For Walter Benjamin and Sergei Eisenstein film editing meant a new and revolutionary means for social analysis. The introduction of television with its remote control and commercial break changed our relation to reality. And in the 80s and 90s, the age of MTV and CNN, zapping and channel surfing became our new way of viewing the world around us. But now, in this present day and age, we are no longer zapping with YouTube and Google but we skip and navigate through a reality zone defined in terms of ‘buffering time’ where images of climate change, Abu Graib, 9-11, Afghanistan and the swine flu cause new and contemporary digital enchantment.
This pretence of abundance, however, hides the true and less pretty face of an information dystopia in which the political debate is limited to fear management focused on putting a permanent hold on the viewers. As a platform for disobedience, the WE-tube-o-theek short circuits matters and provides temporary relief from this regime of fear and entertainment by overconsumption. The programme shows dissident opinions and subversive images from Western society, but also from Russia, the Arab world and other locales.
It includes a hilarious YouTube clip from the American Senate discussing a bill, a clip that was revealed as a hoax only later. An international association of architects and engineers draws attention to the mysteries surrounding the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 on September 11th, 2001. The official statement of the American government on this is not plausible at all. These and many other films have been compiled by Johan Grimonprez into a rich database that visitors can surf through in the FREE STATE exhibition. A selection will be presented in the WE-tube-o-theek screening program.
Curated by: Johan Grimonprez (dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y and Double Take)