Deliberately False News of Search for Pandemic Cure

Production company Bad Manner’s has launched its experimental website, built around the Screen Talk mini-series produced by the artist Neïl Beloufa.

Adapted from a film originally shot in 2014, the Screen Talk project depicts a world affected by a strange pandemic, with a precursory vision and an offbeat tone. Additionally, this new project is an exploratory look at a new model of producing artistic work with online distribution.

“As a mysterious pandemic spreads across the world, two egocentric doctors, isolated in their respective laboratories, compete against each other to find a cure for the virus. One of them, Dr. Martin, seeing his wife cough more than usual, considers her as index case, and places her in quarantine in their apartment. Claiming to have settled in a distant laboratory, he actually spends his days just one floor above with his collaborator and lover, Dr. Suki.”

Screen Talk is a mini-series about the broadcasting of information and the abstraction of scientific discourse, with a distinct satirical vaudeville tone. In this ultra-connected world, the lack of clear boundaries between the real world and its virtual counterpart reinforces individualistic and opportunistic approaches. The series was produced in 2014 by Franco-Algerian artist Neïl Beloufa, based on a screenplay co-written with cartoonist Léo Maret and a script co-written with American artist Jory Rabinovitz, and was shot with non-professional actors from the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada. Originally conceived as pure fiction, without imagining an analogy with a possible reality, the series resonates deeply as we witness the current global health situation.

Screen Talk is accessible via an interactive and dynamic website, the design of which has been conceived as a work of art itself. Website visitors can play games that follow a non-linear narrative, letting them unlock new episodes of Screen Talk. Alternatively, they can download origami artwork to print out and make at home. By mobilizing the brief but concentrated history of artist websites, Neïl Beloufa commits hereto a much larger project of which Screen Talk is the cornerstone.

The artistic intention of the project is to consider the internet as even more than a space for dissemination, exchange, or transposition: the internet can be thought of as the birthplace of artworks, akin to physical exhibition spaces, with all of its digital strengths and constraints. A bold proposal that favors a new way of understanding art, through creations that have been artistically, technically, and economically conceived for the web.

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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