iara lee interviewed through Virtual Film Fest while at Sundance 1996


Moderator: Welcome to our indieCHAT with Iara Lee. The first question, what brought you to the documentary?

Iara_Lee: We started in Japan, we shot the indoor beach and indoor ski, we were going to make a short on these environments, but later we decided to expand the project and make it onto a full length film on how we use technology to control the environment, body and mind.

Moderator: In your film, your view of technology is left somewhat out of the picture, are you concerned or optimistic?

Iara_Lee: Well, there is no way we can put a stop sign to technology, therefore we better do well with it, since we can’t go back. There is no way we will give up expanding. Technology is a double-sworded knife. The film only touches upon some of the implications. In reality it is just the beginning of crazy things.

Moderator: Timothy Leary touched on government controlling drugs and the technology we have out there… Is that a worry for you, that technology will end up in the wrong hands?

Iara_Lee: Very much so, kids are taking over the world, they are the technology people, before we have so much power, we should know if we are ready for that. In the past we proved not to be ready for so much power. We hope we don’t repeat the same mistakes.

Moderator: In the film , a lot of the way technology was used for the mass public is frivolous…

Iara_Lee: I guess we use technology to have fun, I know we could use it for more important things, but look at the internet. A lot of people use it to play games or talk about sex. That is how we are.

MAD_Rabbi: Iara, are you concerned about possibly losing personal contact due to the increased use of computers, i.e. for shopping?

Moderator: One of the interesting things in the film is that much of the sex that you see on the net is the same type of pornography that we see in theaters. Do you trust that people are ready to use the new technology in a positive way?

Iara_Lee: It is the beginning, I hope we get to use this technology for things more worthwhile. We are still crawling not walking with it. Next question?

Moderator: An answer to Mad’s question…

Iara_Lee: I send email to people I cannot reach in meatspace and I see people face to face when they are in the same city. E-mail enhances my relationships and not the opposite.

MAD_Rabbi: I agree about e-mail, I use it all the time, however, I do see friends of mine leaving the house much less often.

Moderator: Did your diverse cultural background add to your unique perspective in the movie?

Iara_Lee: Since my background is so diverse, I can see I am a citizen of the world, no roots. I like that. and now with the net, there is no physical boundary of space and time. You asked me if i think the world will become homogeneized? Hopefully technology makes us universal but I really enjoy different cultures and don’t want technology to wash it out.

Moderator: How did you pick the images and music you used in the film?

Iara_Lee: We received material from thousands of scientists and animators. It was insane. With the tiny budget for music, it was really crazy to select the music, since so many record labels were involved, but we succeeded. People love the soundtrack.

Moderator: What do the futurists and cyber gurus who you talked to in the film say about the internet now?

Iara_Lee: Leary for example is a big time cyberguru. He loves the net. He will be answering questions on line on Thursday. We will let people
know. Barlow you can’t reach in meatspace, cyberspace is the only way we can keep in touch. Rheingold wrote virtual community. He really believes cyberspace relationships can create human bond.

Moderator: Thanks Iara – This has been great.

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