Magazine article Artforum International

Harun Farocki

Magazine article Artforum International

Harun Farocki

Article excerpt

FOR OVER ONE HUNDRED YEARS, photography and film were the leading kind of image. From the start they served not only as forms of information and entertainment but also as media for scientific research and documentation. That's one reason these techniques of reproduction were associated with notions of objectivity and contemporaneity--in contrast to images created by drawing and painting, which signaled subjectivity and the transrational.

Apparently today computer animation is taking the lead. Films already try to imitate video games--which in turn borrow from films. Following the Gulf War in 1991, the US military decided to capture the decisive Battle of 73 Easting not on film but via computer animation.

Computer animation aspires toward the photographic-filmic models of representation, yet with each advance it becomes clear how far it still is from the ideal. In the program Virtual Battlespace 2, which is used by the US armed forces for training purposes, tanks churn up dust when they roll over the ground and no dust when they travel on asphalt. …

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