charts the absurdly prophetic journey of a humble hard drive from the domestic shelter of the desktop and out into the perilous romance of the British landscape to explore ideas on memory, data, humanism and futurity. Captured entirely on 16mm film stock with an old clockwork Bolex camera, the hard drive embarks on a quest of self-discovery to reveal an odyssey of sci-fi tech, global archives, metaphysical data, digital apocalypses, future humans, monstrous ancestors, and memory failure.
The film features conversations between the filmmaker and pioneering technologists who are developing emerging data storage technologies for the long-term preservation of human knowledge and radical thinkers who are questioning the nature of reality and data, and the future of humanity. Animated by these voices, the hard drive traverses a vast cinematic landscape of data, information, knowledge and wisdom to ask the how, why and when we will be remembered in the future and, questionably, by whom?
Conversations with individuals that are featured in the film include & , doomsday technologists who are part of a team at Piql in Norway that has developed a way to store digital information on celluloid film in an Arctic World Vault. And biotechnologist who has pioneered a molecular biological hard drive that can store all the worlds data. Also, whose technology, the 5D Memory Crystal was fired into space to orbit the sun for eternity. The film also explores Memory of Mankind, a comprehensive archive of human stories stored inside of a mountain in Austria, overseen by its enigmatic founder . Also, Information Scientist celebrates the fascinating and surprising history of data storage technologies, and Product Designer laments his design for the star of the film, the LaCie D2 Hard Drive. Interwoven throughout the film, philosophers and divulge radical ideas about the ephemeral nature of data and humanities future ancestors through a hallucinatory exploration of metaphysical and posthuman thought. Punctuating the film are moments that intimately expose the fallibility of memory, revealed through a personal conversation with the filmmaker's own partner, who, while on a walk with their dog Fingal, share the often fond, but fraught memories of the film's five year production.
For more information on and links to the research, technologies and ideas presented in the film and abridged versions of each conversation featured please click on the '' tab below.
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Hannah Patching is the partner of the filmmaker Myles Painter. Together they take a walk with their dog Fingal to discuss their individual memories of making the film.
features music composed by 70’s Synth-Pop Band , pioneering American electronic composer and experimental Ukrainian producer
was an electronic music band created in the late 1970’s by George Kajanus, a Norwegian composer best known as the lead singer and songwriter of the British pop group Sailor. Kajanus left Sailor in 1978 to form DATA with Frankie and Phil Boulter. DATA released three albums, Opera Electronica (1980), 2-TiME (1983) and Elegant Machinery (1985). The tracks Data Plata and Opera Electronica that feature in the film come from the first two albums which are available to purchase on Angel Air Records - click on record sleeves for links
is a pioneering American electronic composer who has been making computer music since the 1970’s. In the 70’s and 80’s Spiegel worked as an in-house composer, developer, and programmer at Bell Laboratories in New York in the Experimental Research Facility. The two tracks used in the film are Patchwork, The Unanswered Question and The Expanding Universe from Spiegel’s debut album The Expanding Universe (1980) which was created on the GROOVE System at Bell Labs. Her next album Unseen Worlds (1991) was created by her own computer program creation ‘Music Mouse’ which she created on a Macintosh 512k. Both albums have recently been rereleased and are available to be purchased on Unseen World Records - click on record sleeve for link
is a Ukrainian producer who creates electronic music. The track percssn ec, which is used in the film, can be listened to, along with all his other electronic compositions on his Soundcloud account - click on record sleeve for link
SCREENINGS - PAST
This website currently exists as a contextual space for the research behind the 2019 film
Moving forward, this website will expand into an archive, resource and educational tool that seeks to explore the how, why, when and who of long-term data storage and posthumanism.
The website will become a nebulous space to present additional multidisciplinary research, ideas and technologies that are pursuing a quest for the long-term storage of human knowledge and the understanding of humanities future. Furthermore the website will provide a space to present further work, developed from the continued research, that will also explore the critical discussions and individual stories behind the ambitious endeavour to preserve our memory for an unknown future and unknowable beings.
In the meantime, for further information and links please visit and follow the Facebook and Twitter account links below.