Clemens von Wedemeyer
Emergency Drill Revisited

Video / Commissioned work


Paranoia TV

Production specifics
Commissioned and produced by steirischer herbst ’20

All the responses to the pandemic were somehow predictable, familiar scenarios sketched out in disaster movies. AI, 3D software, and algorithms are in fact constantly deployed to formulate response plans. These are then rehearsed through role-play and live exercises until the difference between rehearsal and reality fades away. The point of such exercises is not simply to rehearse rescue operations. Instead, their ultimate goal is to establish complete control over crowds or to prevent them from ever forming by placing restrictions on movement and social contact. Such are the techniques explored in Clemens von Wedemeyer’s new film. In 2018, he observed an emergency drill in the vicinity of Leipzig. Its fictitious scenario was the capsizing of a ferry. Countless victims are treated by rescue workers. Everything goes according to plan and without any of the sentiments that we know from blockbusters. The voiceover is a dialogue on the rituals of the state of exception, describing a society obsessed with self-protection.

Camera: Clemens von Wedemeyer, Clara Wieck
Editing: Jonas Brinker
Script consultant: Alex Scrimgeour
Voices: Megan Gay, Ian Dickinson
An exercise carried out by the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund Deutschland e.V.