Talk

Still from Die Teilung aller Tage (The Division of All Days), Hartmut Bitomsky and Harun Farocki, (West) Germany,1970, 16mm, b/w, 65 min.

Tom Holert

Writer, curator and artist Tom Holert will hold an open lecture on the German filmmaker, author and teacher Harun Farocki (1944-2014) and the activities of the newly founded Harun Farocki Institut, Berlin.

In 1976, Farocki envisioned an institution that ‘we can also organize’ as ‘an assembly of working people, not from an abstract understanding but from the contact points of their work’. The Harun Farocki Institut (HaFI), founded in September 2015 as a non-profit organisation, seeks to realise Farocki’s proposal in the shape of a platform for researching his visual and discursive practice and supporting new projects that engage with the past, present and the future of image cultures.

Teaching Machine. Agitational Films by Harun Farocki and Hartmut Bitomsky
from around 1970 (and Other Tasks of the Harun Farocki Institut)


In the immediate aftermath of 1968, Harun Farocki and Hartmut Bitomsky, two young filmmakers and theorists who had recently been relegated from the German Film and Television school (dffb) in Berlin, embarked on a - short-lived - experiment in programmed instruction via film. Their topics were political economy and the language of moving images, and they aimed at educating the future revolutionary subject.

The talk will provide an introduction into this lesser known episode of Farocki's and Bitomsky's works, and occasionally touch on projects pursued at the Harun Farocki Institut.

Tom Holert
is a writer, curator, and artist. In 2015 he co-founded the Harun Farocki Institut in Berlin. From 1992 to 1996, he was editor of Texte zur Kunst (Cologne), from 1996 to 1999 editor and co-publisher of Spex (Cologne). Holert was a professor at the Merz Academy Stuttgart and is an honorary professor at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna. Alongside his writings on contemporary and late modernist art, Holert (co-)authored books on politics, war, mobility, glamour, and the governmentality of the present. Recent publications include: Once We Were Artists: Marion von Osten (ed. with Maria Hlavajova, 2017); Übergriffe. Zustände und Zuständigkeiten der Gegenwartskunst (2014).

The lecture is supported by the Goethe Institut Oslo.