A Mobile Life, avatars, emotional fracturing, Gamification, Identity, lifestyle, mobile consumption, multiple identities, psychology, search for self, technology, technology landfills, The Death of Memory, virtual living
NOTE: STORY/FILM IDEA ORIGINALLY CREATED AS A PIECE OF STORYTELLING DROPPING OUT FROM THE TOPIC OF DISCARDED TECHNOLOGY – By Julian Borra©2012
ELEVATOR PITCH – In a sentence: Memento on Mobiles – How machines murdered memory & identity.
WE OPEN ON A BLOKE, AN EVERYDAY BLOKE. HE’S IN A BED BUT HE’S DRESSED. HIS CLOTHES ARE A MESS. HE LOOKS LIKE HE SLEPT IN A SKIP AND HERE HE IS, IN AN EXQUISITE LOFT APARTMENT SOMEWHERE. EGYPTIAN LINEN. DUSTBIN SCENT.
He’s foggy, wooly. Unsure and half awake.
He starts to quietly wail. He looks suddenly wide-awake and terrified. He makes the physical shape of a small creature trapped in a corner of life.
He is wild eyed. Something is wrong something is terribly terrible wrong. He looks around desperately.
There are picture frames. Many picture frames – in all the unusual and haphazard random shapes and styles you get in a home – but every one is empty.
His hands run around his half standing body – a wallet in his back pocket reveals nothing – it is worn – lived in but empty of everything and anything.
He looks down. His bare feet are crusted and smeared with old blood.
He stumbles towards what he believes is a bathroom adjoining the room. He frantically opens all the cupboards. Nothing. No medication, no shampoo, no bin with old cotton buds and tissues – nothing to make this place – human.
He stops. He looks at himself in the mirror. His eyes search his face. He moves his have draws his hand over his chin, scruffs his hair, tears at his face. We start to realise that he has absolutely no idea who he is – who the fuck IS HE?
He opens and closes the mirror cupboard – his face appearing and disappearing – as if trying to jolt his mind into remembering who he is.
We see his feet as he paces across the floor. As he walks he touches furniture; trying to connect – nothing. He walks down some open plan stairs.
He looks in draws – filled with the bric-a-brac of living but nothing – not one thing held a sense… …of someone… …anyone… …any… … identity
The windows reveal nothing. He could be in a truck by a river next to park in a market town underground – anywhere.
His eyes alight on a half open door. He senses more than sees a large space beyond it. He walks towards and then after a beat through the doors. He is in a large loft apartment styled space. The space is empty. Except for one thing. A piece of furniture? He moves towards it. At the far end: a large chest of drawers
He walks towards it as if drawn towards it – by something. No voodoo. Just something
He slows as he reaches it.
Something in it makes him feel apprehensive.
He touches the wrought metal handles. He runs his fingers across the surface. The wood, walnut perhaps, inlaid with mother of pearl. He fingers the handle and then curls his fingers slowly under it, just the tips. He pulls. The drawer slides elegantly out – this is a very, very expensive item.
He looks in. His gaze is met by what seem like dozens of bits of tech. They are mobiles – mobiles of every style and hue and age. There are mobiles in cases and with trinkets, old palms, crackberries, i-phones, motorolas, nokias HTC’s …Jesus.
He picks up one of the more recent models – couple of years old – he flips it. It’s charged. But phones lose charge? Why’s a two-year-old phone charged? He flicks through it.
No signal – no call logs – no message logs – gallery! – gallery?
There’s some files in the gallery. Pictures, random pictures of places; they mean nothing to him…and a woman…he stares. Nothing.
Up here? Down there? Nothing he feels nothing when he looks at her – she is mad and distracted – in the next, she’s reading in a café.
There’s a film file. He hits play. He can see the woman playfully avoiding the film maker. It’s not in this place. It’s a hotel place – somewhere cool and foreign. A hand comes in from the film maker gesticulating to her. She gives the camera the finger. The disembodied hand gestures. She disappears and the film follows her. As we turn the corner she is right in front of us – creepy – staring. She’s not laughing anymore: she smashes her fist at the lens and the film cuts.
A small fizzing feeling slides across his sternum, up his neck and glides across the right side of is face. A small tremor: was it actually a twitch, fires in his left eye.
The random hand in the film wore a large and quite avant-garde ring on the thumb of the right hand.
The hand he is holding the mobile with. His finger traces a faint shallow but very present impression on his thumb, the inner ridge of skin slightly rougher, coarser – the worn edge of where a ring might once have rubbed and rolled and sat.
Suddenly he frenetically scrabbles through the drawer looking for anything, something to explain who the FUCK HE IS….
He picks up phone after phone: every one. Fully charged. WTF! Now. Where is he NOW.
He grabs what he thinks is the most recent model. He pops the button. Glow, sound signature, mix up. Interface. Gallery. Shit interface. Where’s the gallery. No gallery. Messages? Messages. Picture messages. He scrolls through it. There are hundreds of them. ALl kinds of crap. Girl. A girl. No. He looks closer. Its her. The woman. But she’s younger. So much younger.
He scrolls further. An older couple. Her parents? His parents?
A very sharp pain traverses his skull as a thought crosses his mind. Synchronicity.
He checks the model. He checks the previous model. He knows models.
The model the old her is on: thats weird. Its older than the model the young her is on.
His face fizzes and buzzes again, louder this time.
Stupid tune. Stupid tune. In his head. Not in his head? Wheres the stupid tune? Tune’s in the drawer. The drawer is ringing.
He starts to tear at the mass of mobiles. Which one’s ringing?
Two stupid tunes? No three. Three tunes.
He steps back. The whole drawer vibrates now.
Every phone starts to ring. Too many stupid tunes.
And one voice.