Isea 2022 - Possibles



June 11 to 16

Screening / The Unreal

Authors: Gloria López Cleries, Sive Hamilton Helle


The Unreal is a machinima film set in a utopian-mining landscape. Ambient music and a soft voice-over create a soothing atmosphere and entices the viewer to meditate while also being exposed to the mineral origins of technology and its dynamics of extractivism.


Theme: extractivism; video-game; colonialism; meditation; landscape

More information:

  • Abstract: The Unreal is a machinima film (videogame recorded in real-time) set in a utopian landscape. The viewer is led in a first-person point of view across the shiny surface of this unexploited mine. Ambient music, accompanied by a soft voice-over, creates a soothing atmosphere and entices the viewer to meditate while also being exposed to the mineral origins of technology and its dynamics of extractivism.

    The project, as a non-located, atemporal, ahistorical landscape, addresses the emerging questions of the contradictions of media materiality and its disengagement with the landscape. In a grounded practice-based approach, The Unreal presents an artificial world constructed by video game software, built to play with the appropriation of the visual and narrative codes of techno-colonialism.

    The Unreal is a virtual promised land surrounded by an infinite coastline and a transcendental pink sunset. We can draw lines to settler colonialism in what looks like an expedition into the sublime. In this sense, The Unreal has been created as a hyperbolic representation of the techno-romantic discourses that permeate everything related to technological development and solutionism.

    The dematerialization and deterritorialization of the digital have been defined by natural metaphors (the cloud, space and the sea) and are part of the rhetoric of digital emancipation and the cultural hegemony of Silicon Valley. Under the illusory slogans of freedom, innovation, progress and infinity, we have willfully forgotten and rejected the physical, material and residual condition of technology. 

  • Biography: Gloria López Cleries (València, 1988) is a visual artist, educator and independent researcher. She holds a Master in Contemporary Art History and Visual Culture, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (UCM, Spain) and a Master in Fine Arts, HDK-Valand, (Gothenburg University, Sweden). Her artistic research focuses on questions about neoliberal rhetoric concerning emotional capitalism and new online models of productivity, affection and collectivity. 

    Sive Hamilton Helle (b. 1989 Oslo) is a filmmaker and visual artist based between Gothenburg and Oslo. She holds an MFA in Film from HDK-Valand and a BA in Film from London College of Communication. Hamilton Helle’s work deals with landscapes that are marked by colonialism and (hidden) industrial activity. She has screened and exhibited her work internationally and at online platforms.
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