HaFI 005: Harun Farocki: Before Your Eyes – Vietnam
A hybrid attempt at coming to terms with a specific instance of amnesia amongst the West German left in the late 1970s/early 1980s, Harun Farocki’s 1982 feature film BEFORE YOUR EYES – VIETNAM combines ideas about the distant, image-guided participation in the war in Vietnam with speculations on Vietnam as a laboratory of advanced modes of capitalist production, whilst reflecting intensely on the dyad of love and work.
This publication assembles selected material produced in 1982 to promote the film and make it accessible discursively. It includes the facsimile of a promotional leaflet that provided both factual information and directions for reading, a selection of unseen photos from the set and from a tiny piece of film (excavated from the archives of the Harun Farocki Institut) documenting a performative trailer held on an improvised stage by Farocki and actor Ronny Tanner during the Berlin Film Festival in 1982. The brochure is introduced by a commentary penned by the Harun Farocki Institut.
Available for 9 Euro here at Motto Books.
September 8th, 2017, Projects / Publication
Sara Ahmed on the perfomativity of disgust (from The Cultural Politics of Emotion, 2004): “To name something as disgusting is to transfer the stickiness of the word ‘disgust’ to an object, which henceforth becomes generated as the very thing that is spoken. The relationship between the stickiness of the sign and the stickiness of the object is crucial to the performativity of disgust as well as the apparent resistance of disgust reactions to ‘newness’ in terms of the generation of different kinds of objects. The object that is generated as a disgusting (bad) object through the speech act comes to stick. It becomes sticky and acquires a fetish quality, which then engenders its own effects.”
November 7th, 2020, Tom
David Graeber (1961-2020) on What Would It Take (from his The Democracy Project. A History, a Crisis, a Movement, 2013, p. 193): “We have little idea what sort of organizations, or for that matter, technologies, would emerge if free people were unfettered to use their imagination to actually solve collective problems rather than to make them worse. But the primary question is: how do we even get there? What would it take to allow our political and economic systems to become a mode of collective problem solving rather than, as they are now, a mode of collective war?”
September 7th, 2020, Tom
T.J. Demos on why cultural practitioners should never surrender, via tranzit.sk: “For artists, writers, and curators, as art historians and teachers, the meaning-production of an artwork is never finished, never fully appropriated and coopted, in my view, and we should never surrender it; the battle over significance is ongoing. We see that battle rise up in relation to racist and colonial monuments these days in the US, the UK, and South Africa. While the destruction of such monuments results from and is enabling of radical politics, it’s still not enough until the larger institutions that support and maintain their existence as well as the continuation of the politics they represent are also torn down. This is urgent as well in the cultural sphere, including the arts institutions, universities, art markets, discursive sphere of magazines and journals, all in thrall to neoliberalism, where we must recognize that it’s ultimately inadequate to simply inject critical or radical content into these frameworks, which we know excel at incorporating those anti-extractivist expressions into further forms of cultural capital and wealth accumulation. What’s required is more of the building of nonprofit and community-based institutions, organizing radical political horizons and solidarity between social formations.”
August 21st, 2020, Tom