Dating apps can lead to hookups, marriages, friendships, and even restaurant recommendations. But “Origin,” the beautifully queer, dystopian short film from Iceland-based artist Kitty Von-Sometime and London-based collective KERAI, proves that apps can also spawn stunning creative collabs. After first connecting on Tinder, Von-Sometime, a celebrated conceptualist known for The Weird Girls Project series, and KERAI, a queer and largely genderless group of music producers and artists, began working together on “Origin,” the visual accompaniment for KERAI's second single. The partnership kicked off without either parties meeting each other.
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KERAI notes that both music and visual craftsmanship—like Kitty's—are efficient ways of communicating, and adds, “When Kitty started working on the project before we even met, a lot of people were surprised, as apparently one should not trust strangers so easily.” And “Origin” itself depicts a stranger—a tentacled, alien-esque being that's queer in nature and self-protected by design, scouring a ravaged Earth for human connection and apparently having developed a gas mask as part of its anatomy. The collaborators describe the being as “a hybrid voice, an amalgamation of AI, a cyborg, and an alien—a queer presence that escaped the disciplining heteronormative gaze driven by capitalist and neoliberal desires.”
Of the production itself, Von-Sometime says, “It was shot in an epic, post-apocalyptic environment, which provided many challenges while performing. The raw, baron elements reflect the feelings of isolation, confusion and desire for connectedness that the being in this video experiences. The location is an old cement factory, halfway through being torn apart. Cement dust filled the crews eyes and masks had to be worn throughout the day. The bath scene took place at the end of the day in ice water with little shelter from the wind blowing directly off the sea. It was a treacherous environment for me and for the crew and I think that helped in visually capturing more deeply, what the being must feel.”
Von-Sometime will continue working on solo art films later this year and is also launching a retreat in Iceland around the ethos of her female empowerment series The Weird Girls Project. More info can be found at theweirdgirlsproject.com
KERAI will release their debut album Origin later this year.