Database for Animation Studies


Simulation and the Labour of Invisibility: Harun Farocki’s Life Manuals

This article focuses on Farocki’s four-part film cycle Parallel I–IV which explores the image genre of computer animation. In Parallel I–IV, Farocki traces the development of video-game graphics from the crude two-dimensional images of the early 1980s to the hyper-realistic environments of contemporary titles, such as Grand Theft Auto. The article situates the film cycle in relation to Farocki’s wider body of work and thematic interests, while also considering how Parallel I–IV sheds light on a media–archaeological reassessment of cinema history. Five interrelated topics are addressed: representation and reproduction; operational images; surveillance and the military; simulation and role play; and the labour of invisibility and the invisibility of labour.

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Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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