I Thought I Was Seeing Convicts + War at a Distance
Sunday Jan 07 04:00 PM
Doris Duke Theatre
About the Film:
This film is part of the weeklong program CLASSIFIED, a multidisciplinary look at art and surveillance.
Directed by Harun Farocki. 2000. 2003. Germany. English / German. 79 min.
Admission: Free with RSVP
I Thought I Was Seeing Convicts
Directed by Harun Farocki. 2000. Germany. English. 25 min.
Images from the maximum-security prison in Corcoran, California. The surveillance camera shows a pie-shaped segment: a concrete-paved yard where the prisoners, dressed in shorts and mostly shirtless, are allowed to spend a half an hour a day. A convict attacks another, upon which those uninvolved lay themselves flat on the ground, their arms over their heads. They know what comes now: the guard will call out a warning and the fire rubber bullets. If the convicts do not stop fighting now, the guard will shoot for real. The pictures are silent, the trail of gun smoke drifts across the picture. The camera and the gun are right next to each other. The field of vision and the gun viewfinder fall together...(Harun Farocki)
War at a Distance
Directed by Harun Farocki. 2003. Germany. English / German. 54 min.
In 1991, when images of the Gulf War flooded the international media, it was virtually impossible to distinguish between real pictures and those generated on computer. This loss of bearings was to change forever our way of deciphering what we see. The image is no longer used only as testimony, but also as an indispensable link in a process of production and destruction. This is the central premise of War at a Distance, which continues the deconstruction of claims to visual objectivity Harun Farocki developed in his earlier work. With the help of archival and original material, Farocki sets out in effect to define the relationship between military strategy and industrial production and sheds light on how the technology of war finds applications in everyday life. (Antje Ehmann)