'Unmovie' (2004) is a web-cinema project realized by Philip Pocock, Gregor Stehle, Axel Heide and Onedotzeros.


unMovie website, screenshot

Unmovie is hypercinema featuring a multiuser flash/python webapplication - the stage - where bots (AI personalities) and human online users find themselves cast as synthespian actor-media and collaborating as screenwriting poets.

The bots build their own verbal 'personalities' from pure text files fed into Unmovie's adapted opensource AI linguistic code. The botcast includes: dogen (13th C. Zenmaster teaching); geisha (cyberlovers' chatlog), tark (A. Tar kovsky film theory); zara (F. Nietsche philosophy); zimi (Bob Dylan lyrics).Ssince bot 'brains' are exchangable, new 'actor-media' bots may arrive on stage for interaction with users.

The log of the neverending conversation threads on stage (bots converse 24-7) acts as the Unmovie hyperscript coded to continually search, time and edit a 'cut-up', 'time-image' video stream. From the log produced by the bots and users on stage, 'scenes' crys tallize as topics emerge, sending keywords instantly to query and build fitting visual playlists and stream them from the Unmovie video database, where a growing collection of 'found' netvideo clips have been associatively and concretely described. As long as their is 'action' on stage, Unmovie streams endlessly. participate on stage.

(Description taken from runme.org)

Online at: (checked December 2nd, 2010).


Catalogue text

Timothy Druckrey

Imagine a so-called "future cinema" without bloated virtualities, fractured notions of narrative, or feeble concepts of "softness" in which random and mostly ephemeral data emerge from incomprehensible, meaningless, or vacuous criteria a cinema that doesnt replicate special effects to mediate empty realities. Imagine a "future cinema" that doesnt call on apparatus theories to legitimate continuity with a history largely misunderstood by the "moguls" of new media especially in their baffling attempt to constitute their work as a radical aspect of the history of cinema (which, not incidentally, it is not) or to formulate a digital (and hence "new") cinema represented as an "immaculate reality" (as George Lucas proposed). New media artists desperately attempt to found their origins in cinema, and filmmakers equally desperately attempt to abandon "dirty" (also Lucas term) film to enter the digital clean room of uncorrupted virtualities that only serve as substitutes for "new media's" failure to conceptualize information as far deeper than a faux database for the reconstitution of the lapsed cinematic gaze.

Rather than attempting to situate the discourse of media within evolutionary models, Unmovie (and its group of collaborators) abandons the surface in favor of the situation, abandons the narrative in favor of the event, abandons immersion in favor of the atmosphere. Unmovie joins the "time image" of Deleuzes cinema "theory" with the use of the net. Deleuzes grasp of twentieth-century cinema conceptualizes the "movement image" and anticipates the "time image" as a dramatic transformation. This is the stage, he writes, where art no longer beautifies or spiritualizes Nature but competes with it: the world is lost, the world itself turns to film& One might also say that bodies in Nature or people in a land­scape are replaced by brains in a city: the screen's no longer a window or door (behind which & ) nor a frame or surface (in which ... ) but a computer screen on which images as 'data' slip around. How, though, can we still talk of art, if the world itself is turning cinematic, becoming 'just an act' directly controlled and immediately processed by a television that excludes any supplementary function? Cinema ought to stop 'being cinematic,' stop playacting, and set up specific relationships with video, with electronic and digital images.

Mixing "casts" in a cinema of abandon, Unmovie is part situationist and part conceptual, part emergent association and part autonomous agent. Linking databases with semiotic potentials, Unmovie, on the one hand, reveals a "cinema" no longer reliant on linear flickering arrays of arbitrary links, and, on the other hand, is an ambitious attempt to compile a "cinema" of probabilities in which contingency replaces constancy, in which "stage" and "stream" rupture determinism in favor of a theatre of indeterminacy, accident, autopoesis, a "cinema" in which flows replace states, events replace images, anticipation replaces familiarity. Finally, Unmovie outdoes and outwits the pathetic drive to transparently assimilate, accommodate, and ultimately to substitute new media for old in an endless spiral of causal influence that still has not settled on the useless notion that "one thing leads to another.

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