HaFI 013: Harun Farocki: On the History of Labor
A glimpse into the genesis of Harun Farocki’s film IMAGES OF THE WORLD AND THE INSCRIPTION OF WAR (1988), which evolved from the unrealized project “On the History of Labor” between 1985 and 1988.
The booklet contains the project draft that Farocki wrote to apply for funding in the spring of 1986, a letter to Radio Free Berlin (SFB) editors Jürgen Tomm and Bernd Schauer, a list of research locations, a short report to “Filmbüro NRW” (Film office North Rhine-Westphalia), a newspaper article by Farocki on the “Technology of Vision”, and a research bibliography that Farocki drew on during this period. A commentary by Volker Pantenburg outlines how „On the History of Labor“ evolved into “Images / History”, then IMAGES-WAR (1987) and finally IMAGES OF THE WORLD.
Stills from IMAGES OF THE WORLD and from unused footage make palpable how the focus of the project shifted and how, in the process, the 1944 aerial photographs of Auschwitz-Birkenau taken by the Allies increasingly attracted Farocki’s attention.
The booklet costs 7 Euro and can be ordered here at Motto Books.
* HaFI 013 is published within the framework of Archive außer sich, a project of Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art in cooperation with Haus der Kulturen der Welt as part of The New Alphabet, a HKW project supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media due to the ruling of the German Bundestag.
November 6th, 2020, 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