Every computer user’s worst nightmare is the skeletons on their hard drive coming to light. So what happens when a sentient customer service chatbot gains control of an internet troll’s computer? 

Directors Saman Kesh and Justin Daashuur Hopkins teamed up during lockdown to create a provocative yet playful tale on cancel culture, wherein a human protagonist gets doxed by a savage chatbot. Set to the track “Algorithm” by Makeup and Vanity Set (MAVS), this absurd yet poignant narrative showcases the sinister side of internet phenomena: AI’s influence, anonymous racists and misogynistic trolling, and most importantly, the world’s obsession with cancel culture. 

Kesh and Hopkins call this type of filmmaking pokey provokey, the directors said in a joint statement: “Suffering from quarantine fatigue and enraged at the state of the world, especially as POC creatives, we wanted to vent, but in a way that felt productive, useful, entertaining. So we channeled our boredom and anger towards creating something provoking but hopefully enlightening.”

The musical artist MAVS, who is known for his dark-synth albums featuring AI-generated vocals and video game soundtracks, says, “Saman and Justin made an unflinching, uncomfortable video that speaks to what so many people are feeling. Are we good people or bad people? Who decides? What happened to empathy? These questions get asked in a blunt way, which at this point feels like the only way to ask them.”

Kesh is a Iranian-American filmmaker who is known for his high-energy narrative music videos, commercials and short films. Kesh is repped by Golden LA for commercials, and CAA and Grandview for TV and Film. Los Angeles-based artist Justin Daashuur Hopkins is a sought-after maker of film and mixed media video recognized for his multidisciplinary approach and innovative vision. 

“One of us is from the enemy country of Iran and another a mixed-race Japanese. While our specific experiences with racism have been different from one another, here we wanted to focus on the closet trolls of the dark web. They hide, hurt, and provoke for pleasure. We invite you to smile and examine your reactions as you watch.”

Watch “Algorithm” HERE