CINEMA TOURS V. Panoptic Dystopia

by Xisela Franco

Cinema Tours proposes a walk through Tui with three immersive stopping points in the city’s historic buildings to enjoy unique performances and audiovisual installations. As every year, the cinema expands beyond the traditional screen, in dialogue with the performing and visual arts, projecting itself onto architectural spaces, reinterpreting heritage. An ephemeral art experience produced live, for one night only, for a small group of people.


Under the title Panoptic Dystopia, this year we present three groups of visual artists who will premiere their works created exclusively for Play- Doc. The panopticon is a virtual architectural prison structure, that serves to keep watch without being seen and thus maintain order and control. We live in a global panopticon, at the service of power, which seeks disciplined individuals who obey the rules. But there is the possibility of breaking out of this controlled world.


Gene Youngblood, the theorist who wrote Expanded Cinema (1970), recognizing certain failures in the countercultural outburst of his youth, he later proposed (in his conference “Secession from the broadcast” 2012) a sharp cut, a definitive change towards “alternative worlds”. This profound conversion would allow an expansion of consciousness, a categorical change that radiates a new system. The challenge that his transformation implies is not minor, it is about causing a transformation urgently and on a large scale. Undoubtedly art has an essential role to play in this future change, and these three proposals come in this spirit.


Lara and Noa Castro

Twins Lara and Noa Castro, based in recent years in Basilea, return to Galicia to present a new project. From their training in Fine Arts, they continue to explore their Galician roots through art, film, performance and writing.  Their work explores the collective memory, dreams, prophecies, stories and popular songs of Costa da Morte shared through the voice, that ancestral voice of which they explore its possibilities also beyond the human, delving into the fascinating communication systems generated by animals.

 This research they carry out on the Galician oral tradition appropriates collective history to value it, but also to reverse it and represent it in the form of dialogic performance. This dialogue between sisters recovers ancestral narratives from love, affection, and play, in the form of fraternal song. But it also reinvents tradition through pain and death, incorporating criticism and protest, proposing new fabulations that subvert the archives of collective memory. Through narrative and fantasy, they respond together to institutional violence, they stand up to today´s economic fanaticism, extractivism, imperialism and capitalism.

 In this site specific work titled Letanía dos xurelos, Lara and Noa turn the San Domingo´s church into a stage of aquatic images, they move thorugh the space their own animal bodies, the bodies of other women, fish-women, mourning horse mackerels, a choir of boiling pots, conch shells, drowned startfish…marine universes born from the overflowing imagination of these two young artists who build the future like archaeologists of their own Galician imagination.

“Our research investigates the performative art of sharing through the voice, which is not exclusively human, and how intrahistory, memory, fantasy and possibility are intertwined in oral traditions, taking as a starting point especially those that we have been transmitted and have affected our ways of relating to the world in many ways. Songs, stories, prophecies, can become a critical game a tool that anyone can use, to deal with the past in the future and the future in the past, and perhaps all the futures that will not happen. If we are able to understand the instruments of narrative we can articulate ways to resist and overcome old and new violence”


Marta Blanco, Cristina Busto and Luján Marcos

Los 3 cerditos collective presents Omegaville, a scenic, audiovisual, poetic and badass approach to the dystopia in which we live. Marta Blanco is a visual artist and documentary filmmaker, a committed activist who has been interested in portraying other creators and investigating new ways to document ephemeral arts such as dance or performance.  Cristina Busto works with sculpture, experimental animation with stop motion, between analog and digital. And Luján Marcos (painter, photographer and collagist) works with non-places, gaps and voids, and defines her work as action art, which she describes as inevitably autobiographical. This three bright minds critical of contemporary society come together to present a transgressive happening of lights and images, “junk” reused to recreate small scenic pieces, ramshackle, universes on the form of expanded cinema. They have the collaboration of the tambourine players form Darraia Cultural Asociation. Three free women performing live and unwanted fiction based on telements of nature, detritus and detritus.

 “Our work is transversal, heterodox, macabre, disobedient, innocent, critical, funny, melancholic, small, sad, fragile, agile… Working through science fiction. Or what amounts to the same thing: to work with the present. We live alienated by a military industry that designed a virtual dictatorship on which we are dependent. We are producers and consumers of data in an infinite flow. We consume so that they control us. We liv ein the accelerationism, at the pace of the bits of body-machines. Here too, in the countryside. There are no reads. Just roads with no sidewalks.”


Miryam Pato, Oscar Domínguez and Manuel Fonte

MOM collective is formed by Miryam Pato (animation creator, designer and photographer), Óscar Domínguez (visual artist, light and sound technician) and Manuel Fonte (multi-instrumentalist, composer of sonic spaces, music producer). They met while studying Image and Sound, they quickly clicked and since 2018 they have been working together on the technical design of shows. Their collaboration has. Intensified since the pandemic, prioritizing personal work form an artistic perspective, integrating video, music, painting and architecture. As collective they have proposed numerous light and sound installations projects in the context of digital festivals or contemporary art. In their work they combine new technologies with the control of light, projectors and sensors connected to an audiovisual image to create interactive light-sound spaces.

 On this occasion they have developed a highvoltage immersive performative work for the Seminario of Tui based on the concept of infodemia (information excess). MOM proposes a performance that pushes the speed at which human beings can process information to the limit, creating an abstract tide of visual and sonic data.

 We live in a p resent of anguish, anxiety, confusion and daze generated by the enormous information overload (infoxication). The computer, the Internet, the mobile phone 24 hours a day, social networks, the neurotic possibility of photographing everything in a hyper-communicated world, advertising within information, politicized information, commercialized information, data verifiers that are fake news, bits and algorithms that dehumanize and automate communication. We receive countless daily impacts that cause this embarrassment (infobesity). Every movement, every response we give, are recorded in the massive big data library. Digitalization, thus turned into a tsunami, threatens the concept of the individual, eliminates our freedoms, breaks down democracy and brings us closer to surveillance regimes called infocracies by the philosopher Byung-Chul Han. In this sense, MOM tells us:

 “The speed at which data flows and the noise it generates, at thunderous volume, shuts down our own thinking. We become slaves to information without critical thinking, we are machine-beings. This life abducted by the digital compromises our concentration, eliminates our tranquility and overloads our nervous system in such a way that it prevents us from seeing, understanding, and asking ourselves of we are prepared to inhabit that tide of information impacts that are truly impossible to process.”