HaFI 002: Harun Farocki: What Ought to Be Done

In the mid-1970s, Harun Farocki wrote a two-page call programmatically entitled “What Ought to Be Done,” followed by a survey addressed to potential collaborators and supporters.

He envisioned an institution to “organize a coalition of working people, not from an abstract understanding but from the contact points of their work.” The purpose of this institution, devoted to documentary practices, was twofold. It was “intended to collect, i.e. secure what is there,” but also “to produce, i.e. initiate what is not yet there.” In doing so, it was meant to facilitate social and collaborative processes, comprehensive and interdisciplinary studies without time pressure.

At the occasion of Farocki’s working paper, the Harun Farocki Institut, founded in 2015, historically situates Farocki’s initiative and reflects upon the proximities and differences between creating an institution in 1976 and forty years later.

The publication includes Farocki’s text, a commentary by Tom Holert, Doreen Mende and Volker Pantenburg, as well as a letter written in 1975/76 by documentary filmmaker Peter Nestler in response to Farocki’s circular.

HaFI 002 is available for 5 Euro here.

In June 2017, a second, revised edition of HaFI 002 was published.

The PDF is available here.

August 17th, 2016, Projects / Publication
Interface

Avery F. Gordon, in an interview conducted by Katherine Hite and Daniela Jara in Memory Studies:  “Non-participation is one modality of what I call being in-difference. Being in-difference is a political consciousness and a sensuous knowledge, a standpoint and a mindset for living on better terms than we’re offered, for living as if you had the necessity and the freedom to do so, for living in the acknowledgement that, despite the overwhelming power of all the systems of domination which are trying to kill us, they never quite become us. They are, as Cedric J Robinson used to say, only one condition of our existence or being. Running away, living apart, squatting, communing, feral trading, bartering, self-managed currencies, human, debt, labour, knowledge strikes, boycott, divestment, non-policing, throwing your shoe at an occupying president: the ways of non-participation in the given order of things are many, varied and hard to summarize. And they are taken up for a variety of reasons, including the failure or irrelevance of states and the US–European post–World War II social movement model.”

July 7th, 2020, Tom

Denise Ferreira da Silva via Canadian Art: “Visuality or rather visualizability—being available via social media and accessible through electronic gadgets—seems to have become the main (if not the sole) criterion for reality, which becomes crucial for the ethical-political demands for the protection of black lives, for state accountability and for justice. If that is so, the only way is through these conditions of representation. I mean, the creative move first takes the visualizable as it is, that is, as a twice removed re/composition (at the same time a live streaming, news reporting and documenting) of the scene of violence which only tells us that it happens. It exposes the excess that is the state’s use of total violence, of law enforcement as technique of racial subjugation, while simultaneously removing the black person (the father, the sister, the friend) out of the scene of violence and its visualization. It does so by restoring the dimensions of their existence that the camera cannot capture. That is, the creative move must protect (as an ethical gesture) the black person (keeping her obscurity) in the excess that is the very visualization of the scene of total violence.”

June 28th, 2020, Tom

Ajay Singh Chaudhary on the politics of climate change, via The Baffler: “One of the most common misconceptions concerning climate change is that it produces, or even requires, a united humanity. In that tale, the crisis in the abstract is a ‘common enemy,’ and a perfectly universal subject is finally possible in coming to ‘experience’ ourselves ‘as a geological agent,’ through which a universal ‘we’ is constituted in a ‘shared sense of catastrophe.’ The story I am telling you is different. In this story, there is no universal ‘we.’ Climate change is not the apocalypse, and it does not fall on all equally, or even, in at least a few senses, on everyone at all.”

June 23rd, 2020, Tom
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