1 + 1 =

A film by Natalya Sharapova



We all seem to be experts on distraction. Still distraction continues to be a vague term with an ambiguous moral standing.  Is distraction a value or a calamity? Are we distracted because the technology prompts us to be? Or are we distracted because we are too focused on ourselves and need to escape?

Distraction is usually demonized and treated as a loss or deficit, but what if distraction could seen as liberating? It is often liberating to watch a movie when we are required to read, or to read an email when we are supposed to be working: i.e., distraction allows us to escape from obligations that have been imposed on us or that we have imposed on ourselves.

From yet another perspective, distraction could be considered a powerful engine of contemporary culture—leading us to remix the incongruous and the incompatible just by virtue of our permanently divided attention.

“1+1=” explores the mechanism of how the meaning of an original piece is enriched by another unrelated narrative via our distracted perception. The main story is a comic melodrama based on a short story of Daniil Kharms. The additional narrative is an experimental piece loosely based on the “Prisoner’s dilemma”. The resulting multi-screen narrative builds on the ability of our unfocused selves to process information from multiple sources.


Natalya Sharapova is an MFA candidate at San Francisco State University where she directs films and studies media theory. During the past 10 years, Natalya has directed experimental and narrative shorts, produced several multimedia exhibitions and edited the international cinema section at SEANCE film journal. Her work is inspired by the writings of Christian Metz and Sergei Eisenstein.