Screenings: Brussels July 16, Berlin July 22

From: benj gerdes (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Jul 14 2009 - 16:32:25 PDT

Dear Frameworkers,

There are screenings of my new video with Jennifer Hayashida, "Strike
Anywhere," this week and next in spaces in Brussels and Berlin--full
info below.

benj gerdes


Thursday, July 16, 8:30 PM
"Fiction/Friction" videos by Benj Gerdes and in collaboration with
Jennifer Hayashida (60min. program)
on Sint Goriks 26 Place Saint-Géry, 1000 Brussels

Wednesday, July 22, 9PM
"Strike Anywhere"
Artillerie (in collaboration with Art Laboratory Berlin)
Exerzierstrasse 10 | 13357 Berlin


Strike Anywhere
by Benj Gerdes & Jennifer
HD Video, 32 minutes, 2009

“Strike Anywhere” is a video essay about Ivar Kreuger, a Swedish
industrialist and financier who, in the interwar years, capitalized on
shifts in global financial markets to establish matchstick monopolies
in at least 34 countries. The project is both a prehistory of
neoliberal economics and an allegory about social relations and desire
in the wake of global capitalist expansion and excess.

More info here:


Videos by Benj Gerdes and in collaboration with Jennifer Hayashida

Recognition and repetition. What is blame? What is responsibility? Can
we play media against itself to interrogate histories of empire and
national identity formation? Can a "political" video exceed the
gestural to shape our understanding of social possibilities in the
present? Each work in this program is a different tactic, an approach
through the backdoor or off the living room television screen: a
constellation of attempts to locate, in past and present artifacts and
struggles, a lever for collective agency.

1. Intelligence Failures: Minutes 39-54. Single-channel video, 7:00,
2003. Only the President of the United States can give a televised 60-
minute speech that includes 28 minutes of silence and applause. By
removing all the words, I sought to highlight a grammar of political
speech in a way that might present gaps as the people's chance to
respond to an unresponsive, anti-democratic elected official. In an
age where talk radio routinely runs programs through software to
remove gaps in order to increase advertising revenue, I re-envisioned
this speech as a series of stutters and false starts met with overly
enthusiastic applause. Namely, democracy as practiced in the United

2. Terms of Service: When We Pretend, We're in Control. Single-channel
video, 5:00, 2005. Terms of Service explores cordiality and a certain
return of forgiveness negatively through a reading of the military-
sponsored (and freely distributed) computer game "America's Army." The
text is a letter from the CEO of the software company commissioned to
create the game, in which he accuses players who hack the game of
breaching U.S. Military secrets. In juxtaposing this letter with the
game's content, Terms of Service attempts to demonstrate the proximity
of anti-terror and copyright law.

3. Because There Are So Many: Iraq. Single-channel HD video, 8:00,
2007. (In collaboration with Jennifer Hayashida) Four Iraqi men
discuss their flight from Iraq following the United States invasion in
2003. Between them-an interpreter for the U.S. Military, a computer
technician for a military contractor, an English professor, and an oil
ministry employee-a dialogue emerges about their lives as refugees in
Sweden. They discuss their divergent approaches to coping with trauma
and representing themselves as refugee subjects within the welfare
state. To them, Iraq as a nation exists only in the past-tense.

4. Democratic Looking. Single-channel video, 1:30, 2008. A rally, some
questions. This footage was so compelling to me that I built a piece
out of a single shot.

5. Strike Anywhere. Single-channel HD video, 32:00, 2009. (In
collaboration with Jennifer Hayashida) A video essay that takes as its
point of departure Swedish industrialist and "Match King" Ivar
Kreuger. Between 1917 and 1932, Kreuger capitalized on shifts in
global financial markets to control over 200 companies and establish
matchstick monopolies in at least 34 countries.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.