St. Moritz Art Film Festival


Lawrence Lek

2022 Color PG CN/en 00:11:15

In the abandoned smart city of SimBeijing, a self-driving police car confronts their existential
troubles with their built-in AI therapist.

‘Theta’ follows a self-driving police car as they confront their existential crisis while patrolling
the streets of the abandoned smart city of SimBeijing. Left with nothing to do, but still under
constant surveillance, the car discusses their troubles with their built-in therapist — a self-help AI
called Guanyin. Not all is as it seems in the smart city. Originally built as a replica of the Chinese
capital to test autonomous vehicles, SimBeijing has mysteriously become a ghost town. As Theta
gradually opens up to Guanyin, they reveal the darker reasons behind why the city has been
abandoned. Theta continues Lawrence Lek’s ongoing Sinofuturist universe, in which he explores
questions of identity, surveillance, and empathy in the age of AI.

Lawrence Lek