Harun Farocki: Vision Machines

Monday, December 13, 2010 - 7:30 pm

Programmed by Amy Kazymerchyk

Czech-born German filmmaker Harun Farocki (b. 1944) has made more than 90 short and feature-length films, videos, and multi-channel installations for the cinema, the gallery, and television. His documentaries and essay films probe the phenomenology, production, transmission and dissemination of images.  Farocki situates his inquiry within “the many histories of embodied vision, or the dialectics of embodied and disembodied vision, of human vision and the vision machines, and the kinds of productivity they engender” (Thomas Elsaesser).  Farocki implicates his own modes of production:  archiving, editing, and writing within this dialectic, as one that is torn between “’working like a machine’ and ‘working like an artist’” (Elsaesser).

Workers Leaving the Factory revisits the first film ever to be shown in public and contemplates the significance of inscribing the space in front of the factory gates throughout the history of documentary and narrative film.  I Thought I was Seeing Convicts focuses on surveillance images from a maximum-security prison in Corcoran, California, to parse the collusion of the field of vision and the sniper’s cross hairs—the camera and the gun. The Serious Games series observes the role that gaming technology plays in training, deploying and healing military personnel in contemporary warfare.  Images of the World and the Inscription of War considers the implication of the camera’s lens in the construction of memory, meaning and history in the 20th Century. From the misinterpreted aerial images of Auschwitz during WWII to the the first photos taken of Algerian women in the 1960’s, optics have persisted in creating prosthetics that clarify, distort, diminish and expand our perception of the world.

Single Program $10.50/ Double Program $12.50

7:00 pm (90min)
Workers Leaving the Factory | 1995.  Video, 36 mins.
I Thought I was Seeing Convicts | 2000. Video, 25 mins.
Serious Games 1: Watson is Down | 2010. Video, 10mins.
Serious Games 3: Immersion | 2009. Video, 20mins.

8:45 pm (75min)
Images of the World and the Inscription of War | 1988.  16mm, 75 mins.

Harun Farocki: Vision Machines is programmed in conjunction with the Surrey Art Gallery’s presentation of Farocki’s 12-channel installation Deep Play, October 2- December 19, 2010.  www.arts.surrey.ca

Thomas Elsaesser, “Introduction: Harun Farocki,” Senses of Cinema, July 2002.   http://archive.sensesofcinema.com/contents/02/21/farocki_intro.html

image: Images of the World and the Inscription of War (1988)