Derek Johnson, Luke Smithers
Fragile Machines is an independent art film which tells the story of a married couple and the affairs that make their relationship irreparable. The film follows a non-linear, gestural narrative—shifting between seasons, homes, oceans and embraces fluidly and rapidly. The movement direction follows a form of contemporary dance: contact improvisation. Because of this improvisational quality, the film began completely formless and was born out of the discoveries the cast and myself made together and then let evolve over the course of the two years. Also central to the work is a muddling of the line between the organic and the inorganic: the question of the extent to which our seemingly-innermost desires—most notably, our longing for human contact—is stilted. To that end, three international artists working in wearable sculpture were commissioned to create pieces that envision a world in which myth and science coexist harmoniously, a world in which machines caress, dance, aid and restrict.