Platform

2022 | Single-channel video (16:20 min.) in sculptural viewing environment

In collaboration with Johannes Büttner

Platform is based on documentary interviews with freelancers on online delivery platforms and interweaves their experiences with references to Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, a visionary 1992 cyberpunk novel that has attained the status of a Silicon Valley bible. In this novel, Stephenson’s envisions a dystopian reality where traditional governments have been supplanted by corporate entities. The essential functioning of society is upheld by diligent delivery workers, while individuals seek refuge in the metaverse—an expansive multiplayer online realm populated by diverse avatars. Platform explores the extent to which this capitalist cyberpunk nightmare corresponds to the real capitalist nightmare in which we already live. Platform intertwines the story of each gig worker with elements from Stephenson’s novel to create a looping narrative that indiscernibly transitions from the documentary to the fictitious, drawing the audience ever deeper into the absurdities and abysses of these new work realities. Eschewing conventional documentary aesthetics, the drivers’ stories are staged as film scenes that form a Sci-Fi representation of their work experiences and labor struggles. By mixing live-action footage with material generated using the computer graphics engines of popular computer games (a filmmaking style known as machinima), Platform not only explores the increasingly blurred border between work and leisure but also aims to raise broader questions about immaterial work and value creation in the digital economy. The audience experiences the work in a viewing environment reminiscent of a post-apocalyptic drive-in cinema, based on fan art designs uploaded by enthusiasts of the novel to platforms such as DeviantArt.

CAST
Roberto Anjari Rossi
Kumar Muniandy
Boris Dikelo
Tyrone Raymond
Yasmin El Yassini
Jan Koslowski
Lola Abrera


 
CREW
Director | Steffen Köhn and Johannes Büttner
Screenwriter | Steffen Köhn and Johannes Büttner      
Director of Photography | Patrick Jasmim, Phillip Kaminiak    
Editor | Gines Olivares      
Producer | Paola Calvo, Patrick Jasim, Phillip Kaminiak
Music | Johannes Klingebiel
Sound Design | Lorenz Fischer

   

EXHIBITIONS
Turning Point. Eunam Museum of Art, Gwangju, Korea
Flexploitation. Literaturhaus Berlin
Absolutely Killing It. Monitoring/ Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival

SCREENINGS (selection)
Slamdance, Park City
BFI Film Festival London
Cheongju International Short Film Festival
Max Ophüls Preis Film Festival, Saarbrücken
Filmfest Dresden
Interfilm Berlin
Social and Economic Justice Film Festival, San Francisco
CineGlobe CERN, Geneva
L’Étrange Festival, Paris
Festival International du Film de Nancy
FILMZ Festival Mainz
Chungbuk International Martial Arts & Action Film Festival
Brazil New Visions Film Festival (Awards for Best Costume Design and Best Set Design)
Seoul International Food Film Festival
St. Andrews Film Festival (Lyudmila Feyginova Award for Best Editing)
Film Maudit 2.0., Los Angeles
Nominated for the German Short Film Award 2022

other Work