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Harun Farocki North American Premiere

  • Seattle Art Museum 1300 1st Ave Seattle, WA, 98101 United States (map)

Aktionsart is honored to present the North American Premiere of PARALLEL I-IV (2012 - 2014), by Harun Farocki, during BLACK BOX 1.0.

It will be shown at Seattle Art Museum on May 28, 2014, at 7:30PM.

This work was first shown as a multi-channel installation at Galerie Thaddeas Ropac in January of 2014:

The question of how technologically produced images influence and define our social and political spheres, our consciousness and our habits, has been a leitmotiv in Farocki's work for many years. In his new cycle, Farocki describes the 30-year-long developmental history of computer graphics, with a special focus on the aspect of animation. The work is based on the assumption that we live in technologically produced image worlds, which Farocki characterises as ideal-typical. It seems that soon reality will no longer be the criterion for the imperfect image, but rather the virtual image will be the criterion for imperfect reality.


Curated by Julia Fryett.


Installation view of PARALLEL I-IV. Galerie Thaddeas Ropac, Paris.

The four-part cycle PARALLEL deals with the image genre of computer animation. Computer animations are currently becoming a general model, surpassing film. In films, there is the wind that blows and the wind that is produced by a wind machine. Computer images do not have two kinds of wind.

PARALLEL I opens up a history of styles in computer graphics. The first games of the 1980s consisted of only horizontal and vertical lines. This abstraction was seen as a failing, and today representations are oriented towards photo-realism.

PARALLEL II and III seek out the boundaries of the game worlds and the nature of the objects. It emerges that many game worlds take the form of discs floating in the universe – reminiscent of pre-Hellenistic conceptions of the world. The worlds have an apron and a backdrop, like theatre stages, and the things in these games have no real existence. Each of their properties must be separately constructed and assigned to them.

PARALLEL IV explores the heroes of the games, the protagonists whom the respective players follow through 1940s L.A., a post-apocalyptic, a Western or other genre worlds. The heroes have no parents or teachers; they must find the rules to follow of their own accord. They hardly have more than one facial expression and only very few character traits which they express in a number of different if almost interchangeable short sentences. They are homunculi, anthropomorphous beings, created by humans. Whoever plays with them has a share in the creator's pride.

-Harun Farocki



Artist Bio

Harun Farocki was born in 1944 in Neutitschein, an area in the Czech Republic, which had been annexed by the Germans at the time. For over 40 years he has lived and worked in Berlin. The work of the artist and film-maker has had a decisive influence on the history of the political film since the late 1960s. Besides over 100 productions made for  television and cinema, Farocki – as long-time author and editor of the magazine Filmkritik, curator, and visiting professor in Berkeley, Harvard and Vienna – has conveyed his reflections on the relation between society, politics and the moving picture. His huge significance for the visual arts is reflected in retrospectives of his films in institutions such as the Tate Modern/London, and solo exhibitions in the MUMOK (Museum of Modern Art)/Vienna, Jeu de Paume/Paris, Museum Ludwig/Cologne and more recently in the Kunsthaus/Bregenz. In 1997 and 2007, Farocki took part in the documenta in Kassel. For many years, the relation between technology and war has played a decisive role in Farocki's works.

On July 30th, 2014 Harun Farocki passed away near Berlin at the age of 70. 


Earlier Event: May 15
Black Box 1.0
Later Event: May 31
Art, Cinema & Code