About this project
WE MADE IT! But we are not done yet....
Thank you to each and every one of our backers! We made our goal of $20,000. This was the minimum needed in order to keep the production moving forward over the next few months as we edit the many hours of material we have shot. There are, however, more expenses ahead as we continue to edit and dive into post production. Any further contributions move us that much closer to the end goal of completing the film.
Let's keep it going!
The Empires team
Empires is a feature length documentary film and new media project which explores the impact of networks on histories and philosophies of political thought. We have spent the last year interviewing an extraordinary array of leading international thinkers on the ideas, philosophies and technologies including social and capital movements that are shaping our sciences and social structures, in our networked world.
To date Empires has been a collaborative effort by a few very passionate people who have donated their time and talent. We now have a rough cut of the film and our goal is to raise the needed funds to bring this to a fine cut in 3 months. In order to make this a reality, we need your help. Please help us achieve our goal by contributing to our Kickstarter campaign today at whatever amount you can. Every dollar makes a huge difference.
Learn more about the film by watching our trailer, meeting our speakers and exploring the links below. And please read the interview with director Marc Lafia, which gives a bit more context for the film.
If you know of others who may be interested in supporting this film, please spread the word. And don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions - we want to hear from you. We will keep you posted along the way, and will be reaching out to our supporters to provide feedback and contribute to the film in other ways. We want this to be a truly collaborative effort. We can't do it without you.
We appreciate your support tremendously.
The Empires team
Join us on Facebook and be part of the conversation! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Empires-the-film/231912613486084
INTERVIEW WITH MARC LAFIA
Q: How did you get started on this project?
A: I'm a film maker and artist, usually doing narrative films and video art installations. One night I got into discussion with a close friend who knows of my love for history, philosophy and political thought. She also knew my new media art works and the dotcom I had started, ArtandCulture, so she saw that I was very interested in network and social media. She suggested that I make a documentary film about these things.
Thinking about this, I had the desire to take a step back from all the political noise and heated rhetoric today and give myself a greater perspective of the present and our political thought. So I asked what happens at that moment when we know the limits of our world, geographically, when we can situate ourselves at a certain limit. We know at the point of Europe's conquest of the Americas that the earth is a finite dimension. We go from this moment to our networked world in which we can instantaneously communicate with any node in our planet. This has clearly changed our politics, our way of being, but we've not been able to articulate it. How do we give description of this present moment so we can live in it?
So how will politics function in a networked world of knowledge and people? I wanted to explore this but not from a particular political perspective per se but rather asking what have been the informative ideas, philosophies and technologies and social and capital movements that have shaped our sciences and social structures.The questions were then: How are we here as we are? How have we come to believe what we do? Who has power - who has agency - and what affords this power and what can it do.
Q: Wow, these are a lot big and important questions. So how does this all become a film called "Empires"?
A: Our world is full of empires: Empires in the political and geographical sense, but also empires of food, science, ideas, technologies. There are any number of ways to narrate histories - each of which can lead us to a different sense of the present, so what story are we telling. whose Who's narrating the story of our present?
This same friend connected me with a producer who been working at the Criterion Collection. I gave her a list of ideal people to interview and she started contacting a number of great thinkers to speak with us, and wonderfully, they were interested.
Q: That's great. Who did you interview?
A: Soon we had interviews with Manuel Delanda, historians James Delbourgo, Anthony Pagden and Michael Hardt, whose book with Toni Negri, Empire, gives definition to a condition of globalization and a politic of the multitude. Additional interview subjects include Saskia Sassen, Nishant Shah, Kazys Varnelis, Cathy Davidson, Geert Lovink, Wendy Hui Kyong Chung, Alex Galloway, Florian Cramer, Natalie Jeremijenko.... a truly extraordinary group of people.
As we start to shape this film a complex portrait of the present emerges.
Q: Sounds epic. How close are you to finishing the film?
A: Yes, it's pretty grand yes and exciting. We now have a longer cut of the film which has been well received which is great and which gives me confidence to do the kickstarter campaign to finish the film. everything we have done so far --- all the shooting, the locations, everything of the last year -- has been out of pocket. There is still much to do. We really need to lock ourselves in a room with all the footage to get to a finer cut, shoot a few additional interviews, license archival footage, and build an online presence. These are the things that kickstarter funds will allow us to do.
Q. What plans do you have for the project beyond the long form documentary feature?
A. There are so so many great articles, essays, lectures, clips, etc that I came across doing research. We want to archive and post these online, organized around the topics of the film. Over the next few months we plan to use this research, clips from the film and our interviews to create a conversation and dialogue around the work.
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