Visual essay- week 7 post

Audio Visual Essay

The installation of scenes from throughout film’s history of workers leaving the factory is displayed on twelve monitors simultaneously. In Fritz Langs “Clash by Night” (1952), one sees Marilyn Monroe on the assembly line, coming out of the factory, and one hears her talking about it. But the existence of factories and movie stars are not compatible. A movie star working in a factory evokes associations of a fairy tale in which a princess must work before she attains her true calling. Factories – and the subject of labour – are at the fringes of film history. (Harun Farocki, 2006)

Over the century they was and will be workers in the factory.  Workers in factory because this is social condition or a fairy tale” before she attains her true calling” (Clash by Night). Factory and workers can be separate or not as a mean? I believe workers can be very independent word, but factory without workers it becomes as an empty space .This world is a factory and we are workers? That happen whit out us? Everyone find this favourite factory or maybe we still looking forward? Or maybe we must to accept the place?

As Nora M. Alter mention Farocki is a good example in this development by playing in exhibition place transforms us into “detached observer of mute images”. Methods of montage offer the freedom the find the meaning and association. The montage parallels “Adorno’s essayistic in some way”. “Discrete elements set off against one another are brought together in a form a readable context”. If Adorno “follow the linear logic of writing”, Farocki “specialized these concept trough the media of film”. “Farocki show working procedure in traditional newly industrialising and highly industrialized societies”. (Matthias Michalkc)

Lukacs reformulated Schlegel’s famous dictum “the theory of the essay should be and essay and the theory of film a film”. Farocki installation is a long way from the one-dimensional form of written text (Nora), he translate into the context of three-dimensional installation.

In conclusion audio visual essay give freedom and space to transfer certain information. In the time it can be encouragement to translate from another language or a different media and form.



About irinacorduban

I always enjoyed Art from an early age and she spend most of her childhood drawing and design anything and everything! This love of Art has stayed with her and developed and grown and, now, I cannot imagine wanting to do anything else.
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One Response to Visual essay- week 7 post

  1. anorakparkta says:

    On Harun Farocki’s I Thought I was Seeing Convicts (2000)

    “For both Lukács and Adorno, the essay is fragmentary, wandering, and does not seek to find absolute truths – as would, for instance, the documentary genre – but
    rather ‘finds its unity in and through breaks and not by glossing them over’.”
    “For Lukács (1978[1910]), the essay functions as a form of ‘judgement’. But he is quick to add: ‘the essential, the value-determining thing about [the essay], is not the verdict [at which it arrives] … but the process of judging’.”
    “In short, where Lukács sees the essay as both art and critique,
    Adorno maintains that this genre’s relation to art is a purely formal one –
    namely, insofar as it constantly pursues new forms of presentation (p. 18)”
    (For Richter) “Unlike the genre of documentary film, which presents facts and information, the essay film is an in-between genre that, insofar as it is not grounded in realitybut can be contradictory, irrational, playful and fantastic, is thus well suited to develop complex

    These quotations from Nora M. Alter’s Translating the Essay into Film and Installation bring light for an easier reading of the video work of Harun Farocki. The format of visual essay is deployed both technically and context wise, where the mastery of the artist does not prevail over the other.
    Technically the highlight is Farocki’s two-screen format, competing with the velocity of human eye and perception. Constructed carefully, parts from the video is transferred from one screen to the other according to the emphasis of the artist. (or rather according to the emphasis one wants to see) At times projections on either screens take terms or at times display different footage at the same time providing parts of the narration. All the video work in Farocki’s exhibition Against What? Against Whom? had the quality of absorbing the viewer, with strong visuality and thought-provoking text. One work, had specific effect on me-I Thought I Was Seeing Convicts.
    Having just the right dosages of irritation, information, and a general rhythm, the piece was working out perfectly with its subject matter. As an exceptionally clear example of the visual essay form, narration with written text and voice over, was combined with actual CCTV footage from a prison in California presenting not simply the surveillance footages and the advanced surveillance enforcement but the complex relationships of authority and deviance in ‘mass’ society.
    Very slyly integrated in the work was footage of supermarket shoppers as digital dots in a surveillance software. (also with information on the software, where the operator can access the entire portfolio of consumption behavior) Also there was a footage of a civilian woman handcuffed to a chair from behind, in what appeared to be a police station politely asking to be freed (after 4 hours) in what appears to be another desperate attempt to tame the societies’ dangerous by the more dangerous. These footage seeming irrelevant to the general video at first glance are indeed the key points where Farocki connects the issue to what seems to be a greater reality where surveillance is no longer justified with the claim for security, but becomes an activity on its own, a field in itself with its contextual problematics.
    Another key point was unlike the most of his work, there was no poetic rhythm to allow the viewer to sensitize even when presenting the main footage of a convict being shot to death. The rawness of the footage coherent with the context. The piece almost had a lack of the artistic touch. In presenting precisely this lack Farocki is able to process his essay. Mentioned in Alter’s essay, ‘Schlegel’s famous dictum that the ‘theory of the novel should be a novel’ reformulated by Lukacs into the idea that the theory of the essay should be an essay or the theory of film a film’ is present here, and even transcended as Farocki displays the theory of surveillance by surveillance footage, the act of watching the video very similar to the act of surveillance, in a space that is probably fitted with surveillance cameras, meanwhile surveilling the surveillers.
    The lines that define roles in the surveillance context blur in Farocki’s video. The watcher/watched change places, so does the innocent/convict dialect. On the other hand another dialect we are to investigate with this video essay, lies in the nature of the activity of recording a video, ‘shooting’ hinted by Farocki to be too similar to killing. “The camera and the gun are right next to each other. The field of vision and the gun viewfinder fall together.” The gaze here becomes murder.


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