The Invisible World

A deceased hoarder, reconstituted through technology, recounts a difficult childhood as inhabitants of a virtual world struggle to reconcile materialistic tendencies. A scientist leads an effort to understand the passage of time, but the data is unreliable. The question remains, what happens to our things after we are gone?

In this video, materialism, emotional presence and the adaptive nature of human beings are broadly considered through the lens of time. A variety of time-based materials are collected (including home movies, internet videos, Sci-fi seventies films, and a photographed archive of objects) and collaged, revealing the filmmaker’s own hoarding tendencies. YouTube genres are parsed, including “haul” videos (where contributors display the results of a shopping spree) and unboxing videos (where a new purchase is unwrapped), and the results suggest not only how materialist tendencies have found a way to continue in the cresting virtual age but also how the need to own is often paired with the need to relate.

The present world is packed with objects that evidence human productivity, yet the desire to possess things remains somewhat mysterious. Lifeless objects become imbued with emotional significance, and possessions linked with personal identities, even as these objects bear a cool and distant witness to human struggles. The rapidly arriving future portends an intangible new world of virtual experience. How will we relate our materialist tendencies in this new world of immateriality?

HD Video, USA, 2012, 20:15 minutes

Distribution: Video Data Bank

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