Cyborg Citizenship in Keiichi Matsuda’s Colombian
short film, Hyper-Reality
A book chapter in Digital Encounters in Latin America
image from http://hyper-reality.co/
I’ll always remember the moment I found Keiichi Matsuda’s short film, Hyper-Reality in 2016 while preparing a Spanish class.
When I showed it to my students, they had widely mixed reactions:
fascination, horror, confusion, sensory overload, enthusiasm...
this short film frankly blew me away.
While it seemed like pure science fiction at the time, I had a sneaking suspician that this was merely a speculation of the immediate trajectory that we are on ... at hyperspeed.
It’s a continuation of imagining how we have been and are going to continue living a hybrid life between the increasingly indistinguishable realms of the analogue and the digital as cyborgs, posthumans, technologically-dependent humans, whatever you want to call it.
It’s a film that reminds you that wherever you are, the governing forces behind the Internet (aka algorithms in the hands of tech companies ie: FAMGA) are constantly augmenting your space, your decisions, your motivations, and your perceptions of self.
Question is: Could you opt out? Even if you wanted to?
I ended up getting the director on the phone and having a great talk with him about how the film got made and how his trips to Medellín, Colombia informed his idea of what augmented reality architecture would look like in a place that’s not one of the major tech metropoli of the world and part of the so-called Global South.
I’m so grateful to the editors for their tireless work and efforts to make this volume a reality, and I’m honored that my work will appear alongside seasoned cyberculture scholars such as Eduardo Ledesma, Carolina Garza, Norberto Gomez, Thea Pitman, and others.
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