Critical Writing Index

The Making of Labour: The Movie

by Sven Lutticken

Fillip, Mar Spring 2013, no. 18, pp. 122-127

This journal article by Sven Lutticken focuses on labour and its abstraction in post-fordist society as well as the challenges for filmic representation of capital. Measuring and quantifying labour (both material and immaterial) is increasingly abstract with advanced technologies; labour presents itself as data. Drawing on Marxian philosophies on the production of labour, Lutticken discusses the processes of capitalism such as production, distribution and consumption. These processes of exchange and movement are at the forefront of the films. Theorist of the essay film Allan Sekula, and Noel Burch's the Forgotten Space is discussed. A shift from the factory to the worker's conditions, including ocean transport in The Forgotten Space, and the process of airplane manufacturing and material post plane destruction in Steyerl's In Free Fall are examples of the notion of tracing material processes. To that idea, distribution, and the status of art film as a commodity with activities surrounding its viewership such as lectures and presentations within a gallery context increase surplus value. In the same way, social media such as Facebook, while not quantifiable time labour, is a fetishised commodity through the user's performance of the product.

ITEM 2013.142 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

The Forgotten SpaceAllan Sekula

The Forgotten SpaceNoel Burch

In Free FallHito Steyerl

Labour in a Single ShotHarun Farocki

Labour in a Single ShotAntje Ehmann

Unsupported TransitZachary Formwalt

A Projective GeometryZachary Formwalt

Fish StoryAllan Sekula

The Making of Labour: The MovieHarun Farocki