Cows, clicks, ciphers, and satire

by Tom Tyler Farmville, launched in 2009, is a social game developed by Zynga that can be played on Facebook. As its name suggests, the game is a farming simulation which allows players to grow crops, raise animals, and produce a variety of goods. Gameplay involves clicking on land tiles in order to plough, plant, […]

Horseplay: Equine performance and creaturely acts in cinema

by Stella Hockenhull Béla Tarr’s latest and reputedly final film, The Turin Horse (2011), takes its prompt from the story about an encounter that Nietzsche claims to have experienced with a maltreated horse on Via Carlo Alberto, Turin.[1] Tarr’s film opens with an image of a large horse pulling a cart through the bleak, inhospitable […]

Cinematic slowness, political paralysis? Animal life in ‘Bovines’, with Deleuze and Guattari

by Laura McMahon Slow, contemplative films about animals represent a minor yet burgeoning trend in contemporary art cinema, including recent releases such as Sweetgrass (Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, 2009), Le Quattro Volte (Michelangelo Frammartino, 2010), Bestiaire (Denis Côté, 2010), and Bovines ou la vraie vie des vaches (The True Life of Cows, Emmanuel Gras, […]

Tasmanian tigers and polar bears: The documentary moving image and (species) loss

by Belinda Smaill Paleoanthropologists Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin project that one-half of the animal and plant species existing today will have vanished in the next one hundred years.[1] While a background level of extinction is part of the balance of natural evolutionary processes, species loss has intensified in the current epoch. In 2009 biologists […]

When Lulu met the Centaur: Photographic traces of creaturely love

by Dominic Pettman Horsing around[1] Nietzsche … arranged a photograph of the three of us, in spite of strong objections on the part of Paul Rée, who suffered throughout his life from a pathological aversion to the reproduction of his features. Nietzsche, who was in a playful mood, not only insisted on the photo, but […]

Why not look at animals?

by Anat Pick There’re fifteen remote-sensing cameras in my home range, plus infrared counters and barbed-wire snags to collect my hair. I suppose it’s like most of the surveillance that goes on today – it’s partly there to protect you, and partly to protect everybody else from you. – Bear 71  They’d be able to […]

Animals, images, anthropocentrism

by Barbara Creed and Maarten Reesink Animals are everywhere, yet nowhere. We live in a time of periodic outbreaks of global panic concerning the possibility of a bird flu epidemic. Also, we are absorbed by stories of the birth of the latest zoo baby, such as the polar bear Knut who became a media celebrity. […]

David Reeb: Traces of Things to Come

On 30 May 2014 the Tel Aviv Museum opened the exhibition Traces of Things to Come featuring the Israeli artist David Reeb.[1] On the heels of this opening came the 10th Tel Aviv International Colloquium of Cinema and Television Studies, titled Cinematic Traces of Things to Come and focused on the mediation of impossible pasts […]

Reaching out!: Activating space in the art of Olafur Eliasson

Heading for the exhibition’s main hall, I finally reach a series of rooms where the floors have been covered with rock and gravel. I am hesitant at first, lingering by the doorpost before I tentatively step out onto the otherwise empty riverbed landscape. The experience is bewildering in all its simplicity. Making my way through […]

McMansion of media excess: Ryan Trecartin’s and Lizzie Fitch’s SITE VISIT

Ryan Trecartin’s and Lizzie Fitch’s SITE VISIT (2014), curated by Ellen Blumenstein and Klaus Biesenbach at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, is an exaggerated, exhibitionistic orgy of media excess. Dozens of easy chairs are distributed throughout the multiple rooms of the installation space. Screens and speakers adorn walls and ceilings. Movies shot in the […]

Too much world: A Hito Steyerl retrospective

My visit to Hito Steyerl’s first European mid-career museum retrospective at the Van Abbe museum in Eindhoven (curated by Annie Fletcher, 12 April 2014 – 22 June 2014) provided me with a plethora of impressions hard to summarise in a short review. As an artist making experimental film-essays and installations with webcam-generated found footage, I […]

We can haz film fest!: Internet Cat Video Festival goes viral

A festival devoted to internet cat videos set out on a 2014 cross-Canada tour with this promotional tagline – ‘All the cattiness of the film fest. But with cats.’ Just for Cats: Internet Cat Video Festival drew programming from its internationally-acclaimed namesake (also known as #catvidfest), which was launched in 2012 by the Walker Art […]

Hollywood legacies and Russian laughter: Le Giornate del Cinema Muto / Pordenone Silent Film Festival 2014

Over the past three decades Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, or the Pordenone Silent Film Festival, has become an indispensible forum for academics, archivists, and collectors working on silent cinema. The festival is held in Pordenone, a small city in northern Italy, and is organised and curated by an international crowd of specialists in the […]

Dispatches from the dark: A conversation with Neil Young at the 2015 International Film Festival Rotterdam

Most large film festivals contain a constellation of attendees: casual moviegoers, devoted cinephiles, filmmakers, distributors, sales agents, and programmers – all of these figures help form the rich culture of film festivals. Central to this culture is the film critic, who travels the festival circuit filing film reviews and reports for media outlets.[1] The festival […]

Dossier: International Film Festival Rotterdam 2015

From 21 January until 1 February 2015 the 44th edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam was held. For Rutger Wolfson it was his last festival as director. A couple of weeks earlier he had announced he would step down after this edition.[1] In 2004 Wolfson had joined the festival board and in 2008 he […]