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Articles - CfP Topic

Vol. 8 No. 1 (2022): The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Theoretical and Methodological Challenges in Media Ethics and Religion

Serious Games: The Asymmetry of Images in Harun Farocki’s Work

January 10, 2022


The video installation Serious Games (2009–2010) by director, artist and image theorist Harun Farocki (1944–2014) investigates the relationship between virtual reality, augmented reality and war in the contemporary world. The question that guides Farocki’s research is: how have new technologies and new ways of producing images changed contemporary wars? Farocki’s analysis shows how the images themselves have become a part of war – not as propaganda, but as part of communication and part of the tactics of war, and how, within the way wars are conducted, images are becoming more and more «operational» and therefore entail an increasing asymmetry in both the materiality of conflicts and their perception. Farocki’s work on the relationship between images and wars is not only a genealogy of our view of wars, but also an attempt at “profanation” – to use Giorgio Agamben’s notion – that allows for a restitution of the testimonial capacity of images in relation to wars.