Utopia Vs Dystopia #EDCMOOC

Some interesting video stimuli for week 1. Firmly within the dystopia camp, The Bendito Machine III suggested the idolisation and worship of technology, likening machines to tribal gods with a good spray of death amongst the wonder. However the reign of the machines was limited, only to be discarded every time a more impressive ‘ruler’ came along; echoing the throw away attitudes of our society with the once gods now permanent residents of the land fill junk yard.

I can’t help but draw parallels to the way in which some people react to creations like this from everybody’s favourite tech company. I would include myself as guilty here too – that said I won’t be throwing my iPad Air off a cliff to rush off and buy an iPad Air 2!

Whilst watching New Media, all I could think of was back to The Matrix films with the machines harvesting the human crops. With not a human in sight it didn’t paint a technology ‘enhanced’ future in a good light!

For me, what screamed out from Thursday was the noise. The constant noise. Be it the bird tweeting or the computer beeping, it was incessant, and overbearing noise. To me the sound was a metaphor for information. The digital age has just brought about such a wealth of information. It is easy to become overloaded, overcome, overwhelmed by it all. It can be a struggle to find the important information and all too easy to have your key messages lost amongst the noise. It’s not all dystopia though, the ability to escape the noise through a visit to space was made possible by technology. An example of what amazing things technology can enable.

The last film Inbox, despite some of the stalker like aspects, and frustrations with technology breaking down, was very much utopian. Technology was the enabler, without it the couple would never have interacted or connected. Imagine having a post it note for every tweet/text/online message you ever sent though!

There are many dystopian or utopian films around but for me no movie will ever match the dystopias created in George Orwell’s novel 1998 or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. However the most recent film of this genre I have seen was The Giver. The film portrays a utopian future with a “seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering” however as this is unpacked the dystopian reality of the situation emerges. It is far from the best film I have ever seen, but a genuinely interesting concept and the use of black & white / colour is inspired.

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