I posted the teaser to an orgy of biopunk promises in early May. Yep, it was True Skin, something the internets hailed as biopunk, nodding to the cyberprosthetics-heavy high concept of nineties’ cyberpunk science fiction. It was in Shoreditch, post-job interview, when I saw that True Skin is finally OUT in all its six-minute entirety. And don’t get me wrong, it is both amazing and an answer to my question about the memory uploading spam the other day.
Bangkok Market, left in the rain after a neon streak facial. Blade Runner gave us the wet Babel claustrophobia of urban labyrinths and it’s been with us ever since from Neuromancer to Ghost in the Shell and all the short films that try real hard to stay with us with their thick eyecandy, staying one of the key motifs that still elude us. Or who knows. The future might be unevenly distributed but it’s still a network of stolen iPhones on which suburban kids sketch up plans of mayhem, distribution, violence and getting properly shitfaced. Maybe it’s the umbrellas with the glowing shafts and the augmented reality shopping wizards for new hands that keep the future at a relatively safe distance.
True Skin brings all that first-generation gangster romance back – I stole I am on the run I am hiding – and its clichés remind me all the more of the uncomprehensible floorplan Kurzweil gave us about the humanity doing everything it can imagine and then all the things it cannot. Downloading my memories before I get killed so that I could revive myself in a vat a couple hundred miles away doesn’t really cut it anymore. For anyone who hasn’t read Count Zero or the Richard K. Morgan novels, it’s a wonderful treat. For us who’ve read them already, it’s a wonderful visual treat and a great production. It’s just the ever-repeating high concept that makes us wonder: just how much did the Mirrorshades Group writers hardwire and solidify our ideas about possible futures?
Whatever readings, pills or brainhacks we need to come up with new ideas about man-machine fusion – I believe we want them now. Now, like the techno kids of Berlin, hellbent on the everpresent alternative: very fucking bad or very fucking good, we don’t care. But whichever it is, we want it now.
(True Skin is a wonderful piece of first-generation cyberpunk short film with lots of implants, augmented reality and Hajime Sorayama-inspired robot prostitutes. Get the full credits here.)