UNITED KINGDOM, GERMANY, AUSTRIA 85 MIN
Dreams rewired traces the desires and anxieties of today’s hyper-connected world back more than a hundred years, when telephone, film and television were new. as revolutionary then as contemporary social media is today, early electric media sparked a fervent utopianism in the public imagination – promising total communication, the annihilation of distance, and an end to war. but then - as now - there were fears over the erosion of privacy, security, morality. using rare - and often unseen - archival material from nearly 200 films to articulate the present, Dreams rewired reveals a history of hopes and betrayals.
An artist and filmmaker who interrogates conceptions of progress and scrutinises the effects of network technologies on social relations, urban space, and political structures. Her installation and procedural works often involve novel processes, like urban planning led by children, or a kayak taxi service along urban canals, which doubles as a research vehicle into the future of transport. These works take place in a wide range of contexts, from galleries and festivals to academic symposia and public spaces. Her widely acclaimed speculative fiction film FACELESS (2002–07), compiled from CCTV footage recovered under the UK’s Data Protection Act, was also voiced by Tilda Swinton, and translated into nine languages. In 2012, Luksch was awarded the Marianne von Willemer Digital Arts Prize (Ars Electronica Centre and City of Linz) and the Austrian National Media Art Prize. Her work is included in the Collection Centre Georges Pompidou and on the Chris Marker website Gorgomancy.
Works in Hamburg as freelance writer, curator (Hamburg Cinematheque, Cinepolis – Architektur & Stadt im Film, among others), and filmmaker. In his research and teaching (Universities of Hamburg, Bochum, Zürich, and Vienna), he focuses on essay film, the Soviet avant-garde, and political documentary film. Special interests are films on architecture, archeology, and those made for ‘re-education’. Film programmes, symposia and exhibitions curated by Tode include ‘Angesichts des Äußersten: Die Filme über die Befreiung der Konzentrationslager und der lange Schatten der Bilder’ (Univ. Hamburg, 2015), ‘Die erwartete Katastrophe. Luftkrieg und Städtebau 1940–45’ (Freie Akademie der Künste Hamburg, 2013), ‘PhotoFilm!’ (National Gallery of Art Washington, 2012; Tate Modern London, 2010), and ‘bauhaus & film’ (Barbican Centre London, 2012; Weimar, Dessau, Berlin, Hamburg 2009), for which he tracked down film and light installation pieces by Bauhaus artists, many of which were thought lost.
Martin Reinhart’s innovative exploration of film as artistic language is not limited to the making of films – he also develops hardware and processing solutions. He is committed to overcoming the creative boundaries written into industry standards through developing new tools and techniques. His inventions are often made available to other artists, or find a commercial after-life. Notable amongst his innovations are the tx-transform, a film technique that transposes the time axis, t, and one of the space axes, x (www.tx- transform.com/Eng/); Vertigo Rush, a mechanism to execute extreme dolly zooms (with extreme distortion of perspective); and Indiecam, a light, high resolution 3D camera system (used by Danny Boyle for TRANCE). His short films have been shown widely at media arts festivals including Ars Electronica, Linz (AT) 1998; Fantoche, Baden (CH) 1999; European Media Art Festival Osnabrück (D) 1999; DEAF 00, Rotterdam (NL) 2000, and the Festival International du nouveau cinéma nouveaux médias de Montréal, Montreal (CA) 2001. In his position as Curator for Photography at the Museum of Technology in Vienna, Reinhart’s research led to the rediscovery of the soundtrack for Battleship Potemkin (1928, Eisenstein), composed by Edmund Meisel for the touring and distribution of the film in the West. Although today he is focused more on creative partnerships and less on his own art, his works from the late 1990s, such as tx-transform, continue to be shown and discussed.
- 44th International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands 2015
- Diagonale, Austria 2015
- CPH:DOX Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, Denmark 2015
- 41st Seattle International Film Festival, USA 2015
- 32nd Jerusalem Film Festival, Israel 2015
- 20th Milano Film Festival, Italy 2015
- Filmfest Hamburg, Germany 2015
- Film Forum New York, USA 2015
- 39th Göteborg Film Festival, Sweden 2016
- Sofia International Film Festival, Bulgary 2016
- Docs Against Gravity Film Festival, Poland 2016
Attempts to understand where we are, and where we might be going, appear feeble against the acceleration of our times. If it’s on the market, then it’s already obsolete. But ‘those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’
DREAMS REWIRED is an essay film about technological utopias, a work that exposes the historical promises and processes in which current notions of progress are rooted. It deals poetically with our desires to connect to each other, and the way these desires were further spun out into fantasies. It is a political film, yielding new perspectives on pressing contemporary debates – on security, privacy, and rights in virtual space; recalling forgotten histories – especially the role of women; and reminding us of the limits to the inclusiveness of utopia – the historical relationship between technological development and colonialism is mirrored in the way we ‘externalize’ the production (and disposal) of hardware today. The information revolution progresses on the backs of cheap labor and precious minerals.
It was in the telephone exchanges that large numbers of women first entered the white- collar labour market. And from the first (actual) director of narrative films to the first (fictional) DJ depicted on screen, women assumed leading roles in shaping the realities and fantasies of the new electric age. DREAMS REWIRED restores to these pioneers to their original prominence.
Perhaps most provocatively, the film advances a new thesis that overturns the established precedence of cinema over television. The arrival of the telephone immediately triggered fantasies of communicating with live images over distance – what today we would call the videophone. Thus, before the birth of cinema, ‘moving images’ had already entered the public imagination as ‘tele-visual’ pictures. While tele-vision remained technically beyond grasp, early cinema provided a near-live substitute, carrying news, sports, and events. As different as cinema and the telephone were as technologies, turn-of-the-century visions understood them both as links in a chain of progress that drew the world more tightly together. It was cinema that dreamed of becoming television, aspiring to a place among the other ‘instantaneous’ electrical media.
Let IT dok! 2016