I didn't know Harun Farocki was dead, but he is. I think that puts this show in a weird place u know. It puts him as an artist in a strange place. Like he's a lot older than I expected him to be. I think that makes the way he places or represents the subject more holistic. I'm always kinda cynical of these Yung upstarts, these internet kidz, making work about Web 2.0, even though I am one (I luv it but u can be critical about things u luv u kno). I know it's going to be dated in like ten years because the subject is so specific to how we interact with screens n things Now.
The show is short an sweet: one room, only 4 vid pieces on suspended screens. Idk if I've become accustomed, as a viewer, to being treated like a special little creature. But for me, Jon Rafman's work has changed the game for moving image work and how we situate it in relation to Viewers. Idk if I'm being demanding or over expectant if I say I am underwhelmed by the format or like situation of the work. But still. Every time I encounter Farocki's work I am filled with art-envy. I love the kind of filmy slowness he embraces.
The works at Whitechapel look with inscrutable detail at the position and function of game graphics. But it treats them both metaphorically and literally. In looking at the way graphics have evolved from old school Mario to COD, it reassigns their meaning. I don't want to call these pieces video essays, because they don't function in exactly the same way as video essays. You need to sit with them all and look at the message they each deliver as singular videos as a pluralistic whole. How heroes in video games encounter other people, non-players (how reactions to actions embody themselves). How we interact with surroundings and environment. How better graphics affect our simulated experience, it is introspective of the tiny minutiae of game-philosophy and graphic resonance on a kind of elevated social scale. Idk if I'm reading into this bc I am a Stan, but Farocki's treatment of the game-subject is R34L u kno. He treats this simulated graphic chain as reality kinda. It's not really placed comparatively, it's like extensive, like the simulated self in Black Ops is representative or microcosmic of digital selfhood or even IRL person-object relationships.
But I think my musings on this show could go on. Farocki's work relates to my own practice and as much as I'm sure u wanna hear about the show I am sure u don't wanna hear any more about my personal reflections etc etc and my shit. All I will say is: go, because Farocki's work is rarely online and when it is online it's only online as bootlegs and snippets. The subject is deliciously slow burning, go and feel the way he interrogates the subject and how you in turn do so bc I feel like his work is very very important but I can't quite place my finger on what it is or why it is. I just know I am clouded by personal bias and weird art favouritism.