“The Minds of Men” is a 3+ year investigation into the experimentation, art, and practice of social engineering and mind control during the Cold War – a mind-bending journey into the past that gives startling insight into the world we are living in today.
(Directors: Aaron & Melissa Dykes Runtime: 3h 43min) imdb
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
Active Measures is a 2018 documentary film by director Jack Bryan. It is the first major documentary to address the allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and agents of the Russian state. (wiki)
imdb / the-putin-interviews
timespace coordinates: 2038 Japan
Isle of Dogs (Japanese: 犬ヶ島 Hepburn: Inugashima) is a 2018 stop-motion animated film written, produced and directed by Wes Anderson. Set in a dystopian near-future Japan, the story follows a young boy searching for his dog after the species is banished to an island following the outbreak of a canine flu. The film’s ensemble voice cast includes Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Bob Balaban, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Courtney B. Vance, Fisher Stevens, Harvey Keitel, Liev Schreiber, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, F. Murray Abraham, Frank Wood, Kunichi Nomura and Yoko Ono.
Anderson said that the film was strongly influenced by the films of Akira Kurosawa, as well as the stop-motion animated holiday specials made by Rankin/Bass Productions. (wiki)
spacetime coordinates: 16th – early 17th century LondonAnonymous is a 2011 political thriller film directed by Roland Emmerich and written by John Orloff. The film is a version of the life of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, an Elizabethan courtier, playwright, poet and patron of the arts, and suggests he was the actual author of William Shakespeare‘s plays. It stars Rhys Ifans as de Vere and Vanessa Redgrave as Queen Elizabeth I of England. The effects crew “took 30,000 pictures in England, of every Tudor building they could find, and then they scanned them all into the computer and built real London in 1600.” (wiki)
The film was a box office flop and received mixed reviews, with critics praising its performances and visual achievements, but criticizing the film’s time-jumping format, factual errors, and the filmmakers’ promotion of the Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare authorship. (read more: controversy) imdb
William Shakespeare – Notes of a Lecture given
by Dr. Rudolf Steiner (On-line here)