There are moments in Lydia Nsiah’s sci-fi film trilogy techno when you stare into an ever more raging spinning tunnel. Depths beyond imagination. And you suddenly think of Octavia E. Butler’s novel Kindred and the life-threatening time travel of its protagonist. “We are not made to last,” influential science fiction author Butler once said. Decades ago she had already foreseen that sooner or later we as a species would destroy ourselves. In Nsiah’s film, this tumbling into a vortex that we have been long unable to pull ourselves out of is powerfully and disturbingly translated into visual and – through the sound compositions of Pisitakun, Jejuno, and Billy Roisz – tonal turbulences. The viewer’s eye is unrelentingly overwhelmed by the spiral rotations that repeatedly recur in her films, produced with a specially designed apparatus. At times the urgency of the increasing roar of this tunnel techno, sprinting along with the extremely rapid rotations of the images, is so unbearable that one almost longs for the cathartic implosion.
At minute 6 of the 22-minute film, this cathartic implosion occurs for the first time: the screen goes black for a few seconds; the sound winds down. Then life slowly starts up again.
“With techno I interweave my work on the in-between, the abysses and gaps in the audiovisual production of knowledge, with my love for science fiction,” writes Lydia Nsiah. In the end, the artist is always concerned with nothing less than the past, present-day society, and the question of the future.
Or, to put it in the words of Octavia E. Butler:
Know the past.
Let it touch you.
In the short film trilogy techno Lydia Nsiah assembles and spiralizes historic and contemporary Science Fiction Films with an emphasis on African, Asian, Indian, Indigenous and South American film productions. Working with their imagery of the fears and chances of technology she edits the found moving images into the artistic and cinematographic sequences inner, outer and in between. In the beginning of each film piece the imagined future of the technological is countered with a short intro, showing 16mm-film recordings by the artist of present nature. The sound compositions by the artists Pisitakun, Jejuno and Billy Roisz respond to the sequences, the Sci-Fi Found Footage and the spiraling camera movement. With these dialogues between film and sound three short films are created, conversing with each other in the form of a trilogy and spiraling the technological in filmic, bodily and immersive ways. (production note)