Mirage by the Sea | Film Screenings

Venue Jardim Garcia d’Orta

The mobile spectator will be able to select one from a series of similar kiosks, each of which are mounted with a touchscreen display. The machine will then present its user with a questionnaire, the answers to which will allow it to broadly assimilate the spectator’s sensibilities as a viewer of film and curate, thereby, a corresponding selection of three short films from a pre-programmed, finite catalogue of titles.


Much of contemporary engagement with diverse image-forms – in terms of their spectatorship, circulation or censorship – is founded on an illusion of pure choice. In this project the modern consumer charts his own navigation through the dense forest of images he must cross in order to attain the elusive ‘experience’. It is also true however that the options available to him are in fact a yield of an assimilation of his being performed by a series of automated systems – machines, in essence – which diagnose his personality on the basis of a series of other choices he makes: the sites he visits, the products he orders, the music he searches for. In this, the machine accepts the abstraction in front of itself (a stranger, a ‘nobody’) and recomposes it into an identifiable, ‘indexible’ human being.

The present installation is an attempt to lay this system bare through its replication in a material, real-world context. The various components of a digital exhibition platform will manifest as actual, physical objects within a designated enclosure.

Once the spectator makes his choice, he will be able to view the films or walk away; restart the system and arrive at a different curation by providing the machine’s questions with alternative answers – an element of pure, visceral corruption. All the spectators who receive similar curatorial plans will then be offered the opportunity to interact – in real life – about the list of films they watched, or did not watch, while being largely unaware of the various other films on offer.

About Lightcube

Lightcube is devoted to the diagnosis of contemporary methods of film exhibition and to the dissemination of culture beyond its mainstream-specified boundaries and metropolitan focus. Around 250 single screenings have been held across ten states in the past four years. Its Dhenuki Cinema Project shows films in villages and small towns, with the eventual aim of enabling the residents to film their own narratives.

Lightcube also collaborates with various cultural institutions and activist groups to forge different systems of thought and inquiry, which are then presented through publications, festivals and workshops.

  • Visual Arts