You have built vast deep-sea data centres submerged off the rocky shores of Scotland, Argentina, Japan, elsewhere, and in secret locations. Datacenters so powerful they can render worlds, populate them with imitations of the intricate machinations of the lives of beings, the shapeshifting flights of starlings, the slow and steady growth of ivy, the experience of sitting at a full metro in the morning, drinking coffee from a paper mug, watching the apparition of these faces in the crowd, petals on a wet black bough.
Apparatus Ludens (machine at play) is an interactive story about our relationship with the vast amounts of data we leave online. The work is presented through an evolving series of interactive films, that combine elements from computer games with traditional film to create a uniquely non-linear narrative for each visitor.
You're standing in front of a large screen watching a vast landscape made of images. A voice-over guides your exploration and asks you personal questions. The answers to these questions are used to harvest the internet and adapt the landscape to you. As you explore the landscape you catch glimpses of fragments from previous visitors, from your online feeds, and off yourselves.
We are increasingly adorning our environments with algorithmic mirrors, machines whose primary purpose is to facilitate us. From personally curated playlists to whole builds where “things magically happen around us”, these mirror halls strive to not only relieve us of tedious, mundane tasks but also to help us be more us, to help us be our best selves - help us reach that elusive flow, find our querencia, our moment of zen. We become ourselves through our reflections on others. What happens when this other is a reflection of us?
Sound design by Andrea Abbruzzese
Those flowers will for always grow in your footsteps.
They will dance for you, and sing for you.
Absorb all to yourself and to this song.
Apparatus Ludens at the BFI London Film Festival 2022