We Could Be Transcendent Apes

Through the cypher of the sci-fi B-movie “Robot Monster,” We Could be Transcendent Apes is an exploration of the drive to evolve one’s own and one’s species current state of being. Taking the titular “Robot Monster” and rave culture as starting points, Transcendent Apes follows the monster’s quest to reach outside of its destructive programming, and through (mostly unrealized) utopian ideals of rave party culture. The  project features videos of the creature passing through phases of enlightenment and a series of drawings. The drawings use appropriated imagery from party and club flyers, with the text replaced with language cut-up from motivational, self-help, revolutionary and utopian literature.

In the original film, the monster is sent to Earth to destroy humankind. It falls in love with the last remaining woman. The monster challenges his overlords, pleading that he be permitted to transcend its programming. In the end, its attempt at evolution are thwarted: spurned by the object of his affection and ultimately destroyed by his masters. Rave cultures espousal of the  rejection of mainstream cultural, of losing oneself through dance and its embrace of evolutionary language is a fruitful analog for the journey of the monster.

The project features videos of the creature passing through phases of enlightenment represented through his actions in different landscapes, including Governor’s Island, spaceships and the Arctic. Each landscape is symbolic of a stage of the monster’s journey. These elements are combined with text and abstract imagery to create nonlinear narratives.

 This project is being produced partly during residencies at The Arctic Circle and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Swing Space Residency at Building 110 at Governors Island. Their support is very much appreciated.

We Could Be Transcendent Apes – new trailer | 2013 | Evolution, News, Video