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Roger Canals, Mihai Andrei Leaha on
18 May 2023


In February 2023, Barcelona hosted The Mobile World Congress, the world’s most important event in the field of technologies of communication. The congress used to be focused on mobile phones. Now, it turned its attention to technology in a broader sense. The big topics of last year´s edition were: artificial intelligence, technologies of care, smart cities, and forms of autonomous transportation. The general sense of the congress was of a certain “technological optimism” although some critical voces aroused. An emphasis was also made on the ethical dilemmas related to technology (for instance, gender and racial biases in AI) and on the environmental impact of technological “development”.

We (Roger Canals and Mihai Andrei Leaha) decided to take our cameras and dive into this glowing event. We wanted to explore how the future was imagined and what role images and visual forms of communication could play in it. Therefore, during three days we delved into the MWC and filmed cutting edge human-machines interactions, simulations and prototypes. 

Of special interest for us was the relation between image and data and how these visualizations anticipate what the future could look like (images as predictive signs). 

At the moment of editing, we decided to escape from the realistic documentary style and we opted for a kind of cinematic essay, more reflective and evocative than explanatory. This choice was motivated by the very nature of the event, that we found deeply speculative.  

We also adopted a reflexive stance, thus showing our own involvement in the process of image-making. The piece is constructed on an suggesting voice-over which invites the viewer to reflect upon some themes, such as technological sensorially, transhumanism, and possible futures, to name a few. A voice-over which poses questions –rather than giving answers, and whose grave tone points to the myriad of political and moral issues that these technologies entail.  

We wish to thank Tanya Álvarez (Mobile World Capital) for her kind invitation. 

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