Nicholas Mirzoeff on “Artificial vision, white space and racial surveillance capitalism”: “Based as it is on ‘epidermalization’ (the assertion of absolute difference based on relative differences in skin color), AI’s racial surveillance deploys an all-too-familiar racialized way of seeing operating at plan-etary scale. It is the plantation future we are now living in. All such operations take place in and via the new imagined white space of technology known as the cloud. In reality, a very material arrangement of servers and cables, the cloud is both an engine of high-return low-employment capitalism and one of the prime drivers of carbon emissions.”
Sara Ahmed on the performativity 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
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
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
The Harun Farocki Institut is part of an informal network of individuals, groups, and institutions which feel connected to the person, the ideas, and the work of Harun Farocki. The HaFI does not “represent” this network, however it is happy to work as its agent, mediator, and facilitator. As a formally registered organization the HaFI may have its official bodies and committees, however it effectively extends beyond the borders of this – very moderate – organizational infrastructure.
Anyone who shares one or all of the institute’s concerns can and should feel themselves to be a member of the HaFI. Since the founding phase of the HaFI there have been numerous meeting of the network and information about the institute’s activities have been disseminated within the network via newsletters, Facebook, and the website. At the same time the network is the most important resource for the work of the institute. Suggestions, criticism, proposals, project ideas, and cooperation concepts from the network are essential if the HaFI is to develop.
Institutions belonging to the HaFI network include:
Archive Books/Archive Kabinett
Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V.
basis voor actuele kunst (bak)
CCC Research Master and PhD-Forum, Visual Arts Department, HEAD Genève
Dutch Art Institute
Europäische Medienwissenschaft, Potsdam
Harun Farocki GbR
Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin
neuer berliner kunstverein (n.b.k.)
Radical Film Network Meeting Berlin
silent green Kulturquartier
School of Theater, Film and Media Arts, Temple University
SFB (Collaborative Research Center) Practices of Comparing, Bielefeld University