Under Examination

Director: Ahmed El Shaer
Countries: Egypt
Year: 2009
Running Time: 3 min.
Language: Arabic w/ English subtitles


A citizen of Digitaland is seeking a visa to enter Planet Earth. A bureaucrat from the host planet, in charge of controlling movement at the border, is compiling information about him. In the background, disembodied voices speak of “criteria”, “indicators” and “standards”. The traveller has no readily recognizable features: he is no different from any other being created (as he was) with Machimana software. On his forehead is an American flag bandana. Why he is wearing it is unclear; possibly he means to convince the bureaucrat that he is a good candidate for immigration. Obtaining a visa these days is complicated, especially if you’re trying to negotiate passage from and alien-nation into the “real” world.

About the Director

Ahmed El Shaer

Biography: Born in Cairo, Egypt in 1980, Ahmed El Shaer lives and works in Egypt. El Shaer is a multi-disciplinary artist (installation, photography, sound, video), with a particular interest in digital technologies. His videos combine Machinima, stock footage, 3D animation and experimental soundscapes. He is Co-Founder of Cairo Documenta, an independent event, and he established Tolon Studio for Contemporary Art as an Individual Company, a non-profit organization devoted to contemporary arts. His work has been highlighted in numerous exhibitions and festivals. He is the recipient of numerous awards and has participated in several residency programs, such as the Pro Helvetia Artist-in-Residence cycle (Zurich, Switzerland, 2009) and the Summer Academy of Fine Arts (Salzburg, Austria, 2006 and 2007).

(Source: http://www.ahmedelshaer.com/about.html)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Under Examination (2010).

At the Railroad Crossing (2004);
News Every Day (2005);
Home (2006);
My Dream… Your Dream (2007);
Constancy (2007);
Barcode (2007);
Donot Resign (2008);
Cairo under Attack (2008);
Under Examination (2009);
Meine Zurich (2009);
Recycle (The Code) (2010);
Repetition in Action Time (2011);
Selection, Reflection, Attenti (2012).