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What Philosophy Wants from Images$
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D. N. Rodowick

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226513058

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226513225.001.0001

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Harun Farocki’s Liberated Consciousness

Harun Farocki’s Liberated Consciousness

(p.75) 4 Harun Farocki’s Liberated Consciousness
What Philosophy Wants from Images

D. N. Rodowick

University of Chicago Press

The film and video works of Harun Farocki exemplify a critical media practice that pose the questions: What is an Image?, or better, What is a human image? Much of Farocki’s mature work examines in fascinating ways the proliferation of nonhuman perspectives and spaces in the contemporary image environment, and in each case, Farocki asks viewers to reconsider how images provoke both an intelligence and ethics of seeing. Examples are drawn from three of Farocki’s best known works, Inextinguishable Fire, Images of the World and the Inscription of War, and the four-part video installation, Serious Games. The account then turns to the late writing of T. W. Adorno to argue that a deep engagement with the variety of Farocki’s work retroactively gives force and clarity to the style of emancipated cinema that Adorno was trying to imagine in essays like “Transparencies on Film.” The claim here is that Farocki’s work was an ongoing and open-ended experimentation of what a critical writing in images could look like under different media conditions, both historically and formally, especially in relation to his strategies of dissociative and recombinatory montage.

Keywords:   Harun Farocki, Theodor Adorno, Siegfried Kracauer, virtual images, film hieroglyphs, Inextinguishable Fire, Images of the World and the Inscription of War, Serious Games

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