A program of short stories that would never have existed without the internet.
A transforming sculpture investigates how soldiers who return from overseas missions “host” their all-encompassing but ill-defined horrors.
The psychological and physical state of military personnel changes drastically after returning from overseas missions, such as those in the Gulf, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. The symptoms that they “host” are recognizable to medical experts as various forms of cancer. In the media, the “horrors” they experience are known by names such as Balkan Syndrome or Gulf War Syndrome, and their health problems are linked to the use of weapons containing depleted uranium (DU), as well as to the presence of invisible nanoparticles in the atmosphere, which penetrate the victims’ bodies. Nonetheless, sudden increases in incidences and mutations are causing doubts as to the nature of these illnesses and their causes. Sufferers sink into a state of limbo similar to that experienced by those living in the war zones the soldiers just left. In this state they wander alone in silence, waiting for a cure or perhaps just death.
For this monumental and touching installation by the Serbian documentary artist Bogomir Doringer, a unique collection of biopsy samples is “hosted” by a ferrofluid sculpture that transforms its shape before our eyes. Examining the relationship between fiction and reality, the project questions the intention of “hospitality” and the responsibility of those who offer it. We are uninformed “hosts,” exposing our bodies and minds to an aggressive transformation.
IDFA DocLab is the New Media program of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). Since 2007, the program showcases new forms of documentary storytelling and interactive media art, both online and offline. During the IDFA Festival in November, DocLab presents a competition program for Digital Documentary Storytelling, live cinema events, interactive installations, workshops and industry panels. The program is open to all media that can be used to tell a documentary story.