Too Many Humans
10-minute CGI film

Commissioned by artpost21
Curated by Omar Kholeif

How many stories does a picture hold?

Does it matter what story you see, in the end?

Too Many Humans is a five-part treatise on image-making in an age that has been re-conceived by the corporate sphere as the “metaverse”. Conceived and created by the London-based multi-disciplinary art collective, Cream Projects, the series emerges in seemingly quotidian settings, with each episode disentangling what is often perceived as a binary relationship between humans and robots. Here, in vestiges made animate through computer engines—the artists seek to interrogate the very nature and topography of the ocular, exploring how the notion of perspective has been re-configured through “invisible” software and hardwired machines that remain largely concealed from public view—living in the interstices.

Episode 1: Nadim presents a revolving scene of a life, at first, outwardly hollowed. Walls with bare canvasses, perhaps awaiting to be made animate through projections. The setting is familiar to us—the white cube of white cubes, a clusterfuck of the corporate and public worlds of the commercial gallery, i.e., the White Cube gallery itself, and the industrial chic of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.

Jump-cutting through and between scenes of animism and silence, the viewer comes to understand the life of its protagonist Nadim—a 50-something expat in Britain, who studied photography and business. After the global economic meltdowns that followed 2008 and beyond, Nadim found himself unemployed. Unusually perhaps, he chose to use his savings to acquire a tripod and a Matterport camera. He now creates virtual tours in 360 degrees for real estate brokers, universities, and the so-called art world. His two sons support him with digital rendering and distribution online. They intend to take over their father’s burgeoning business venture upon graduation from their respective degree programmes.

This two-hander, between the Matterport camera and Nadim, reflects a metaverse of yesteryear and of the present. Speculative fiction it is not. This is a historical record of a time that seems to have been historicised before it has even passed—an era of no bygone, but one that is still alive and with us today.

What picture does your camera hold, and does it narrate the story that you want it to?

Text by Omar Kholeif