January 22, 2008, 1:08 pm
Filed under: IMPACTOLOGY, WARUM 2.0

WARUM 2.0 simulation

FAR FROM IMPACT – EVENT 4 : WARUM 2.0. At this very moment, together with a group of friends, I am preparing a new installation for the media Artefact festival in Leuven, Belgium (it opens on February 12, 2008).

The installation is called Warum 2.0 because it refers to a tape I made in 1985 which was titled ‘Warum Wir Männer die Technik so Lieben’ (Why we men love that much technology).

That tape was a reflection on war and technology, together with some artists and Paul Virilio. At that time Virilio had written a very interesting book on the relation between cinema and war.

The installation Warum 2.0 will focus on our relation to the documentary image. Essentially, because that is the major change which happened between 1985 (the year the original tape was made) and today. As for war and technology, between then and now, nothing really changed in essence. One could say, there is just more war, more technology and there are more victims. But what changed really, because of technology, is the way we relate to war and to pictures of victims, and to the documentary image as such. New media changed all that.

The installation is called Warum 2.0 because in the form of an installation arena, it wants to reflect on and challenge the notion of  2.0.  Over the years it became clear to me that 2.0 is kind of a fraud, at least if one understands it as I did until recently, as a situation of ‘user made content’, instead of what it is: ‘user driven impact’.

WARUM 2.0 is a research installation project that hopes to bring together critical reflection and media. More precisely, it wants to find ways of investigation in the phenomenon of impact. I see the version in Leuven as the first instalment of what could become a project-in-progress, indicating the possibility of further development in this research on the techniques of impact.

The arena creates an in-between situation between technology and users, between war and news gathering, between television and the networked media, between two ways of understanding 2.0 – as ‘content made by users’, and as ‘user driven impact’. In this sense, WARUM 2.0 is a public experiment.

The question is: can Warum 2.0 – as an apparatus par excellence to produce impact – also serve as a tool for resisting further blind engagement with the techniques of impact?


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