“The Monopoly of Legitimate Use” is a joint commission from HOUSE and the Lighthouse in Brighton for HOUSE 2014 Festival. It is a three-part film with individual vignettes in which Revell looks at near-future techno-political landscape. According to his narration Blackspot, Bumper and Stateless explore three individuals – migrants and refugees – in a near future, moving between the layers of this vertical geography to try and find refuge or exploit the geography to their benefit. Each short film deals in turn with the control of citizenship, political identity and border definition, within a complex, networked topology.
The film takes the very physical notion of inhabiting a space or territory into the technological world, where networks can form political territories and places where people can gather and align themselves to particular ideological beliefs. How do we manage to build our political identities and control ourselves within the technological networks we participate in the globalising and localising environments that they form?
Migration deals with notions such us political and geographical borders. What is examined in this film, is the role of networked technologies in the formation of that borders and how the exploitation by them triggers their physicality (Bumper). Although migration deals with the movement of people in physical space, their movement through networked space in an age of privacy concerns and overt sharing has become more important (Blackspot). At the third part of this film (Stateless) the distance and the anonymity as characteristics of someone’s identity in such networks are mentioned as an example of change of a political identity of someone who is under threat from the state.
Tobias Revell is an artist and critical designer whose work addresses failed utopias, rogue actors, unexplained phenomena, and the idea of technology as territory.
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