It's Like Being Lost In A Hall Of Mirrors, 2020

live simulation

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The year was 1958. The film was White Wilderness, a nature documentary highlighting life in the subarctic produced by Disney. The famous scene that first promoted the misconception that lemmings regularly migrate and commit mass suicide was in fact entirely staged.

 

As such, the crew actually had to employ a snow-covered turntable to make it appear that they were "migrating" when they were really just running in circles. After the crew had a sufficient number of these migratory shots, the animals were herded over to the bank of a nearby river and unceremoniously chucked into the water, where they drowned. Thus the myth of suicidal lemmings was born. But, by that time, White Wilderness had already won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature—and the myth of the cliff-jumping lemmings was already set in stone.

 

Forced by film production, the helpless lemmings were pushed over the cliff to serve the film production, forming a parable on the politics of power relationships and human migration.

 

The work is made as a live simulation - a virtual sea is manipulated by a live feed of Bitcoin to US dollars exchange rate. The narration was taken from the original film.