Are You For Real

short concept film and exhibition trailer view here

ARE YOU FOR REAL is a meditation on the many layers of reality in our real-time world. Real people are transformed into digital characters, a virtual bedroom studio in Paris dissipates into pointillist abstraction, distorted flowers and greenery from a backyard in Accra take over a street corner in Luanda.

All characters, and environments are original assets that were built using crowdsourced photogrammetry. During the pandemic, I worked with artists in three different locations: Elisabeth Efua Sutherland, a choreographer and artist in Accra, Ghana; Verkron Collektiv, a group of muralists in Luanda, Angola; and Hewan Aman, a French-Ethiopian techno DJ based in Paris. I asked them to record videos of themselves in the process of creating their art. In the case of Verkron Collektiv I asked them to collect footage of their city which they use as a canvas for their murals. “Elinga Teatro” specifically, is an old theatre and art space that has been a crucial community gathering space of Luanda’s art scene for many years. More recently however, the neighborhood has faced gentrification, and yet Elinga Teatro still stands in defiance, in resistance to this urban erasure.

The photos and videos sent by the artists were all processed with photogrammetry to create a series of pointclouds and then input into the game engine Unity, in order to create this short concept film. The pointclouds are delicate and fragmented in form. demonstrating the liminality of digital and physical space.

Boundaries between reality and digital imaginary blur continuously in this “post-spatial” landscape of “real-time” interconnectedness. Real sites are no longer bound by “real” temporal or spatial limitations. “Real” sites transcend real laws of nature. What, then, is reality?

ARE YOU FOR REAL is a new, participatory web-based project, testing unique and interactive artistic practices. It brings together artists, researchers, filmmakers, writers and coders to create exclusive works, each offering an understanding of and approach towards the concept of “reality”. I directed and created this short concept film / exhibition trailer in collaboration with Kidus Hailesilassie and artists such as Elisabeth Efua Sutherland (Accra), DJ Hewan Aman (Paris), and Verkron Collectiv (Luanda).

Initiated by ifa and curated by Julia Grosse, Paula Nascimento and Yvette Mutumba, ARE YOU FOR REAL launched in December 2020 with newly commissioned participative and interactive digital works by multiple artists.

selected stills 

featured screenings

Goethe Institut, Mexico City, 2022

Experimental & Emancipatory Storytelling
@ahhslay @ferenjvr

copyright 2023