Following the publication in 1980 of Mille Plateaux, a work thatfor many marked the culmination of Félix Guattari’s intellectual adventure with Gilles Deleuze, Guattari began work on a film script for a science fiction movie, UN AMOUR d’UIQ. Initially developed in collaboration with filmmaker Robert Kramer, the script of UIQ (Universe Infra-Quark) was to occupy Guattari on and off for the next seven years. Influenced both by his work at the La Borde clinic and his engagement with radical politics, UIQ offers a blueprint for a subversive ’popular’ cinema. In desiring to make the film in the commercial arena as a sci-fi blockbuster, Guattari effectively raised the stakes of his own political engagement, attempting to break into the dream factory to reconfigure patterns of collective unconscious desire.

For UIQ: A Space Oddity, artists and filmmakers Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson consider how the development of the UIQ script appears amid a general resurgence of interest in science fiction in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is around this time that sci-fi becomes a screen of projection and mourning for the scattered phantoms of disappointed revolutionary desire, in which the radical alterity of a political ’outside’ is increasingly projected no longer through the imaginary of collective struggle but in terms of encounters with alien intelligences or life forces. By placing echoes of the unfilmed script in relation to a montage of scenes from sci-fi films of the period – from Tarkovsky’s Solaris and Stalker, to Spielberg’s Close Encounters and ET through Demon Seed, The State of Things, Blade Runner, Videodrome, Starman and others – Maglioni & Thomson aim to isolate the singularity of UIQ in the virtual dimension of what it might have been and what it may yet become.

UIQ: A Space Oddity was originally produced by Bétonsalon, Paris as part of the Otolith Group exhibition A Lure a Part Allure Apart.

It will be presented Thursday, May 3, 8 pm. at Human Resources, 410 Cottage Home Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

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