Monday, 10 December 2012

Harun Farocki - War At A Distance

Harun Farocki War At A Distance

(video, 54 mins, still)

German filmmaker and video-installation artist Harun Farocki's War at a Distance is an experimental film that examines the role of images in contemporary warfare and industry. Farocki's style is often meditative and slow, its power lies in subtly leading towards conclusions without explicitly taking a position. 

Here the artist traces lines that link the production of modern day industry to the destruction of modern day warfare via a consideration of automation and a removal of direct human engagement. The picture of global economics that he paints is a complex and multi-faceted one where the by-products of war enter into circulation in consumer markets.

The film examines the history of missile-guidance systems from the Second World War onwards. Farocki's ongoing engagement with questions around the power, function and potential of the image focusses in on the increasing lack of distinction between CGI and real-life footage. He traces this back to the early 90s and the news coverage of the Gulf War noting a shift between moving image as fact or record to it's newer role as a productive force in its own right.

Central to Farocki's project is a consideration of different types of image production; in particular a fascination with images that are made for mechanical eyes rather than those of humans. 
View a short clip here.