Bird Box is a 2018 American post-apocalyptic thriller film directed by Susanne Bier and with a screenplay by Eric Heisserer, based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Josh Malerman. (wiki)In the wake of an unknown global terror, a mother must find the strength to flee with her children down a treacherous river in search of safety. Due to unseen deadly forces, the perilous journey must be made blindly. starring Academy Award winner Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson, and Trevante Rhodes.
timespace coordinates: Persian Empire 6th century BC
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a 2010 American action fantasy film directed by Mike Newell. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastan, Gemma Arterton as Princess Tamina, Ben Kingsley as Nizam, and Alfred Molina as Sheik Amar.
The film has the same title as the video game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time developed and published by Ubisoft, and is primarily based on it. Elements from Warrior Within and The Two Thrones, the two other titles from the Sands of Time trilogy of the Prince of Persia video game franchise, are also incorporated.
The film seems to be set in ancient Persia, as the film starts with a map portending to show the expanse of the Persian Empire 2500 years ago. The film set design seems to be based on Islamic Persia. Islamic architecture with intricate use of geometric shapes and domes are shown. The cities in the film all appear to have minarets. The Allied Kingdom of Alamut, shown in the movie wasn’t established until 9th century (after Islamic Conquest of Persia). The Alamut castle was built by the Justanid ruler, Wahsudan b. Marzuban, a follower of zaydi Islam, around 865 AD. It was seized by Hassan-i Sabbah, who was the leader of the Nizārī Ismā‘īlītes and the founder of the secret order known as Assassins. (wiki)
It is 300 years into the future. Earth’s environment had been devastated by mankind’s own foolish plans and humankind is beleaguered by the sentient forests which they have awoken. The world balance is tipped when a young boy named Agito stumbles across a machine that glowed in a strange blue hue inside a forbidden sanctuary. The machine, which has preserved a beautiful girl named Toola from the past, is activated. Toola has a “mission” that had been entrusted to her by the past …Origin: Spirits of the Past, known in Japan as Silver-Haired Agito (Japanese: 銀色の髪のアギト Hepburn: Gin’iro no Kami no Agito), is a 2006 Japanese animated science fiction film directed by Keiichi Sugiyama, written by Nana Shiina and Naoko Kakimoto, and produced by Gonzo. (wiki)
As the world around us increases in technological complexity, our understanding of it diminishes. Underlying this trend is a single idea: the belief that our existence is understandable through computation, and more data is enough to help us build a better world.
In reality, we are lost in a sea of information, increasingly divided by fundamentalism, simplistic narratives, conspiracy theories, and post-factual politics. Meanwhile, those in power use our lack of understanding to further their own interests. Despite the apparent accessibility of information, we’re living in a new Dark Age.
From rogue financial systems to shopping algorithms, from artificial intelligence to state secrecy, we no longer understand how our world is governed or presented to us. The media is filled with unverifiable speculation, much of it generated by anonymous software, while companies dominate their employees through surveillance and the threat of automation.
In his brilliant new work, leading artist and writer James Bridle surveys the history of art, technology, and information systems, and reveals the dark clouds that gather over our dreams of the digital sublime. (VERSO)
“(…) perhaps the crash will look like a string of blockbuster movies pandering to right-wing conspiracies and survivalist fantasies, from quasi-fascist superheroes (Captain America and the Batman series) to justifications of torture and assassination (Zero Dark Thirty, American Sniper). In Hollywood, studios run their scripts through the neural networks of a company called Epagogix, a system trained on the unstated preferences of millions of moviegoers developed over decades in order to predict which lines will push the right – meaning the most lucrative – emotional buttons. Their algorithmic engines are enhanced with data from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and others, whose access to the minute-by-minute preferences of millions of video watchers, combined with an obsessive focus on the acquisition and segmentation of data, provides them with a level of cognitive insight undreamed of by previous regimes. Feeding directly upon the frazzled, binge-watching desires of news-saturated consumers, the network turns upon itself, reflecting, reinforcing and heightening the paranoia inherent in the system.
Game developers enter endless cycles of updates and in-app purchases directed by A/B testing interfaces and real-time monitoring of players’ behaviours until they have such a finegrained grasp on dopamine-producing neural pathways that teenagers die of exhaustion in front of their computers, unable to tear themselves away. Entire cultural industries become feedback loops for an increasingly dominant narrative of fear and violence.”
New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future
James Bridle (https://jamesbridle.com/)
timespace coordinates: 2000’s Netherlands / United States / Belgium / China / SpainThe Forgotten Space (Allan Sekula & Noël Burch, 2010) follows container cargo aboard ships, barges, trains and trucks, listening to workers, engineers, planners, politicians, and those marginalized by the global transport system. We visit displaced farmers and villagers in Holland and Belgium, underpaid truck drivers in Los Angeles, seafarers aboard mega-ships shuttling between Asia and Europe, and factory workers in China, whose low wages are the fragile key to the whole puzzle. And in Bilbao, we discover the most sophisticated expression of the belief that the maritime economy, and the sea itself, is somehow obsolete.
A range of materials is used: descriptive documentary, interviews, archive stills and footage, clips from old movies. The result is an essayistic, visual documentary about one of the most important processes that affects us today. The Forgotten Space is based on Sekula’s Fish Story, seeking to understand and describe the contemporary maritime world in relation to the complex symbolic legacy of the sea.