Nace Zavrl – Counter-Operation: Farocki Against the Network


Thanks to all who came to K’ex resuscitation last week. The next K’ex talk will be:

Counter-Operation: Farocki Against the Network
Nace Zavrl

Thursday 2nd March, 15.00 – 17.00
Media Research Building, Room 10, Screen 2
Goldsmiths, University of London
Located behind the Stuart Hall Building: Site Here Available Here


In the final chapter of his Eye/Machine trilogy, filmmaker Harun Farocki describes a highly specific type of image, an operative image: “pictures, made neither to entertain nor to inform … images that do not represent an object, but rather are part of an operation.” Examples are many, and not hard to conjure: CCTV images, drone feeds, factory cameras. As such, operative images are unthinkable outside networks: networks of surveillance, of warfare, of global capital flows, of biometric control. And in networks, human actors are by no means their primary recipient (the computer, on its own, does not need images – data and the right algorithms suffice).

In the writings of media theorist Alexander Galloway, Farocki gets a mention — and nothing more. In a passing remark halfway through “Are Some Things Unrepresentable?”, Galloway’s essay on data and network visualisation, Farocki’s Images of the World and the Inscription of War is evoked, marking the beginning and end of Farocki and Galloway’s published conjunctions.

But what if the authors’ correspondence didn’t end there — what if it went further? What if Farocki and Galloway intersected at more points than one, forming a network of their very own? What might happen if their conceptualisations are collided, if operative images and network visualisation are superimposed onto one another? Might we discover that, all along, Farocki and Galloway were in fact talking about the same thing?

Click here for the Facebook event

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Nace Zavrl is a graduate student on MA Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London, working on issues in film theory, technology, and digitality. Nace writes on film and experimental media for Senses of Cinema, Film Matters, and Ekran, and has recently given public lectures at the Slovenian Cinematheque and the City Museum of Ljubljana. In 2016, he was the recipient of the Masoud Yazdani Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Film Scholarship.

Suggested Reading:

  • Harun Farocki, “Phantom Images,” Public 29 (2004): 12-22
  • Alexander R. Galloway, “Are Some Things Unrepresentable?,” in The Interface Effect (Cambridge: Polity, 2012), 78-100
  • Ulises Ali Mejias, “The Outside of Networks as a Method for Acting in the World,” in Off the Network: Disrupting the Digital World (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013), 153-162

Suggested Viewing:

  • Auge/Maschine I-III (Eye/Machine I-III, Harun Farocki, 2001-2003)
  • Bilder der Welt und Inschrift des Krieges (Images of the World and the Inscription of War, Harun Farocki, 1989)

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