“Cinematography of Devices”: Harun Farocki’s Eye/Machine Trilogy
Harun Farocki’s 2001–2003 installation Eye/Machine tackles issues of surveillance surrounding the “intelligent” weapon systems deployed in the 1990/91 Gulf War. Farocki is especially interested in the image processing systems behind these weapons, their operational images that are both generated by machines and read by machines—images that require neither human creators nor human spectators. The article examines how Farocki turns these images into aesthetic artifacts even though they were never meant to be seen. Concomitantly, it interrogates our own status as spectators and explores how we can avoid complicity with the imagistic logic of war that Farocki confronts.