Watch this short film and 'Disconnect' from the digital world

Dahae Song's "Disconnect" is meant to "highlight the intersections" between what we see online and IRL — and you, whoever you are, are part of it.

For optimal viewing, follow these tips

Still from "Disconnect" by Dahae Song. (

For optimal viewing of "Disconnect," a 2016 short film by Dahae Song, follow these instructions.

First of all, clean your screen — whether we're talking your phone, monitor or TV. (The film's airing on this week's episode of Exhibitionists.)

Then, once you've got it polished to a mirror-like sheen, get right up in there until your reflection fills the frame.

Song designed "Disconnect" so that you, whoever you are, are a part of the film. Made in stark black and white, so that the dark background almost doubles as a mirror, you should get the impression that the animated elements — rotoscoped hands, heads, torsos — are orbiting your face.

"I want people to be aware of the disconnect between physical reality and digital reality," says Song, 25, who created the film as a class project. (The OCAD drawing and painting student actually finished her program the day after CBC Arts reached her by phone.)


Like so much of Song's work, including her paintings, "Disconnect" is meant to "highlight the intersections" between what we see online and IRL. She talks about how quickly we consume digital information and images (this article included), forgetting that every image and character is really just a pile of ones and zeroes. If it weren't for a computer translating all that binary code, we'd never understand any of it. We wouldn't be reading the news, or liking pictures of puppies — or watching movies about the "digitization of human existence." We'd be disconnected from experience, so to speak. But as Song explains, her film's title has multiple meanings. Says the artist: "Disconnect means 'disconnect yourself from the computer,' or 'you are disconnected from yourself when you're on the computer.' It's all those things."

"My work is always bridging two disparate worlds together," says Song — whether that means exploring the split between the real and the virtual, or Korean culture and Canadian culture. (Born in Seoul, Song moved to Toronto when she was 12.)

"I don't think anyone in this world, at least in the western developed world, can tell me they have a clear distinction between what is digital and what is tangible," she says. So immerse yourself in that mind-bending thought for a moment, and press play on "Disconnect."


"Disconnect" is included in Growing Sideways, a group exhibition featuring Dahae Song, Madelyne Beckles, Hannah Spector. April 8 to May 7 at Bunker 2, Toronto.

Watch Exhibitionists online or on Friday nights at 12:30am (1am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.

Want to see your creations on CBC Arts? Just send us an e-mail! You could be an Exhibitionist in Residence this season.


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