© Michael Simku

False Memories

Presentation by Michael Simku

'False Memories' is a documentary research project that investigates the impact of fiction and storytelling on knowledge production in digital information infrastructures. The project will be realised as web-series, with several episodes currently in production. Each entry looks at the topic from a specific angle and tries to develop a unique narrative perspective. This presentation offers an insight into the ongoing research and production process.

Detailed description of the pilot episode:
False Memories (Pilot)
4K, 23 min.

By 2020 China will become the largest market for film, videostreaming and entertainment worldwide. One of the goals that drives this development is a highly political one: The vision to establish a new world center for fictional storytelling that competes the imagery and narratives told in the West. At the same time Western production companies try to access this tightly restricted commercial arena by adjusting their products to its rigid censorship guidelines.

Meandering between documentation and speculation, 'False Memories' explores the impact as well as the future potential of powerful cinematic universes. It combines material shot in the recently established and now biggest film studio in the world, the 'Oriental Movie Metropolis' in Qingdao, with images reflecting influential cinematic narratives like superhero movies or iconic cartoon characters. Thus the film draws lines between the construction of memories, the means of fictional storytelling and its political impact.


Michael Simku, born 1985 in Steyr, Austria. Lives and works as an artist, filmmaker an art educator in Vienna. He studied Art and Media at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. His work was awarded at the Austrian American Short Film Festival  and with a Media Literacy Award. It has been presented in institutional shows and festivals like Diagonale (AT), Anthology Film Archive (US), Crossing Europe (AT), Kunsthalle Wien (AT).

In the context of exploring questions related to the future of work and what ‘a good life’ could mean through our 'Artscience practises’ seminar this year. What could be an ecological way of working together, also with fish, glaciers, objects, models, or stories? How are we shaping cross-species solidarities and how are they forming us? Through lectures, workshops and excursions we want to investigate different types of relationships between entities and and experiment with assembling strategies through the winter and summer semesters.

False Memories
January 13, 2020, 14:00h
Salzgries 14, 2nd Floor, 1010 Vienna – Art & Science Studios