They Want to Give it a Name

16mm film transferred to HD
Color and Sound. 8’ 42”. 2015

They Want to Give it a Name observes a public open call process to name a plaza in the city of San Francisco, USA. The film explores how the urban space is negotiated by the relationships that a naming process has with history and the collective physique. They Want to Give it a Name inquires a process of governing the subjectivities that inhabit the city; it aims to create an alternative gesture where the multiplicity that this process tries to contain remains ungoverned.


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They Want to Give it a Name observes a public open call process to name a plaza in the city of San Francisco. Using language from the speculative documentary and the essay, the film explores how the urban space is negotiated by the relationships that a naming process has with history, the collective physique, and the city and its inhabitants. The film speculates about how the city becomes an object marked and signified by power and politics, while it reflects on how the public landscape represents a social and cultural document built up through memory and identification over time.

As an index of our contemporary life, as a modern way of decision making, as a sign, as a name on a map, and as a process which culminates in the construction of truths, the film explores those symbolic rearrangements of signs, images, or names that relate what was done, is done, and what can be done.

They Want to Give it a Name inquires a process of governing the subjectivities that inhabits the city; it aims to create an alternative gesture, a different act of naming, where the multiplicity that this naming process tries to contain remains ungoverned. To ungovern is to empty words and images, thus allowing them to liberate their desires; to let them speak through their profane character. To ungovern is to keep them active; to recognize the value in their rhizomatic and chaotic ways of being.

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They Want to Give it a Name:
Produced, Directed, Photographed, written, and edited by David de Rozas
Sound Mixing: Dan Olmsted