CICLO festival commissioned me to create a special film edition of ‘Dream Cargoes’ for screening at Centro de Cultura Digital, Mexico City, 24-25th March 2017.
Dream Cargoes is a live-cinema work from Lucy Benson and Marcel Weber featuring an original score by Roly Porter (plus string quartet) and Keith Fullerton Whitman (on modular synthesizers). Written, directed, edited by Lucy Benson.
Partly inspired by J.G.Ballard’s story of the same name, Dream Cargoes explores the predicament of the last man on an exploited and abandoned Earth, who, in the toxicity of nano and bio-tech waste witnesses a wondrous flourishing of new life forms and an unprecedented expansion of space and time. The work is performed live by the four artists and a string quartet.
The wrecked ship of Ballard’s story is replaced with our own planet Earth. The ship’s toxic cargo becomes the industrial waste and nano and bio-tech pollution of the near future. Visually the story is told through the protagonists eyes, immersing us in an increasingly psychedelic landscape comprising original cinematic footage, shot on location in Iceland by Benson and Weber, with analogue and algorithmic mutations created by the artists in their Berlin studios.
The score is performed by Porter, working with a string quartet, and Fullerton Whitman, operating modular synthesizers. The score’s acoustically-driven beginning, by Porter, suffers under increasing interference from the electronic side, eventually finding a new synergy with the chaotic, generative energy of Whitman’s modular evolutions, echoing the work’s narrative and conceptual trajectory across the duration of the performance.
Dream Cargoes was co-commissioned by Werkleitz Gesellschaft and Unsound in 2013.