Lost in Space is an 18-minute video created through the collaboration of artist Shahram Entekhabi and Dutch cultural theorist Mieke Bal. The video explores the challenges of communication in an anglicized world and the experiences of individuals living international lives. It highlights the limitations faced in communication while also acknowledging the sense of freedom that comes with a more interconnected global society.
The film emphasizes the collision between the global and the local, reflecting the contemporary "glocal" world we live in. It delves into the problem of communication that arises in a world characterized by displacement and cultural diversity.
The central theme of the film is revealed when an Iranian long-term asylum seeker, when asked in English about what he misses most about being away from home, passionately responds in his native Farsi, expressing that his language is what he sorely misses. This remark serves as a catalyst for the aesthetic of the experimental film.
The video deconstructs language in various ways. Initially, during an extensive credit sequence, individuals are shown speaking, but their voices are silenced, and only their mouths and hands are visible, accompanied by ambient street noise. When the film proper begins, the voices become audible, and the translated utterances are displayed on the screen in large typographic form, creating yet another manifestation of speech.
The intentional disconnect between what is seen, read, and heard within the film directly addresses the issue of language in our contemporary world of displacement. It highlights the inherent disharmony and fragmentation that can arise in communication, paralleling the disconnected nature of the globalized world we inhabit.
Lost in Space ultimately serves as a visual exploration and commentary on the complexities of language and communication in a world marked by cultural displacement, where the experience of individuals may be out of sync with the dominant linguistic and cultural norms.Thanks to: University of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) and Baker Nord Center for the Humanities, Case Western Reserve Univeristy, Cleveland, Ohio, USA