MUTEK_IMG 5: "Worldbuilding for Nonhumans" – Lawrence Lek
Presentation by Lawrence Lek (UK)
Moderation by Yuriko Furuhata – McGill University (JP/QC)
Presented in collaboration with McGill University, along with the support of the William Dawson Scholar of Cinema and Media History at McGill University
Tuesday, August 20, 2019 — Les Studios des 7 Doigts
Using examples from his CGI films, open-world simulations, and soundtracks, Lawrence Lek discuss his use of fictional artists and artificial protagonists. These worlds are populated with dreamers and creators – autonomous satellites, digital sculptors, entertainment corporations – all searching for self-realisation as they grapple with the conditions of their existence. His recent projects have revolved around his 2016 video essay Sinofuturism (1839-2046 AD), a universe where characters, corporations, and cultures are entangled with the emergence of artificial intelligence and the geopolitics of East Asia. In AIDOL (2019), a fading superstar enlists the help of an AI songwriter to help her make a comeback at the 2065 eSports Olympics. This human-machine collaboration contrasts with the conflict in the film's prequel, Geomancer (2017), where pro-human 'Bio-Supremacist' activists enact Anti-AI Laws in response to the rise of artificial artists.
Connecting Lek’s work to current debates in media studies such as aesthetics and geopolitics of climatic media and future forecasting, Yuriko Furuhata discuss these themes with him further.