Auge/Maschine II
How can the distinction between "man" and "machine" still be made given today's technology? In modern weapons technology the categories are on the move: intelligence is no longer limited to humans. In "Eye / Machine II" Farocki has brought together visual material from both military and civilian sectors, showing machines operating intelligently and what it is they see when working on the basis of image processing programs. The traditional man-machine distinction becomes reduced to "eye/machine", where cameras are implanted into the machines as eyes.As a result of the Gulf War, the technology of warfare came to provide an innovative impulse which boosted the development of civilian production. Farocki shows us computer simulated images looking like something out of science-fiction films: rockets steer towards islands set in a shining sea; apartment blocks are blown up; fighter aircraft fire at one another with rockets and defend themselves with virtual flares These computer battlefields - will they suffice or shall we need further rationalization drives for new wars?"Eye / Machine II" is the continuation of a wider examination of the same subject: Intelligent machines and intelligent weapons. As an installation the work is presented on two monitors or as a double projection. In this, the single-channel version, the two image tracks are shown simultaneously on one screen. (Antje Ehmann)The film centers on the images of the Gulf War which caused worldwide sensation in 1991. In the shots taken from projectiles homing in on their targets, bomb and reporter were identical, according to a theory put forward by the philosopher Klaus Theweleit. At the same time it was impossible to distinguish between the photographed and the (computer) simulated images.The loss of the 'genuine picture' means the eye no longer has a role as historical witness. It has been said that what was brought into play in the Gulf War was not new weaponry but rather a new policy on images. In this way the basis for electronic warfare was created. Today, kilo tonnage and penetration are less important than the so-called C3I cycle which has come to encircle our world. C3I refers to Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence - and means global and tactical early warning systems, area surveillance through seismic, acoustic and radar sensors, radio direction-sounding, monitoring opponents' communications as well as the use of jamming to suppress all these techniques. (Antje Ehmann)