It's not called a wePhone for a reason, but our ever-growing connection to social networks and personalized technology is inspiring many of the world's greatest artists to meditate on our relationship to both physical bodies and digitized screens, as well as the muddled intersection between the two.
Spike Jonze, a longtime friend and collaborator of The Creators Project, has created one of the most intimate investigations into our ties to tech in his newest work, Her, which just received five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. The film focuses on love, loss, and how artificial intelligence may alter our perceptions of those abstract ideas--as well as how our conceptualization of a "relationship" is already changing.
Inspired by Her's themes of connection and meaningful communication in the age of internet supremacy, The Creators Project asked filmmaker Lance Bangs (who also directed our profile of Jonze) to interview a range of creatives, including LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, actress Olivia Wilde (who appears in Her), Marc Maron, and many more to talk about their personal experiences with love and how technology shapes those experiences.
"I wanted to make a short film about intimacy, loneliness, and heartache," explains Bangs. "Something about relationships and what they are. What makes them work or fail, and where we might be headed in the future."
James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem
Her challenges viewers to ask just What is so special about human relationships? What, if anything, makes them unique? Though Bangs' interview subjects may focus on love and relationships in their art, articulating a verbal answer to such a big question is as complicated as, say, defining our identities.
"Everyone's definition of love is different, so whether technology has helped or hindered that probably depends on how you define love in the first place," says Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches. "I think it really does come down to the individual, and what everyone's needs are, and I think Her is about that," answered author Bret Easton Ellis. Meanwhile, to comedian Marc Maron (of Maron and the WTF Podcast), the answer is more straightforward: "love is the antithesis of fear."
Olivia Wilde of "Her"
"I think it would be kind of impossible to watch this movie and not associate yourself with some aspect of it," says filmmaker Alan Del Rio Ortiz
, himself fresh from a break-up. Regardless of being an artist, Bangs' short illustrates that all cognitive beings can relate to Her
protagonist Theodore's need for connection, as well as that connection
means so many different things in 2014. We can be alone and together at the same time, and love is never a concrete idea. Messy and unfixable by a simple trip to the Genius Bar, shared human experience is a multifaceted affair that Bangs and his friends strive to dissect and illuminate.
It seems that no matter how technology may change the look and feel of relationships and love, certain truths will always remain. As Theodore says in the film: "There's something so good about sharing your life with somebody," even if that body is made of metal.
Thank you to all the amazing artists who appeared in the doc:
Bret Easton Ellis
Alan Del Rio Ortiz
Christopher Ryan, Ph.D.
See more about Her
on the film's official site, here