Tales of a Digital Immigrant is a collection of interwoven micro stories. These stories are nostalgic recollections focused on the transition of worlds through immigration and technological change. These stories are about clouds, hats, grandmothers, adapters, and a man wit a keyhole for an iris. They are meant to be read symbolically. All are as true as memory can be as they are based on the experience of an American child born of the baby boom.
The inquiry resulting in this film fixed on the implication a digital culture is a displacing culture; that an ever-advancing technology also crafts a world of old stuff. If we accept this notion - we imply the elders are left homesick by progress. It’s they who are forced to learn new modalities of a displaced homeland. They are “the other” - the immigrants who never wandered.
The film purposefully shuns new media. It pays homage to the embroidering storyteller. It’s a library of stories made significant as they are retold, tailored, and used to impart personal and cultural narratives. They are buoyant flotsam bobbing on the surface of time, never descending the dark depths of forgetfulness.
“Recording,” our term for registering information, comes from two syllables, “re” and “cor,” and thus reminds us that people used to believe that we preserved memories in our heart. This might be a helpful association as we increasingly face the decision of what among this endless deluge of data actually interests or moves us. But where exactly is recollection located now? We don’t know.
There’s a story told about Ronald Reagan that during his 1980 presidential campaign he related with complete conviction a wartime experience that, although he seemed to have believed that it had really happened, turns out to have been merely the plot of a Hollywood film that he had internalized and made into a reminiscence. In numerous experiments, scientists have proved that our memories are anything but objective recordings of events that actually occurred. Accordingly, they’re not something that’s been put away for future reference like a book on a shelf, but rather a construction repeatedly regenerated in real time in our brain. Thus, the brain doesn’t play the role of a repository or even of consciousness itself; rather, it’s the interface between the individual and his/her environment, and memory and consciousness are constantly being created anew from the processes of this connection.
Athens International Film and Video Festival 2013
transartfest nostalgia, Berlin August 2013
The Mine Factory - Pittsburgh PA December 2013