The Film Comment Podcast: The Future of Attention with Helena Wittmann
At this year’s Locarno Film Festival, Film Comment Co-Deputy Editor Devika Girish participated in a fascinating experimental event called “The Future of Attention”, curated by Rafael Dernbach, a researcher at the Universita della Svizzera italiana. A continuous 24-hour live talk moderated by three hosts—including Devika—and involving a new guest each hour, the event began at noon on August 10 and went on all the way to noon on August 11. Attendees were invited to sit, lounge, or even sleep in the audience as and when they wished. The idea was to not just discuss the workings of attention in contemporary film and media culture, but also to actively experience and challenge the various forms our attention may take over a sustained period of time.
Over the next two weeks, we’ll be sharing excerpts from Devika’s hosting shift at the event, which featured some exciting guests: filmmakers Helena Wittmann and Kamal Aljafari; curator Giovanni Carmine; this year’s Golden Leopard–winner, Julia Murat; artist Hito Steyerl; and scholars Kevin B. Lee and Noa Levin, among others. First up is Wittmann, who talks about her new film, Human Flowers of Flesh, and the ways in which her practice is rooted in embodied and communal experiences of time and space.
Check back here for our next episode from “The Future of Attention” at the Locarno Film Festival, featuring Kamal Aljafari.