Video, 25 min., 2001
The film centers on the images of the Gulf War that 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 that 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.
Harun Farocki explores the question of how military image technologies find their way into civilian life. Many companies in the USA that contributed to
C3I are today trying to sell non-military products in the fields of private security and production control. Video supervision in department stores does
not only serve to detect criminal offences. The aim is to investigate customer behavior, to monitor it – and thus to control it.