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Francois X is the Parisian DJ whose track A Scream Into The Future sets an apocalyptic scene that feels more pertinent than ever. Recorded in March 2020 as the pandemic hit, there is an eerie truth to the musician's predictions on digital isolation, protests and surveillance culture, in the fever-dream video and ambient song. He collaborates with Arthur Avellano on the digital costumes and Anne Raffin directs.

It feels like the video makes a comment on how surveillance culture is entwined with contemporary politics, social media absorbs more and more of international consumer data and even manipulates our voices. It sometimes feels like these tools have power beyond the government - or to impact the choice of the government, like the scandal surrounding the six-fold promotion of Trump's videos on Youtube above Clinton, for example. 

François X says, “Based on the fact that every physical and digital action we make has been under scrutiny for quite a long time now, I would say that it is a matter of time before everything collapses. Nowadays a political election can be rigged with social media targeting and have significant impact on consumer decisions. Surveillance culture represents a modern tool to help a supposed elite shaping people needs, views and values. But who is behind this hypothetical elite? I think everyone [contributes]… Just take the social protest we had in France: les gilets jaunes. They developed this massive movement by communicating and growing through social media, far beyond any control from the government in place… Every so often I have this feeling that the line between apocalyptic sci-fi movies and reality is getting thinner.”

Instead of a protest video, François categorises this as a prefers to send a message of hope and solidarity in this video and in life, through daily actions that respect the people around him. He concludes, “Community is the key. Light comes constantly from the group. Collective strength will inspire your confidence, make you strong and proud of who you are. Speaking up is like a marathon, you have to be ready to go all the way.”

Bella Spratley

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