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Life Rewired Shorts - Divided We Scroll by Klaas Diersmann

Group of people on underground train all looking at their phones
7 Jun 2019
5 min watch

Technology is rewiring our neurons and changing both our physical movements and inner thought processing. Klaas Diersmann presents an experimental and eerie depiction of our intimate yet divisive and compulsive relationships with these technologies.

Through contemporary dance, Divided We Scroll explores the chilling reality of a constantly connected world where data and software is continuing to redefine us within an increasingly complex technological network. 

How does your film respond to the ideas behind Life Rewired?

We inhabit a world where technology, data and software is continuing to shape us as humans, from our behaviour and thought processes to our physical movement. 

By design, these technologies are creating compulsions and divisions. When taking the time to look up from my own screen, I was fascinated by how we are held captive by our devices, no matter what we're doing. We scroll in division while we're with our friends and family. We've adapted to walk, cycle and drive while scrolling. While at the Barbican, I even saw a guy skateboard-scrolling! 

We never actually look at each other in the eyes and often spend more time looking at the image of ourselves.

The seductive design features of our phones and apps keep us scrolling with reward-based behaviour that activates the dopamine in our brains. And even when we believe we're connected to one another, through things like video calls, the location of the camera means we never actually look at each other in the eyes and often spend more time looking at the image of ourselves. 

I'm interested to know how this behaviour changes the bigger picture. As the complexities of these invisible systems and their intelligence continues to grow beyond our human capabilities, do we become even more of a captive audience? 


Can you explain the process behind the making of your film?

I was inspired to work with a contemporary choreographer to artistically and physically demonstrate how our world, our communities, our bodies and our minds are in constant wireless connection to technological networks. 

Pepa Ubera, a London based choreographer was also researching this topic and we began to discuss how to bring the film to life. 

I was fascinated to discover that many of our physical movements how we interact with technological devices have been patented by tech giants, and these movements inspired the interpretative choreography for the film.


What does the filmmaker of the future look like?

Having made a rather funny and nonsensical film which was written entirely by an artificial intelligence, I would say that the filmmaker of the future will remain human for the time being. But, the machines are learning fast, so you never know...  

Many of our physical movements how we interact with technological devices have been patented by tech giants

About the filmmaker

Klaas Diersmann is a filmmaker based in London. His award-winning films and experimental projects explore a wide spectrum of subjects and have screened internationally. 

He is particularly interested in how we as humans and society interact and are affected by the new challenges of technology and the new ecosystems they create. His work exploring quantified life and the social questions featured within the Nervous Systems exhibition at HKW in Berlin before touring globally.

He is currently developing a TV series project in Germany.

See more work from Klaas:     

Production Company - Greatcoat Films
Greatcoat Films is an award-winning commercial and music video production company based in London. They are a team of experienced and innovative producers that host eclectic, established and emerging directors. Greatcoat Films collaborates with agencies, global brands and record labels to deliver finely crafted films, music videos and original content. Their mission throughout is to create visually impactful, compelling narrative. Find out more about their work:

Choreography - Pepa Ubera
Pepa Ubera is a performer and choreographer based in London since 2003. She regularly collaborates with Sadler’s Wells Theatre and has twice been awarded a Dance Web Scholarship at the Impulstanz Festival in Vienna showing her work in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain. She has presented work in the UK, Europe, Australia and Chile and performed it in venues such as Tate Modern, The Lowry, Kampnagel and the Hayward Gallery.

Part of Life Rewired

A season exploring what it means to be human when technology is changing everything

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