Sun 20 May
Prototyping Futures / Occupying the Present
Strategies of resistance, intervention, and critical production in response to the crises of the present.
Speech Act by Herman Asselberghs, 29 min. 2011
Following up on his meticulous dissection of the Apple laptop (in Dear Steve), Herman Asselberghs now turns his attention to another global popular consumer product: Avatar, the most expensive and highest-grossing film ever. By way of an elaborated interior monologue taking on the form of a film studies class, Speech Act covers a complex of themes well beyond cinema concerns. As the acme of mainstream culture, James Cameron’s sci-fi epic turns out to provide ample fodder for a critique of triumphant transparency, impressively delivered by the established Brussels actor Willy Thomas. Commissioned within the context of the project In and Out of Brussels: Africa Inside Europe, Asselberghs’ newest work eloquently talks about all things black.
A Short film about War, Thomson & Craighead, 10 min. 2010
A Short film about War is a narrative documentary made entirely from information found on the worldwide web. In ten minutes this split-screen work takes viewers around the world to a variety of war zones as seen through the collective eyes of the online photo sharing community Flickr, and as witnessed by a variety of existing military and civilian bloggers. As the ostensibly documentary ‘film’ plays itself out on the left side of the screen, the right side logs the provenance of images, blog fragments and gps locations of each element comprising the work, so that the same information is simultaneously communicated to the viewer in two parallel formats – on one hand as a dramatised reportage and on the other hand as a text log. In offering this tautology, the work attempts to explore and reveal the way in which information changes as it is gathered, edited and then mediated through networked communications technologies or broadcast media, and how that changes and distorts meaning – especially for (the generally wealthy minority of) the world’s users of high speed broadband networks, who have become used to the treacherously persuasive panoptic view that google earth (and the worldwide web) appears to give us. Script by Jon Thomson, Alison Craighead & Steve Rushton