28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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I thought I was hearing citizens
I thought I was hearing citizens
I thought I was hearing citizens

I thought I was hearing citizens

director: Mukul Patel, Manu Luksch
original title: I thought I was hearing citizens
country: Austria, United Kingdom
year: 2023
running time: 5 min.


The film's title refers to Harun Farocki's video installation I Thought I Was Seeing Convicts (2000), which points to the moral vacuum created around the gaze of “seeing machines”. The actors in the subversively appealing I Thought I Was Hearing Citizens are animated avatars who speak convincingly and with traces of bodily discomfort about the dangers associated with the collection and use of personal data over which we have no control.

“If we automate decision-making // If we algorithmise education // If we gamify citizenship // Then who do we become?”

Quote source: Manu Luksch webpage.


In her installations, computer works, performances and films, artist and researcher Manu Luksch (born 1970) critically examines the impact of network technologies on social relations, urban environments and political systems. The theme, medium and performative space of many of her works are the techniques and effects of live data transmission. Artist and researcher Mukul Patel (born 1971) creates intermedia works, environments and platforms while composing music for contemporary dance and film. Since 2021, he has been developing an open sound archive in collaboration with the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna and, together with Manu Luksch, leads the artist collective Ambient Information Systems.

more about film

director: Mukul Patel, Manu Luksch
producer: Manu Luksch, Mukul Patel
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Creative Europe Media
Česká televize
Český rozhlas