"To write the history of broadcasting is, in a sense, to rewrite the history of everything else." Stefan Collini, Professor of English, Cambridge University
Celebrated German film-maker and artist Harun Farocki has, for four decades, mined the history of cinema and explored the impact of new image technologies on our understanding of the world. In this, his first major exhibition in the UK, he reveals a monumental 12-screen work which exposes the extraordinary imaging technologies that, on the one hand broadcasters use to create a sense of spectacle, and on the other which the multi-billion-dollar sports industry uses to dissect players' performance and tactics.
'Deep Play' brings together 12 different perspectives on one of the biggest broadcasting events ever - the 2006 FIFA World Cup held in Germany, seen by an estimated 1.5 billion viewers worldwide. The screens combine the artist's own footage, FIFA footage, digital analyses and 2D and 3D animation sequences, so that we see the event from unexpected viewpoints.
'Deep Play' unpicks the nature of 21st century media spectacle: it bombards and dazzles our senses with an excess of data and digital imaging. From one viewpoint, we watch the stadium guards and see their tedium, literally behind the scenes of the pitch. From another angle, we watch the team coaches howling and hollering at the field. On a third screen, the channels' directors control our viewpoints. On a fourth, the players become avatars, uncannily moving in synchronisation with their live counterparts. On a fifth, we can see each player's speed, their percentage of possession, the number of shots on goal undertaken - and more. Every conceivable aspect of the game is surveyed, assessed and processed in real time.
'Deep Play' originated as collaboration between the artist and Documenta 12, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona (MACBA), DFB Kulturstiftung Berlin, and FIFA.
Part of AV Festival 08: Broadcast
International festival of electronic arts featuring visual art, music and moving image.
28 February - 8 March 2008
Newcastle, Gateshead, Middlesbrough, Sunderland