CARTESIA is a 16 min long 360 degree/VR short film of a dystopian sci-fi advernture set around the concept of Cartesian Dualism ('I think therefore I am'). the setting is Earth around this time but a reality where we have been invaded by aliens, or rather their robot warriors, and they intend to colonise our planet.
Tech Note - The video is in 8k 360 degrees to allow a spectacular fully immersive experience, best viewed via 4k/hi-res VR headsets, however the storyline has been centred in front of you so it is perfectly viewable on a flat screen, which will also allow the option to look around in 360 degrees by panning around with a mouse or if on a phone, simply moving the phone around you (you do need the right youtube app to do this, but that is easy to download and install via youtube - you may even get a prompt from youtube to do this). If the footage is grainy or jumpy it isn't the video quality, which is as good as it gets, but probably your internet access speed/broadband width. 8k 360 deg images are big frames and you need decent bandwidth to view it in 4k (4k is the amount you see on screen at any one time - 8k is the whole frame, including the 360 degree parts you don't see)
Here's a brief outline of what is central to the plot and the symbolism in there.
Mediating Dad - represents our take on dualism, separating our mind from our body, we do it, if we can, in a more psychological way. Weather we are doing it or think we are is up for debate, but it does raise the question 'are we our whole body or are the mind that resides in the vehicle of our body?'
The eagle flight - The free flying Eagle represents the escapism of mind from body, the dualism or that better dreamier place our minds can go but not our body
The alien fleet - setting off from their own destroyed dying planet. Instead of repairing what they have, or maybe it's all too late, they look to move on by sending their seeds to pastures new
The dandelion - this appears many times in the film. This is symbolic of spreading the seed. It detaches part of itself to travel and grow again, therefore it shows we are but genetic coding that can grow a new body or vehicle to live again. This is how the aliens manage to travel the vast distances in space to find a new home. But also, as kids, didn't we all blow on a dandelion seed head. Cartesia did and this reminds her of her youth (see later)
Slaves - The aliens build an army of robots to do the dirty work of cleansing a planet of whatever was living there, for they didn't want the competition or the risk of disease. This represents evolution, a species fighting to take over, always looking to spread where it can. Some humans are seen as a temporary resource and the fitter ones are spared death so they can be slaves to provide the workforce to construct the way for the aliens once they return to organic lifeforms. Colonising? Slavery? It makes the aliens seem cruel and evil but then it is only what humans were prepared to do to others not so long ago (if it has indeed fully stopped today).
Underground - Humans are now no longer the alpha species, and the ones that managed to escape now have to live like rats in a sewer to maintain freedom, much like most of the animal kingdom have to do now, to hide from us.
The old police station - Burnt out building and wrecked police cars. It represents how law and order as we know it has broken down. That protection we once had, we could call upon, isn't there any more, we are weak and alone.
Remembering Childhood - The dandelion at the old police station was growing where there appeared to be no life left, but it found a way - hope maybe? Seeing the dandelions and blowing the seed head, took the distressed Cartesia back to her youth and a happy memory with her dad, who has just been shot by the aliens. It was also when a butterfly lands on her hand and then flies off - freedom. The butterfly appears later...
The flight on the eagle - this is her escapism from the trauma she is now experiencing. It is also the eagle her dad kept telling her of. Is she now experiencing her mind dethatching from her body, dualism?
The Portal - this is where her flight changes, from been flown to being able to fly. There are various stages through fractal worlds she flies - chaos, wilderness, structured mechanical and then through the portal to a natural world
In the peaceful natural world 100s of butterflies appear, representing her wonderful memories of life so far but one finds her, the butterfly that landed on her hand at her happy memory of a little girl with her dad. Like when a child she calls for her dad to see it, to sadly realise he is not there ...or is he?
...hey, got to end with a walk into the sunset! There's an ironic reference to the great Orson Wells and also a brief comment in there to the importance of a good drainage system! People that know me will maybe find that funny :-)
And finally, if you want to watch it again and fancy a challenge a mouse and a squirrel both appear twice in the video ...can you find them.
I’d love to know anyone's opinion on the video or even dualism, or if just to say you found the mouse and squirrel! You can email me or comment or message in facebook. If you have liked this then please subscribe to the youtube channel, like the video, It's free to do but it really does help me no end as it boosts the amount youtube promotes my work. Also, please like my facebook page. I post regular artwork and videos there, mostly fantasy/fractal stuff and short music art videos, and do a lot of 360 degree images as well, and I always engage with comments.
Steve - Nepenthes Sloth, UK