UKI Movie Still, Credit: Shu Lea Cheang 2023

UKI: Scifi Viral Alt-Reality Cinema

Shu Lea Cheang (US)

Moviemento Cinema
Thu 7. Sep 2023 21:00 – 22:00

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“Set your electric sheep free range. It is 2060, what do you do with expired humanoids?” 

Moviemento Cinema, OK-Platz 1, Linz
Extra ticket required

UKI’s storyline unfolds as we follow a defunct replicant REIKO dumped on Etrashville—vast dump for tech—who tries to pull themselves back together with the help of its transgenic inhabitants.  A virtual BioNet owned by GENOM Co. has occupied human bodies and re-engineered red blood cells into nano-computing self-generated orgasms. Parallel to REIKO’s trajectory is that of an infected city in which a besieged diner gathers the infected to exchange own orgasm data for fresher, intenser, mutual orgasm. The diner is also the meeting-place for hackers who traverse time and space, bringing in news of protest and manifestation while uncovering GENOM’s bio-engineering scheme. As the plot thickens, REIKO’s body is coded, recoded and finally collapses to re-emerge as UKI the Virus. Setting back GENOM’s plans, UKI the Virus seems on the brink of swarming through the infected city to liberate the red blood cells. Through virus Becoming, viral Love, we find a way to reclaim our viral bodies.   

UKI, 80:00 Min, 2023. Story/Script/Direction: Shu Lea Cheang Produced by Shu Lea Cheang and Jürgen Brüning. A Jürgen Brüning FilmProduktion. Major funding provided by The Guggenheim Fellowship (USA), Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (Germany).  

Shu Lea Cheang earned the badass cyberpunk filmmaker credit with her 2000 cult smash I.K.U. in which sensual cyborgs fuck for information and pleasure. The film, heavily influenced by Blade Runner, is perhaps the first cyperpunk movie to radically explore the possibilities of cybernetic sexualities. The pioneer in the field of media art embraced internet and hacking culture early on, recognizing both its capacity to enslave as well as liberate, mixing that with queer and sexually explicit imagery bringing something new to the cultural landscape. She is considered a pioneer net artist with BRANDON(1998-1999), commissioned and collected by The Guggenheim Museum New York. In 2019, Cheang presented Taiwan with 3x3x6, a mixed media installation at Venice Biennale. With her four feature films—FRESH KILL (1994), I.K.U. (2000), FLUIDØ (2017) and UKI (2023) —Cheang is creating a genre of her own: Scifi New Queer Cinema.