It's fair to say 2020 has not been a great year: the pandemic, the economical crisis, the political mess, and the forever neglected but prevailing issue of climate change.

This project has been inspired by reflections upon the themes discussed in Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982), Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Philip K. Dick, 1986), Neon Genesis Evangelion (Hideaki Anno, 1995), and Social Dilemma (Jeff Orlowski, 2020).

"Mankind's greatest fear is Mankind itself" (Anno, 1995). It seems growingly indisputable to me that everything abominable that has been happening around the world is but our own fault. The selfishness of humankind, the capitalist greed, the reverence of money and power over people and life have all been pushing us towards an irreversible point. We have, in a way, arrived in the dystopia depicted in Blade Runner, where machines are "more human than human" (Scott, 1982) — Big Tech companies know more about us than we do ourselves: what we "like", what gets our attention, where we are at what time with whom, what we're most recently interested in, when we're feeling most lonely... It's as if our existence has come to be but numbers and information in the Big Data that operates our society. Our blinded obsession with harvesting likes and attention online have been driving our intention and dictating what we do and how we choose to live.

The phrases from the quote "mors certa, vita incerta" (Dick, 1986), meaning "death is certain, life is uncertain", is a reminder that our lives would inevitably come to an end, and everything in our lives until that point wouldn't matter then. An optimistic nihilist approach would be to live a life that matters to us and our own values, to welcome the uncertainties of life, and to live curiously and consciously.


extended version of animated poster
skate or die?
DYSTOPIA 2020
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Antoinette Chow