Synthetic Pleasures: Production Notes

How did it start?

SP started in Japan, summer 93. The director was studying in Korea and read about the amazing indoor beaches and indoor ski resorts in Japan and decided to gather footage for a short film on these controlled environments. She later got so involved with the subject that she decided to expand the film into a full length version adding sections on synthetic bodies, minds and the impact of modern technologies on our culture.

Material for the film came from original 16mm footage (45 hours’ worth), original Hi-8 video footage, 3D0 games, internet downloads, 3rd source computer animation, and archival footage. The final film is a 35mm blowup, with dolby A sound.

Shot on location in Yokohama, Tokyo, Miyazaki, New York, Boston, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Francisco, Walnut Creek, San Jose, Berkeley, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Detroit.

Time frame of production: 2 years (summer 93-95).


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These images show a series of collaborative portraits, featuring embroidery by women unable to leave their homes in India due to their husbands or fathers, some of whom are domestic abuse survivors. The works are from a project called “Nā́rī” by Indian artist Spandita Malik, a finalist for the Inge Morath Award from the Magnum Foundation. Malik’s practice involves expanded documentary with the idea of decolonizing the aesthetic surrounding documentary photography in India.Our sister foundation, the Cultures of Resistance Network, has been proud to support the Magnum Foundation in the past, including their efforts to amplify socially-conscious photographers from the Global South. The Magnum Foundation’s Inge Morath Award is a grant made each year to a woman or nonbinary photographer under the age of 30 to support the completion of a long-term documentary project. ... See MoreSee Less
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