we get to explore the ProDance®’s exiled world and learn how to make music with him and to hopefully return to Earth.
Clifford Sage (Recsund) is a CGI artist, musician and UCL lecturer of 3D design from Somerset, England. Often working with virtual world-building and digital animation, Sage explores audio interaction and non-linear storytelling through game engine mechanics. Since graduating in Visual Communications from the Royal College of Art in 2010, Sage was a co-founder of Werkflow.ltd games studio. He has performed audiovisual sets at festivals including Rewire, L.E.V. and Atonal, collaborating with artists including Lee Gamble, Keiken and Lawrence Lek. Sammy Lee and Yuri Pattison. Recently he worked on Resident Advisor’s Club Quarantäne Series as part of the Off World.live. He has been making music under the recsund alias since 2001 and has released on Quantum Natives and Alien Jams.
Recent Personal projects include recsund – Tuner, exhibiting/performing at Somerset House Studios, London (2018) and Club Adriatico, Ravenna, IT (2018), LEV Festival, ES (2019). Vitalcapacities (2020) and ReWire Festival, NL (2021),Xolo, Space Generators(2021),London
Icarus, Jessy Jetpacks, 2020, 3:57 mins
Icarus is the second track from a six-track concept album called ‘Day of the Challenger’. Originally composed and shown as part of an immersive synchronised audiovisual and virtual reality installation, this circular film was projected into a circular shadow. An eclipse. The album loops at sunrise, the passage of the sun over a barren desert is a motif echoed in the virtual reality space.
Within the virtual reality of the original installation, the viewer is granted a growing flesh body that disintegrates into a stellar nursery. In this video, the singing character appears as three avatars traversing a barren desert, made partly of flesh. At one point a fourth wall is introduced and broken as the artist scribbles clumsily on the screen.
The visual signifiers tell a story of transcending the self and depersonalising the narrative, but the song lyrics speak of the price of ambition. The original story of Icarus is that he escaped his city prison on homemade wings. Then in his joy, he perished by flying too high as the wax holding the wings melted under an unforgiving sun. These days you don’t even need to fly to get burned.
Jessy Jetpacks is a London based multi-disciplinary artist. Her mediums include painting, sculpture, film, music, audio/video installations, and performance. Themes and interests range from the global political to the fundamental and private human condition – where advocacy, poetry, and philosophy become bedfellows.
The Air in Cyberspace, Megan Watson, 2022, 3:20 mins
The Air in Cyberspace is a Sci-Fi animation depicting cyberspace as a parallel universe. A datascape of information seeping from the physical world to a geographical, abstract ocean of electric bioluminescence. Inspired by cyberculture theories, The Air in Cyberspace depicts the start of self-organising cyborg existence.
Megan Eekie Watson is a visual artist from Teesside, currently based in Glasgow. Her work is deeply influenced by Queer Ecology and Cyberculture theories such as posthumanism, cyborg ontology, and glitch feminism. Through sci-fi themes, she seeks to challenge anthropocentrism and celebrate the commonalities that unite an ecology.
Queer Theory Saved My Life, P1nk Poodle, 2023, 4:23 mins
Queer Theory Saved My Life explores queerness in AI image models alongside NASA public domain footage. Typically text-to-image AI image generation is done with visually descriptive keywords, but by inputting excerpts from queer theorists unexpected representations are created. Various cycles of feedback into the image generators, alongside other processing are used in a science fiction narrative of escape to Mars.
P1nk Poodle is a non-binary artist and filmmaker, at once new-born as of 2020 and at the same time bringing over a decade’s experience in the film industry from a past existence. They work at the intersection of fiction and documentary/non-fiction, creating hybrid forms in mixed media, using moving image, digital art and 2D/3D animation.
As a queer, neurodivergent artist they foreground inclusive and collaborative approaches to creating work. Recent screenings include: videoclub / Videotage’s Both Sides Now, Fringe!, and Scottish Queer International Film Festival. In a filmmaker alter ego they’ve worked with Tate Modern, MoMA, Science Museum, and IWM Holocaust Galleries among others.
Curated and produced by videoclub for Dreamy Place