“A short image-processed work, Thousands Watch deals with the issue of nuclear suicide. The tape’s central metaphor is derived from a 1936 Universal newsreel of a crowd looking on while a young man stands on the ledge of a tall building, threatening to—and eventually succeeding in—committing suicide. It begins with an image of time-lapsed colorized clouds racing across the sky at a frenzied pace while a low siren wail emerges on the soundtrack. This sound forms a pulsing heartbeat and builds into a tense crescendo as the tape progresses.
This tape was shot in August 1972 by the same crew that had convened for pioneer video collective TVTV’s (Top Value Television) project Four More Years. Videotaped at the 1972 Republican Convention, it begins with the cameraman taping from inside the press area, with protestors from the People’s Band outside at the fence. There is footage of girl- and boyscout groups. A group of protestors are shown calling for non-violent blockades of the delegates' entrance. Tear gas is feared, and there are interviews with tear-gassed people and medics.
La Trinchera Luminosa del Presidente Gonzalo is a recreation of one day at the Canto Grande prison in Peru, following women guerrillas from the Maoist Shining Path movement, from their morning marches to their bedtime chants. Kept isolated in their own cellblocks, the guerrillas refused to acknowledge that they were imprisoned. Their cellblocks were just another front in the People’s War: “shining trenches of combat”. This film shows the intense indoctrination and belief system of the brutal Latin American insurgency.
What do a luxury automobile, a cymbal, and a wall clock all have in common? What are the diverse attachments and experiences produced by those who make these things and those who consume them? What exchanges take place through the object itself—sensually, esthetically, abstractly? We often forget that most of the things we use are made by the labor of others, often in distant places, living dramatically different, diverse lives. What do these objects mean to them? How does their labor, their aspirations, their sense of alienation or satisfaction connect to ours?
This video is a 7-minute single channel piece consisting of two monologues: the first is a speech prepared for Richard Nixon in the event of a moon landing disaster in 1969, the second is the final words of the computer HAL from the film 2001.
A re-working of Humphrey Jenning's 1943 seminal docu-drama The Silent Village wherein coal miners from the Welsh village of Cwmgiedd re-enact the Nazi invasion and annihilation of the resisting Czech villagers of Lidice. Principal focus in this re-mix is upon the way sound is used as a mode of social control.
A Walk with Nigel is a video essay that constructs a dialogue between two artists from two different times, between movement and stillness, between speech and silence. An archaeological study of a community, reawakening the archive in the present. A materialist study of streets and social relations.
Since the Gulf War in 1991, warfare and reporting it have become hyper-technological affairs, in which real and computer-generated images cannot be distinguished any more. With the aid of new and also unique archive material, Farocki sketches a picture of the relationship between military strategy and industrial production and shows how war technology finds its way into everyday use.
-- International Film Festival catalogue, Rotterdam (2004)
In the fall of 1986, Richard Fung made his first visit to his father’s birthplace, a village in southern Guangdong, China. This experimental documentary examines the way children of immigrants relate to the land of their parents, and focuses on the ongoing subjective construction of history and memory. The Way to My Father's Village juxtaposes the son’s search for his own historical roots, and his father’s avoidance of his cultural heritage.
Long still frames, text, language, and sound are weaved together to unfold the narrative of an anonymous group who fill their time by measuring distance. Innocent measurements transition into political ones, examining how image and sound communicate history. We Began by Measuring Distance explores an ultimate disenchantment with facts when the visual fails to communicate the tragic.
Produced by The Sharjah Biennial Production Programme.
We will live to see these things... is a documentary video in five parts about competing visions of an uncertain future. Shot in 2005/06 in Damascus, Syria, the work combines fiction and non-fiction. Each section of the piece--the chronicle of a building in downtown Damascus, an interview with a dissident intellectual, documentation of an equestrian event, the fever dream of a U.S.
Pat Ward Williams’s socially charged works confront issues of race, often dealing specifically with African-American history and identity. Using a variety of photographic processes, video, audio tapes, assemblage and text, Williams layers meanings and images. Her subjects range from the autobiographical to the public, often combining documentary techniques with personal responses. “When I make photos about my family, I think my family is not a lot different than other peoples’ families, so that is a way people can access my work...