Panicked and mesmerized amidst fire and drought, Jim Swill‘s Burner Phone is the 2018 installment of his ongoing film series which outline the casually existential from the view of a phone camera. Dedicated to Mike Harrison, artist and friend. Rest in Power. Watch the short film above.
Jim Swill: “The film is about the constant state of optional dilemma and impatience for my fantasies. It’s meant to take place in a phone call with a super bureaucratic automated service you encounter when you call a cable company or a government office.
When things begin to spiral out into sadder territory, the robo voice comes in to reject the narrative and switch to a new menu. I think as I’ve grown up into the internet being born in the mid 80’s, I’ve just been thrown deeper and deeper into a world of media which filled my mind with expectations. Burner phone is about those fantasies meeting a stark reality in which I’m always running away from, disregarding and blocking. Sometimes those expectations aren’t even positive, like the start of the film is a constant reference to the eternal drought which was plaguing California, with everything catching on fire, coupled with earthquake preparation.”
The films subjects are meant to be short and abbreviated, like a browser thats constantly refreshing with a new feed both filled with fantasies and despair, both cycling one another out. Trauma and death being wiped out with memes and content, numbing the internal dialogue. Attention getting lost and being met with impatience seems to be the most consistent theme, agitated that things aren’t simple, sometimes climaxing in agitation, then settling back to bored and frustrated fantasizing as a means of coping with the reality outside of the phone.
JS: “The film is dedicated to my late friend and film maker Mike Harrison who helped me with the sound design weeks before his passing. We would consistently bounce ideas off one another and much of the content in this video is a direct bi-product of conversations we had.”