Our smartphone apocalypse, animated by Steve Cutts

This remarkable animation comes from the hand (or computer) of illustrator and animator Steve Cutts, famed for such things as 2012’s Man, which packs an unbelievable punch. So does the one I’ve chosen to post here. Cutts created it for last year’s hit song “Are You Lost in the World Like Me?” by Moby and The Void Pacific Choir. But I personally like this slight repurposing much better, where the musical accompaniment is changed to French composer Yann Tiersen’s “Comptine d’un autre été, l’après-midi” (best known for being featured in the soundtrack for the 2001 French film Amélie).

The story told by the visuals, and also by the piercingly beautiful and sad musical accompaniment, can stand without comment here, as Teeming Brain readers are well aware of my deep disturbance and unhappiness at the digital dystopia that has emerged in the age of the smartphone. I consider Cutts something of a genius, both for his choice of animation style and for his devastating accuracy in calling out the dark and despairing heart of this cultural dead end in fairly visionary fashion. And no, the fact that his creation of this animation, and my sharing of it here, and your reading of it, is all facilitated by the existence of networked computers doesn’t invalidate the message with a fatal irony. We could probably do better, culturally and humanly speaking, in our uses of these technologies. But instead we’re apparently inclined to give way, en masse, to our lowest impulses, resulting in a kind of digital Dante’s Inferno whose factual reality isn’t really all that far from the only slightly exaggerated version presented by Cutts.

A grateful acknowledgment goes out to Jesús Olmo, who introduced me to Cutts by sending me a link to Man last month.

About Matt Cardin

Teeming Brain founder and editor Matt Cardin is the author of DARK AWAKENINGS, DIVINATIONS OF THE DEEP, A COURSE IN DEMONIC CREATIVITY: A WRITER'S GUIDE TO THE INNER GENIUS, and the forthcoming TO ROUSE LEVIATHAN. He is also the editor of BORN TO FEAR: INTERVIEWS WITH THOMAS LIGOTTI and the academic encyclopedias MUMMIES AROUND THE WORLD and GHOSTS, SPIRITS, AND PSYCHICS: THE PARANORMAL FROM ALCHEMY TO ZOMBIES.

Posted on June 9, 2017, in Arts & Entertainment, Internet & Media, Society & Culture and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Come on. This is an overeaction. Smartphones don’t change us or reveal anything new about us, maybe it just makes it more obvious. It is not that different from reading newspapers, listeting to music or being sunken into everydayness, while riding on the bus. At my workplace, of the hundreds people, there is only one who is as bad as these zombies in the film. Probably much more are drug users or have drinking problems or whatever.

    Yes, I want everybody to be reasonable, mindful, informed, individualistic, shit giving, etc. but it is unrealistic. I dont’t think that the proportion of these people shrank.

    If something is worse, it is that the widespread info. tech can be used as a powerful mindfucking weapon. It is not anything new – just an evolution of the media.

    PS. No, I’m not one of Them, I don’t even have any social media accounts and use my phone mostly for “serious” stuff, although you can’t tell that when see me in the subway, staring at the screen and caressing it.

  2. “This is our world” is rehashing of the old theme about the struggle of the individual. I remember short Bulgarian animation from the 80s called The Merry Man and I think you may like it:

    https://youtu.be/JQsqFqvcSI4

    Smartphones or sticks – it is the same old story.

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