Politics

2003
War at a Distance

Since the Gulf War in 1991, warfare and reporting it have become hyper-technological affairs, in which real and computer-generated images cannot be distinguished any more. With the aid of new and also unique archive material, Farocki sketches a picture of the relationship between military strategy and industrial production and shows how war technology finds its way into everyday use.

-- International Film Festival catalogue, Rotterdam (2004)

2009
We Began by Measuring Distance

Long still frames, text, language, and sound are weaved together to unfold the narrative of an anonymous group who fill their time by measuring distance. Innocent measurements transition into political ones, examining how image and sound communicate history. We Began by Measuring Distance explores an ultimate disenchantment with facts when the visual fails to communicate the tragic.

Produced by The Sharjah Biennial Production Programme.

2017
George Barber "We Need to Speak Tony"

Five improvisers are asked to ‘channel’ the psyche of Tony Blair. George Barber asks questions and also feeds the improvisers anecdotes from various sources about Tony Blair’s life and experience as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The work’s unifying themes are Tony Blair landing in the Iraqi desert at night; meeting George Bush, and the regrets of his key decisions.

2007
we will live to see these things, or, five pictures of what may come to pass

We will live to see these things... is a documentary video in five parts about competing visions of an uncertain future. Shot in 2005/06 in Damascus, Syria, the work combines fiction and non-fiction. Each section of the piece--the chronicle of a building in downtown Damascus, an interview with a dissident intellectual, documentation of an equestrian event, the fever dream of a U.S.

1998
What Farocki Taught

What Farocki Taught is literally and stubbornly a remake—that is, a perfect replica in color and in English, of Harun Farocki’s black and white, 1969 German language film, Inextinguishable Fire.

2002
White Balance (to think is to forget differences)

White Balance (to think is to forget differences) is an effort to uncover the geographies of power, the frontiers of privilege. It revisits this problem from different angles, creating short circuits of meaning which are hosted by improbable audiovisual matches. Media and internet footage is intermixed with images shot in downtown Manhattan before and after the September 11th attacks.

1986
The Winner's Circle and la Migra

As documented in The Winner’s Circle and la Migra (the emigrant), the move north brings many changes to family life, specifically mothers going to work and children learning English in school. Hock explores the fact that women often adapt more easily than the men to American life, learning English more rapidly. This becomes a source of conflict between the men and women as they compete for better-paying jobs.

1995
Witness to the Future

An experimental documentary video project about individuals who have been transformed from so called “ordinary” citizens into activists, Witness To The Future seeks connections that unite people of all cultures, communities, races, and economic classes as they struggle for environmental and social change.

1993
Woman as Protaganist: The Art of Nancy Spero

Woman as Protagonist: The Art of Nancy Spero is an invigorating look at the 40-year career of acclaimed feminist artist Nancy Spero, who, in her own works, is concerned with “rewriting the imaging of women through historical time.” With Spero’s own voice as narration, this documentary tracks her development as she matured against the grain of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and Pop Art when “there wasn’t room in the art world to make way for political or activist art.” This tape includes footage of the artist at work on installations in the United States, Northern Ireland, and

1987
Women with a Past

Women with a Past brings together four 20th Century artists — Yvonne Rainer, Christine Choy, Martha Rosler, and Nancy Spero — in videotaped interviews, shaped and edited by Lyn Blumenthal to examine the art of documentary. In a skillfully woven series of scenes in which the interviewer’s voice is not heard, the interviewees appear to be talking directly, intimately to the viewer. Blumenthal used short segments of each woman’s work to demonstrate how her philosophical and political stances are articulated. 

1990
Work in Progress

An experimental video about cultural and political disputes surrounding immigration and naturalization processes. Work In Progress explores the effects of the 1986 U.S. Immigration Reform Law and individuals who did not qualify for amnesty under this reform, therefore remaining undocumented.

2002
World's Fair World

In 1939, Westinghouse made a film about a small-town family visiting the New York World's Fair. Trapped inside that film was a completely different film that shows a mysterious alternate universe, revealed by Bryan Boyce’s own patented brand of narrative deconstruction and evisceration.The outcome is an absurd and chilling drama of a family transfixed by the technological wonders that would soon transform consumer society.

2002
wüstenspringmaus

"The gerbil has long been associated with New World capitalism because of its incessant energy. The Golden Age of Hollywood takes on the history and evolution of this delightful household pet."

--International Film Festival Rotterdam (2003)

"Jim Finn's Wüstenspringmaus, a well-sprung, rear-screened account of a gerbil's life in the '70s."

--Guy Maddin, Film Comment, January (2004)

This title is also available on Jim Finn Videoworks: Volume 1.

2008
X-Mission

X-Mission explores the logic of the refugee camp as one of the oldest extra-territorial zones. Taking the Palestinian refugee camp as a case in point, the video engages with the different discourses - legal, symbolic, urban, historical - that give meaning to this exceptional space. According to international law, the Palestinian refugee represents indeed the exception within the exception. In the course of 60 years they had to build a civil life in the camps, fostering an intense microcosm with complex relations to homeland and diaspora.