Keywords: Surveillance, Generative Adversarial Network, Sound, Experimental Film
Blue Marbles is a speculative short film about rare earth materials, tech labor, shifting geological landscapes, and modern neural network surveillance systems. It focuses on the seemingly "mundane" aspects of data collection, self-surveillance and examines the acceleration of the building of large surveillance networks in conjunction with advances in computer vision and neural networks in the context of modern China. The quick integration and digitization of large-scale national databases have developed in conjunction with a barrage of public relations media framing the acceleration of surveillance technology in the name of public security, personal safety, national identity, and societal stability. Public opinion and lack of discussion /options around surveillance and political participation produce numbing and silencing effects on the individual psyche. Blue Marbles looks at how modern Chinese surveillance hardware and software companies brand their products, the influence of Silicon Valley developments in surveillance capitalism, and how surveillance tropes are reassembled and packaged for public consumption. Blue Marbles repurposes these symbols of modern surveillance (the common images of the camera lens, the earth, symbols of prediction, the sounds of online hardware infomercials) as found footage to be used, sampled, trained on, and reassembled into a meditation on the complex intertwined nature of global and state-sponsored surveillance networks.