Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bendito Machine III

This is the first video presentation for the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) E-Learning and Digital Cultures with Coursera / Edinburgh University.

The theme for week one is 'Utopias and Dystopias' and this wonderful little animation playfully shows us both sides of this discussion.  Here we have a seemingly primitive people being gifted technology by an unseen power and coming to worship it, this seems to bring to mind cargo cult behaviour and the manner in which European imperial powers sought to pacify native populations.

The Bendito's come to rely on their machines, in episode III we see them becoming enthralled to the disturbing power of television.  To our eyes the multi-layered imagery being displayed on the Bendito Machine seems paranoia inducing, but the Benditos respond to it differently, their cultural base pattern being markedly different from our own, what they see on the screen at first seems magical, awe inspiring and worthy of praise. As the episode continues we see that the responses of the Benditos have become culturally similar to our own, drinking beer and cheering at a televised football match, and that the television seems to have pervaded every aspect of their lives.

The episode ends with a much more disturbing creation, a war machine with media capability, destroying the old in the name of the new, and with it opening a spectrum of media led campaigns of violence that encompasses numerous national and ideological groups as disparate as the Third Reich, North Korea, United Nations, Al Qaeda, Anonymous, the USA's intervention in Vietnam, Israel, Iran and Saddam Hussain's Iraq.

The show's creators, Jossie Malis, Julie Reier, Sxip Shirey, Pau Martinez and the Paramotion Films studio of Madrid, say this about their ongoing series... "Bendito Machine is an animation show which reflects on the innocence of a small, naive and clumsy species that cannot live without their machines, and which is guided by small, enlightened greedy bastards, who believe they have the answers to everything. In fact, this project would not be possible without the brainlessness of this greedy 1%. Let’s be thankful to them. The show covers many topics and contains situations recognizable in every corner of the world, displayed in a primitive way without dialogs. The ebb and flow of this clumsy species, which lives adrift in a vast and mysterious universe, might look pretty familiar to you."

You can find more information about Bendito Machine on the show's website...

Bendito Machine

The producers also have a Kickstarter site so that you can pledge money towards further episodes...

Bendito Machine Round 2 at Kickstarter
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