July 21st, 2009 12:34:00
Directors and screenwriters Nicolas Alberny and Jean Mach will appear in person on Tuesday July 21 to present their award-winning first feature collaboration 8TH WONDERLAND, about the world's first virtual country.
People from all nationalities, religions and cultures join 8th Wonderland as citizens, debating issues online and having weekly referendums about what they can do to make the world a better place, and voting on which citizens will put these ideas into action. The citizens range from computer nerds to philosophers and academics, all equally committed to making 8th Wonderland a viable alternative to living in a world in crisis. But as their political actions garner the attention of the global news, the citizenship multiplies and inevitable issues of control and power come to the surface.
As to the plausibility of 8th WONDERLAND, there is at least one known precedent: the Slovenian band/activist group LAIBACH has had their own 'ėconcept' country - called the NSK State, named after their extended arts collective Neue Slowenische Kunst - since 1992. Like 8th Wonderland, it does not exist in a physical space, but is instead what the band members refer to as a 'social sculpture'Ě. The NSK State issues passports, and utilizes subverted totalitarian iconography as an artistic statement - promoting transnationality and the eradication of physical borders. (However, as of this writing the NSK State passport is still not valid for international travel).
Still, 8TH WONDERLAND takes this notion a step further, into the realm of public action and liability - after all, it's not as though the NSK State (artistically pertinent as it may be) has caused a tangible threat to any national media or governments thus far. 8TH WONDERLAND questions what happens when this utopian virtual society is corrupted by humanity and actual democracy (i.e. having to respect the wishes of those whose beliefs contradict one's own). The film is ambitious and avant-garde; a cerebral political thriller relying almost exclusively on monologues and intense characterization, and one of the most surprising science fiction efforts we've seen in ages.
You too can become a citizen of 8TH WONDERLAND! Just go to the interactive website at http://www.8thwonderland.com/ and sign up for naturalization.
For an NSK passport, see their FAQ and guidelines HERE
8TH WONDERLAND plays on Tuesday July 21 at 10:10pm in the Hall Theatre, as part of our ongoing Cerebral Sci-Fi Series.
Full details, including description, images, trailer, website and more available on the film page HERE.