The film TOUCH is about the close relationships and intimacy of the fear and desire to lose control. Although this theme reflects into a lot of other layers of society which I feel closely related to and which I see back in the work I’m creating.
I always have a double-sided relationship with technology. I very much question our rapid use of technology yet I consume it intensively for my projects. How much control do we have over our own behaviour and identity now that technology continually gains more and more control over our lives? The easiest example is the manipulation and presentation of fake news we constantly have to deal with. We cause ourselves to have a large inner conflict as we do want to keep using these platforms but we also want to be safe against all kind of bad content companies and at the same time, we want to maintain a certain independence. Then there’s terms we haven’t even spoken about yet such as A.I., Big Data or CRISPR. How much control do we want to have and how much control are we willing to give? What are the rules? How much space is there in the given frame?
Capitalism and the Performance society
Capitalism is for me another system that we have embraced but perhaps this has also turned us into slaves of certain big companies and social expectations. We constantly have to buy new things and we are pushed by the companies to do so because of new updates.
Then we have also the Rank and Yank society which I believe we are living in. This is a society based on performance, result, and success. Those who are not successful have failed and so depression becomes the biggest decrease in our time. I’m myself a victim of this self-harm. In my opinion, society asks for a kind of perfectionism causing those within it to want to control all possible outcomes, while at the same time longing to lose control in this hyper-controlled environment. It’s a subject that weaves its way through a lot of smaller and bigger situations.
Democracy and dictatorship
There is always a tension in society between democracy and dictatorship. How much space do we give to the population? If there is too much democracy in the political system, the result might mean that decisions become too general and there are too many compromises. I’m interested in the moments when one dictatorship is been fought against in the hopes of freedom but essentially, this eventually results in a new dictatorship.
So how are we to live in this complex, chaotic society? Writer Hans Boutellier compares the society in his book “De Improvisatie Maatschappij” (The improvisation Society), with a jazz band. Under the perhaps chaotic processes of society, there are still rhythms and rules that give direction. Each time someone else can form the lead in this composition creating a permanent process of improvisation. The concept explored in “De Improvisatie Maatschappij” reflects on the current state of our society.
Protecting our curiosity
The tension between control and losing control can also be seen in our behaviour towards social media platforms. An important question we can raise here is how to deal with censoring content? Do we have to make it possible to share anything with anyone? How much can and do we share with each other and who or what decides what we see or do? How much can a person see or how much are they supposed to see? Should we be protected against certain images? Is it necessary to protect us from our own curiosity?