War - Media - Art: The Image in Question

A conversation with Harun Farocki and others on the re-appropriation of images and the representation of war and weaponry


Fields of Knowledge
  • Aesthetics / Media
  • Design
  • Philosophy / Theory
  • Politics / Economics


Nora Alter


Departments of Film and Media Arts, Painting, Drawing and Sculpture, and Art History, Temple University

Opens to public



4017 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104


75% Formal - 25% Informal

Slought and the Temple University Department of Film and Media Arts are pleased to present "The Image in Question: War-Media-Art," a film screening and conversation with Harun Farocki and Antje Ehmann on Thursday, September 16, 2010 from 6:30-8:30pm at Slought, organized by Nora Alter. The event will begin with a screening of Harun Farocki's Immersion (2009; 20 minutes), followed by a discussion with Farocki and Ehmann about their work.

How can the wars of the present and the experience of war be adequately represented? How can military imagery be re-appropriated? How can it be countered? What are different sorts of images capable of? These questions provide the framework for Farocki's and Ehmann's presentation, which will address their recent research and exhibition of the same name, on display at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University from October to December 2010.

In their presentation The Image in Question, Farocki and Ehmann will also explore how the airplanes, submarines and tanks of World War I could not be adequately drawn in ink, painted in oil or cast in bronze. Instead, the new weapons demanded new techniques of depiction: the verisimilitude of photography or the dynamics of film. The weapons of our post-industrial age are computer weapons and demand computer-generated images for rendition. Computer animation is not only the appropriate form of depiction, it is in itself part of the weapon system, preparing the soldier for deployment in the field. Computer animation is also used to cure returning soldiers traumatized by their experience of war: part of their therapy is the reenactment of key events in the field by means of computer animation. Battles and attacks are simulated on the computer first when strategy is discussed; operations that have been completed are archived in the program and become part of the simulation.

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Harun Farocki is an author, filmmaker, and video artist. Since the mid-1960s, Farocki has made close to 90 films, including feature films, essay films, and documentaries. In recent years, Farocki has created multi-channel video works that have been exhibited at international venues such as Documenta, the Generali Foundation, Tate Modern, ICA London, Jeu de Paume, Centre Pompidou, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Some of his most celebrated works include Inextinguishable Fire (1969), Images of the World and the Inscription of War (1988), Videograms of a Revolution (1992), Workers Leaving the Factory (1995), War at a Distance (2003), and Deep Play (2007). Farocki served as the editor of the journal Filmkritik from 1974-84. He is the author, with Kaja Silverman, of Speaking About Godard (1998). More online at

Recent solo shows include Harun Farocki, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz 2010; Harun Farocki. Against What? Against Whom?, Raven Row, London 2009; and Harun Farocki, Museum Ludwig, Cologne 2009. His last publications include Rote Berta Geht Ohne Liebe Wandern, Cologne 2009; Kino wie noch nie / Cinema like never before, together with Antje Ehmann, Cologne 2006; and Imprint / Nachdruck, Berlin / New York 2001. His recent films / installations include Das Silber und das Kreuz (2010), umgießen (2010) and Zum Vergleich (2009). Farocki is professor at the Akademie für Bildende Künste, Vienna and lives in Berlin.

Antje Ehmann is an author, curator and video artist, born in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Recent publications include Harun Farocki. Against What? Against Whom?, ed. together with Kodwo Eshun, Cologne 2009; Amos Gitai. News from Home, ed. together with Anselm Franke and Katharina Fichtner, Cologne 2006; and Geschichte des Dokumentarischen Films in Deutschland, Bd. 2, Weimarer Republic, together with Klaus Kreimeier and Jeanpaul Goergen, Stuttgart 2005. Recent curatorial projects include Three Early Films, together with Kodwo Eshun and Bart van der Heide, Cubitt, London 2009; Harun Farocki. 22 films, together with Stuart Comer and Kodwo Eshun, Tate Modern, London 2009; and Cinema like never before, together with Harun Farocki, Generali Foundation Vienna, 2006 and Akademie der Künste, Berlin 2007. Video installations include War tropes (together with Harun Farocki, 2011) Loud and Clear (2009) and Feasting or Flying (together with Harun Farocki, 2008). Antje Ehmann lives in Berlin.