Cynical Smile Vomits Nostalgic Dial-Up Tone as Response to Our Digital Era

by Anahita Safarzadeh

Cynical Smile, the work of frequent flaunt collaborator Karl Richter, plays with the noise and distraction of our devices to show obsession in a new light. Beginning with the visual of a seemingly homeless man dry heaving the sounds of a 1990’s dial up connection, FRACTURE synthesizes movement and sound to bring forth a contemporary response to our digital age.

Richter gave us some insight to FRACTURE, “Either we spend mental energy trying to silence our devices yet continue to check them or to make sure we’re totally up-to-date on everything everywhere at all times. I personally can’t stand the little red number on an app on my phone and feel like I have to address it immediately”. Mindless drifting through our phones to feed the desire of a constant scrolling.

The Characters in FRACTURE have all hit their digital threshold and are broken. They show moments of lingering and pain which, if gone unchecked, can lead to trauma.

Written, Directed and Photographed by Cynical Smile

1st Camera Asst: Philip Doherty

Director’s Asst: Coy Stocks


Cherish Waters

Roland DeLeon

Laura Chen

Payton Smith

Khalil Sandoval