16mm colour film transferred to digital, 1 Hour 11 mins
Sunrise With Sea Monsters charts the absurdly prophetic journey of a humble hard drive from the domestic shelter of the desktop and out into the perilous romance of the British landscape to explore speculative ideas on memory, data, humanism and futurity. Captured entirely on 16mm film stock with an old clockwork Bolex camera, the hard drive embarks on a quest of self-discovery to reveal an odyssey of sci-fi tech, global archives, digital apocalypses, metaphysical data, non-human futures, and memory failure.
The film features conversations between myself (Myles Painter) and pioneering technologists who are developing emerging data storage technologies for the long-term preservation of human knowledge and radical thinkers who are questioning the nature of reality, data, and the future of humanity. Animated by these voices, the hard drive traverses a vast cinematic landscape to ask the who, how, when and why we will be remembered in the future and by whom?
Individuals featured in the film include Djordje Hinic & Alfredo Trujillo, doomsday technologists who are part of a team at Piql in Norway that has developed a way to store digital information on celluloid film in an Arctic World Vault. Also biotechnologist Yaniv Erlic who has pioneered a molecular biological hard drive that can store all the worlds data and Peter Kazansky who’s technology, the 5D Memory Crystal was fired into space to orbit the sun for eternity. The film also explores Memory of Mankind, a comprehensive archive of human stories stored inside of a mountain in Austria, overseen by its enigmatic founder Martin Kunze. Information Scientist Diane Pennington celebrates the fascinating and surprising history of data storage technologies, and Product Designer Neil Poulton laments his design for the star of the film, the LaCie D2 Hard Drive. Interwoven throughout the film, philosophers Timothy Morton and David Roden divulge radical ideas about the ephemeral nature of data and our future non-human ancestors through a hallucinatory exploration of metaphysical and posthuman thought. Punctuating the film are moments that intimately expose the fallibility of memory, revealed through a personal conversation with my own partner, Hannah Patching during which, while on a walk with our dog Fingal, we share the often fond, but fraught memories of the film's five-year production.
The film is accompanied by the website www.sunrisewithseamonsters.com (link below) which is a home, archive and contextual space for the film and project as a whole. The website provides longer abridged versions of all the conversations featured in the film and links to their multidisciplinary work and research along with information and links to the musicians featured in the film. The project will continue to grow through this website presenting a broad multidisciplinary archive of people, ideas, stories and technologies that will continue to question the ambitious endeavor of preserving our memories, data and knowledge for an uncertain future and unknown human or non-human recipients.