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The Drivetime

Antero Alli and Cyndia Pickering in Person Preceded by short: Lily in Limbo (Antero Alli, Cyndia Pickering, U.S., 1996). World Premiere. Lily, played by Seattle singer/composer Pickering, wakes one morning to a dream she can't shake. Throughout the day, she finds herself struggling with unknown forces that threaten to transform her life forever. (20 mins, 3/4" video) It's 1999 and a virtual bureaucracy has enveloped Seattle in a seamless web of infomercials, propaganda, and manipulated fantasies. But there are glitches inside this techno-tyranny. "The Televisionary Terrorist Net Web" has broken from governmental control and is dispersing counter-info to the cocooned populace. Vid (Michael George), a stringer for the official network, has defected to make oppositional tapes with his lover Zola (Susan Mansfield), a devout member of Telepathics Anonymous. Meanwhile, Flux (Michael Douglas), a time-traveling librarian from 2023, infiltrates their dream-life in search of subversive video footage. Antero Alli's cautionary tale portrays a convincing technocratic future by submerging the story in a tantalizing visual scrap heap. A saturated mix of nomadic broadcast tags, hyper-layered audio detritus, and graphically fractured images conveys the smothering grip of dystopia. Provocative visuals aside, The Drivetime is at its best when plying its "televisionary" speculations about a spiritual resurgence that will overwhelm virtuality.-Steve Seid

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