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Geocinema: Filming at planetary scale

, Future

What if billions of cell phones, CCTV cameras, and satellites were used as one camera?

“Geocinema” is a conceptual proposition which considers planetary-scale sensory networks as a vastly distributed cinematic apparatus. Developed by The New Normal researchers Solveig Suess, Alexey Orlov, and Asia Bazdyrieva at Strelka this year, “Geocinema” rethinks the techniques of monitoring, verification, and tracking to invite the viewer to a new film genre.

The speculative project is a provocation to decenter the human role in the creative process of image and meaning making.

“A series of proposed cinematic investigations is not a ‘geocinema’ itself, it is rather a ‘natural history documentary’ of ‘geocinema,’ meaning we are mapping the territory in which this genre operates,” the group says.

Alexey Orlov, Asia Bazdyrieva, Solveig Suess / Photo by Mikhail Goldenkov

The viewer of ‘geocinema’ is vastly distributed too. The team says that it can be either a human or a non-human agent. “A Moscow Center for Traffic Optimization employee, watching real time footage switching between 200 CCTV cameras is as much of a viewer as a push broom scanner used in LANDSAT 8 for hyperspectral imaging aiming far beyond human visual spectrum.”

Learn more about the project from the group’s presentation at Strelka and at the “Geocinema” website.

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