Bio-Technoism era and post-climate apocalypse. ‘Mother Arkah’ by Andreas Palfinger
‘Mother Arkah’ is a short film, biofuturistic anti-utopia, combining concepts from philosophy to political theory. It portrays different aspects of worldbuilding, authoritarian utopias, nuclear-priesthoods, eco-fascism, focusing on a human urge for innovation. Winning the category ‘Best 1st Time Director: Short’ at New York International Film Awards, Palfinger explores how might a future society and environment of Bio-Technoism emerge, be maintained and potentially descend.
Andreas Palfinger is a multidisciplinary artist, designer, and filmmaker who works with virtual architectural scenography and functional fiction. He welcomes critical and speculative approaches, which he expresses using time-based media, CGI, VR, and AR. Palfinger’s works address issues such as post-apocalyptic societies and speculative biology, biased algorithms, and democratic deconstructions. Andreas studied at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Bauhaus University Weimar and now at Pratt Institute, New York City.
Written, directed, designed and produced by Andreas Palfinger ‘Mother Arkah’ is an 18-minute animated short film, which is delving into a speculative climate-apocalypse scenario and the hypothesis of the posthumanist ideology ‘Bio-Technoism’. The project looks into ideas on prohibited innovation for the benefit of ecological balance, future power structures, as well as posthuman convergence, AI-driven symbiogenetic evolution and autopoietic architectures.
The film is an allegory of the growth and collapse of ideologies throughout history, employing personifications to investigate the numerous underlying features and mechanisms underpinning political belief systems. It tackles questions on how deep the ‘urge for innovation’ is embedded within humans and hence how much humanness our planet can withstand.
‘Mother Arkah tells a story set far in the future. To save life on earth after the environmental collapse, a secret research program creates giant living biotopes, a so-called ‘megastructure’, to preserve life until planet earth is habitable again. The only long-term threat is humanity’s urge for innovation, which inevitably leads to ecological catastrophes and mass extinctions. Therefore, this urge needs to be suppressed through ideology, which is maintained by worshipping a symbiogenetic consciousness and an ideology of pure existing’.- Abstract. ‘Mother Arkah’
The film is also accompanied by 100 pages publication, which supplements the 18-minute-animation with an Abstract, Hypothesis and an Essay by Rosi Braidotti. The publication’s content also consists of a collection of texts – including hypothesis, research, the written scenario in detail, information about the characters and the timeline of the film – as well as film stills and images of several organic-parametric experiments. This guide provides a broader context to the ideas and concepts behind the film. Its aim is to open up new perspectives on how to watch the movie as a holistic thought experiment.
What innovative kind of government could appear in the future? Could a blend of big data, AI, and biological components be the next obvious form of authority? This line of reasoning serves as the foundation for the critical aesthetic reflections in the ‘Mother Arkah’, bringing in a unique in its kind, powerful experience.