art film

Progress vs. regress

Film by Melanie Bonajo

Digital eco-feminist, hyper elf, witch or devil, Melanie Bonajo challenges the traditional divisions between men and women, nature and technology. Through her videos, performances, photographs and installations, she studies subjects related to how technological advances and commodity based pleasures increase feelings of alienation, removing a sense of belonging in an individual. Captivated by concepts of the divine, Bonajo explores the spiritual emptiness of her generation, examines peoples’ shifting relationship with nature and tries to understand existential questions by reflecting on our domestic situation, ideas around classification, concepts of home, gender and attitudes towards value.

Her film “Progress vs. Regress” (2016) is about the ways modern inventions have changed social relationships, seen through the eyes of those almost one hundred years of age. This generation has lived through a century with the most sudden, widespread industrial, technological, and digital changes in the history of humankind. It documents the most influential of these inventions with regards to how they shape us, our values, and investigates how the myth of progress affected and continues to affect attitudes towards labour, money, time and emotions. Embedded within the film lies the story of how we as a society cope with our elderly population. The generation born now grows up on a conveyer belt of inventions in the name of progress, while the elderly have no perceived economic value and are not taking part in our visual culture. By providing an insider look into the lives of elderly homes and trying out various playful and humorous experiments, this film asks us to reshape our view of the elderly, to think about what kind of care we need to supply, what an old body needs, and simultaneously inform the young generation about the impact of inventions.

This film has been commissioned by HACKING HABITAT.

Melanie Bonajo, “Progress vs. Regress” trailer

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