Reflections on the Brave New World
(6:00 mins: 16mm & Super 8mm transferred to DV: 2008)
In 1962 shortly before his death, Aldous Huxley author of Brave New World addressed an audience at Berkeley CA with a speech entitled ‘The Ultimate Revolution’.
He reflected on the advances made since the publication of his prophetic novel in 1932 and contemplated the nature of control in advanced democratic societies, where technology plays an increasingly centralised role in the regulation of body and mind.
‘If you can get people to consent to the state of affairs in which they’re living…the state of servitude the state of being, having their differences ironed out, and being made amenable to mass production methods on the social level, if you can do this, then you have, you are likely, to have a much more stable and lasting society. Much more easily controllable society than you would if you were relying wholly on clubs and firing squads and concentration camps.’
Reflections on the Brave New World is a response to a recording of the Huxley speech and was performed as part of EXP24′s night for Leeds International Film Festival in 2008. The work consisted of a prepared film loop edited to a soundtrack using found footage and hand processed Super 8 film. This was synchronised alongside an educational 16mm film featuring an earthworm in preparation for dissection. Confrontational with the interplay between the two images side by side on screen, the piece is suggestive with both the specimin of the earthworm and the face of the woman undergoing external manipulation. Portions of the original voice recording could be heard along with live audio interference and selected readings from Herbert Marcuse’s One Dimensional Man.
The piece was first performed in 2008 at KiNETIKA! EXP24′s event for the 22nd Leeds International Film Festival. It has since been screened in a split screen format and in 2011 was updated and performed at oko‘s expanded cinema event Cinema Corporel.
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