from 27 October 2021

Sometimes Everything is Forever 2021
HD video loop and sound
Sequence duration: 8 min.

Commissioned by Beaconsfield for online viewing during the global pandemic of Covid19, Sometimes Everything is Forever is a sequel to Sometimes I Dream. For a more immersive experience please use headphones.

The two animated short films by Monika Oechsler are inspired by Franz Kafka’s short story The Burrow, and explore bunker mentality, in particular the desire for safety and protection from invasion. In this second iteration the bunker is repurposed to speculate on future technological advances in the field of XR which stands for extended reality. New digital technologies for example the Hololens (Microsoft) and future smart cities (buildings, cars and infrastructure) foreshadow new modes of HMEI (Human-Machine-Environment-Interaction) aimed at the full integration of virtual and actual physical reality. The film imagines the Pallas High Bunker Berlin as an experimental platform and a future test model for a fully customisable XR environment. Like Sometimes I Dream, the cavernous spaces are explored in the style of a virtual tour, that cycles through multiple immersive scenarios, situating this leftover cold-war real estate in a potential techno-future. Bunker mentality here is set analogous to a techno-utopia in which physical reality is replaced by digitally constructed simulacra.

The Pallas High Bunker was built during WWII by forced Soviet labour and reconfigured into a Civil Bunker in 1987 just two years before the fall of the Berlin wall. Hence, the title of this second film alludes to a book by Alexei Yurchak, Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation (2006). Kafka’s story The Burrow remained unfinished and was published posthumously after his death from tuberculosis.

Photography: Monika Oechsler
Voice one: David Crawforth
Script based on The Burrow by Franz Kafka
Voice two: Jo Mitchell
Script adapted from XR terminology
Animation and edit: Monika Oechsler
Sound design: Monokrome Trees