The morally disgusting asymmetry of drones relates not only to their deployment by the powerful against the weak, but also to the radical disparity of risk entailed in exposing the defenceless living to pilotless killing machines. In her review of George Barber’s recent film Freestone Drone, artist Kate Rich, co-creator of the first art drone 'The BIT Plane', considers the sickly prospect of a drone that assumes (a happy) consciousness
Reconceiving man's relations to matter and the world of objects was not always the politically insipid theoretical pastime it has become. Here, Simon Mussell revisits the Frankfurt School's work to explore how their consideration of the 'thicket of material life' created new lines of resistance to social alienation
Harmony Korine's recent film Spring Breakers doesn't exactly reward stringent sociological critique. His use of manipulative, mnemonic, stylised and hyper-seductive techniques demands to be taken seriously in a different way. But how? Mira Mattar meets him at the threshold
If dogs sit faithfully at the lowest and highest reaches of human history might they provide a useful guide for exploration of an anthropocene which is both tragic and absurd? Hannah Black reviews Matthew Noel-Tod’s recent film
If extinction is inscribed into and necessary for the emergence of life, how, asks Nathan Brown, can we ever integrate the mourned object into our material lives? And what part, if any, can cinema play in this mediation?
The true health of spirit consists in the perfection of reminiscence.
– Arthur Schopenhauer
The Passion of Modernity: Malick’s The Tree of Life
In the early 1970s, at the meeting point of workplace occupations and critical film-making, 20th century art's attraction to the factory reached a representational impasse. Taking up Harun Farocki’s idea that factory work has been systematically expunged from cinema, John Roberts considers why this hegemonic site of value-production must remain absent from film and bourgeois culture more generally
The west used to dream of travel to the future, but since the ’70s all roads seem to lead to either dystopia or nostalgia for the past. Robert Barry reviews the fate of the time machine through a century of film
Video as an artifact always has been assembled. Now at this critical stage of digital video culture, it gets reassembled on a new level: between new affordances, attention shifts and the threat of over-regulation and customization, a.k.a. ‘walling’ and ‘gardening’.
As the financial crisis fastens its grip ever tighter around the means of human and natural survival, the age of the algorithm has hit full stride. This phase-shift has been a long time coming of course, and was undoubtedly as much a cause of the crisis as its effect, with self-propelling algorithmic power replacing human labour and judgement and creating event fields far below the threshold of human perception and responsiveness.