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A screening room for programming about media arts, activism, and mediated experience

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Online Media

Audio recordings from past collaborations with pioneering filmmakers and scholars

Opens to public

09/01/2017

The Mediatheque seeks to foreground new opportunities and approaches to image production today. It builds upon Slought's long-standing engagement with media practices and theories through public programs. These programs regularly feature filmmakers, film theorists, and media activists offering insights into the power of the image to inspire political action and safeguard civil liberties.

The selection of audio recordings featured here have guided the formation of the Mediatheque and its programming. They also function as a resource for self-study.

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In 1967, in a book entitled The Society of the Spectacle, I showed what the modern spectacle was already in essence: the autocratic reign of the market economy which had acceded to an irresponsible sovereignty, and the totality of new techniques of government which accompanied this reign. The disturbances of 1968, which in several countries lasted into the following years, having nowhere overthrown the existing organization of the society from which it springs apparently spontaneously, the spectacle has thus continued to gather strength; that is, to spread to the furthest limits on all sides, while increasing its density in the center. It has even learnt new defensive techniques, as powers under attack always do. When I began the critique of spectacular society, what was particularly noticed - given the period - was the revolutionary content that could be discovered in that critique; and it was naturally felt to be its most troublesome element...

Since the spectacle today is certainly more powerful than it was before, what is it doing with this additional power? What point has it reached, that it had not reached previously? What, in short, are its present lines of advance? The vague feeling that there has been a rapid invasion which has forced people to lead their lives in an entirely different way is now widespread; but this is experienced rather like some inexplicable change in the climate, or in some other natural equilibrium, a change faced with which ignorance knows only that it has nothing to say. What is more, many see it as a civilizing invasion, as something inevitable, and even want to collaborate.

― Guy Debord, in Comments on the Society of the Spectacle (1988)