Labor

2009
In Comparison

"Bricks are the resonating fundamentals of society. Bricks are layers of clay that sound like records, just simply too thick. Like records they appear in series, but every brick is slightly different – not just another brick in the wall. Bricks create spaces, organize social relations and store knowledge on social structures. They resonate in a way that tells us if they are good enough or not. Bricks form the fundamental sound of our societies, but we haven't learned to listen to them.

1969
Inextinguishable Fire

"When we show you pictures of napalm victims, you'll shut your eyes. You'll close your eyes to the pictures. Then you'll close them to the memory. And then you'll close your eyes to the facts." These words are spoken at the beginning of this agitprop film that can be viewed as a unique and remarkable development. Farocki refrains from making any sort of emotional appeal. His point of departure is the following: "When napalm is burning, it is too late to extinguish it. You have to fight napalm where it is produced: in the factories."

1997
The Interview

In the summer of 1996 we filmed application training courses in which one learns how to apply for a job. School drop outs, university graduates, people who have to be retrained, the long-term unemployed, recovered drug addicts and mid-term managers – all of them are supposed to learn how to how to market and sell themselves, a skill to which the term “self-management” is applied. The self is perhaps nothing but a metaphysical hook from which to hang a social identity.

2008
The Juche Idea

In the late 1960s Kim Jong Il guaranteed his succession as the Dear Leader of North Korea by adapting his father's Juche (pronounced choo-CHAY) philosophy to propaganda, film and art. Translated as self-reliance, Juche is a hybrid of Confucian and authoritarian Stalinist Pseudo-socialism. The film is about a South Korean video artist who comes to a North Korean art residency to help bring Juche cinema into the 21st Century.

1970

Eerily drifting through soft fades, superimposed images, close-ups, and visual feedback, this tape follows less a narrative structure and more a stringing together of seemingly random activities, set against two very different soundtracks. The video opens with David Cort reclining on the ground as psychedelic rock plays in the background. Two shots alternate between frontal and profile as he lazily plays with his beard and face – the streams of footage melding together with the use of live editing.

2009
Lead

Lead is a tale of an early 20th Century Robin Hood, based on a story by James Williams, involving jumping trains and throwing coal off for needy Southerners.

Cast: Chris Barkley, Hassen Mahamud, Kenny West, James Williams. Cinematography: Jonathan Taee. Sound: Ayesha Ninan.

This title is only available on Broad Daylight and Other Times: Selected Works of Kevin Jerome Everson.

2009
Lighthouse

Lighthouse is about the labor system and the factory town in Southern China and how individualism is influenced by the social and political infrastructure. Guangdong District is the largest Metropolitan area in one of China's wealthiest provinces, and one of its cities, Guangzhou, attracts farmers from the countryside looking for factory work. The viewer is led to actively compose narratives through the poetic and the sublime images. It opens borders that separate cultural, linguistic and historical differences in the global labor systems.

1999
Locked Groove

Locked Groove is based on daily life choreography, an investigation of movements in public space - life rhythms within the context of urbanity. It features close-up shots of the most often executed movements of people with the most common jobs in the city of Hull, UK, where the video was produced. The result is a dense collage made from these different motion fragments (sometimes less than a second long). Extracted as mere gestures, they reveal hidden messages and allow possible links to other movement fragments.

1990
Marx: The Video

Kipnis describes this tape as "an appropriation of the aesthetics of both late capitalism and early Soviet cinema—MTV meets Eisenstein—reconstructing Karl Marx for the video age.” She presents a postmodern lecture delivered by a chorus of drag queens on the unexpected corelations between Marx’s theories and the carbuncles that plagued the body of the rotund thinker for over thirty years. Marx’s erupting, diseased body is juxtaposed with the “body politic", and posited as a symbol of contemporary society proceeding the failed revolutions of the late 1960s.

2012
A New Product

"Scenes from meetings within a company which advises corporations how to design their offices -- and the work done there. The film shows that words are not just tools, they have become an object of speculation." 

-- Harun Farocki

2012
Oded Hirsch, Nothing New

Hirsch’s most ambitious film to date and the pinnacle of his trilogy, Nothing New depicts the epic rescue mission of a man whose parachute is caught on electricity power lines. Involving hundreds of participants in a desolate field facing the Jordanian border in the Jordan Valley of Israel, this communal cinematic endeavor aims to re-unite, if only for a brief moment, the collective spirit of the socialist Kibbutz movement in Israel, a movement that has undergone significant ideological modifications.

2011
Observers, The

The Observers portrays one of the world's last staffed weather observatories in two different seasons. Extreme and unpredictable, the land and sky of Mount Washington, New Hampshire form a varying frame for a climatologist as she goes about the solitary and steadfast work of measuring and recording the weather.

2010
Ray's Birds

Ray Lowden keeps seventy-two large birds of prey, five deer and some wallabies at his place in Northumberland, England. He’s had ten days off in twelve years and loves what he does. The film is a little homage to his variously coy, imperious, curious, stubborn and comic raptor menagerie.

-- Deborah Stratman

2007
Respite

Respite consists of silent black-and-white films shot at Westerbork, a Dutch refugee camp established in 1939 for Jews fleeing Germany. In 1942, after the occupation of Holland, its function was reversed by the Nazis and it became a 'transit camp.'  In 1944, the camp commander commissioned a film, shot by a photographer, Rudolph Breslauer.

2001
Short Circuit

Short Circuit is an experimental documentary—a semi-autobiographical rant that challenges the obsolescence of human labor at the vortex of the machine and digital ages. Through a flow of images, text, and sound, the mechanical and the electronic clash in the thought processes of our protagonist. Is the global revolt of the machines at hand?