Prompts of a far too real present, Narrative Devices by DIS and Babak Radboy reflects the “post-contemporary”: the future as familiar, predictable, immutable, a simulacrum of the past. It is the present that is unknowable, unpredictable and incomprehensible. In a post-Trump, post-truth, “alternative facts” reality, Narrative Devices suggests fantasy is more influential and effective than reality.
The four videos, each a mini “narrative device”, marks a passage of conceptual and critical thinking: be it the relationship between the government and the governed or the producer and the consumer. A man relieves himself on a public street during the day while scrolling through today’s news. A young woman wearing a cable knit sweater texts on her phone, imagining a world where no one reads. All are rendered in a sickly corporate aesthetic reminiscent of an advertisement proclaiming unbounded opportunity.