Machinima/digital video, colour, sound, 10’ 00”, England
In the latest work by Andy Hughes, "Inner Migration," we see a motorcycle speeding through the megalopolis of Night City. Recorded in-game scenes from Cyberpunk 2077 are juxtaposed with archive film footage, revealing cooling towers overlaid with early space-age imagery. The dystopian future depicted in Cyberpunk 2077 offers a vivid portrayal of an urban landscape where powerful corporations not only govern technological advancements but also play a significant role in shaping and exploiting people, places, and the environment.
Hughes’s avatar travels through the landscape, running across a trash mountain and swimming backwards into a sunset. We also see and hear archive material from "Out of This World" (1964) and "To New Horizons" (1940), two promotional American domestic films created by General Motors that present future worlds.In exploring this virtual world like a flâneur, the artist looks for what the French philosopher Michel Serres described as soft pollution. While we can measure what Serres described as "hard pollution"—the poisoning of the Earth—we ignore at our peril the disastrous impact of the "soft pollution" created by sound and images on our psyches.
As we rush through Night City, we become conscious of a kind of cognitive dissonance as the visceral, shimmering electronic virtual game world collides with 1940s and 1960s American commercial propaganda. "Inner Migration" encourages viewers to reflect on their internal perspectives regarding how Earth might look soon compared to earlier predictions. Depending on one's location and real-world perspective, the current global situation may already resemble the envisioned scenario.
The film has been selected for the 2024 Milan Machinima Festival
"Inner Migration" encourages viewers to reflect on their internal perspectives regarding how Earth might look in the near future compared to earlier predictions. Depending on one's location and real-world perspective, the current global situation may already resemble the envisioned scenario".