Hito Steyerl. How Not to Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File. 2013

Hito Steyerl How Not to Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File 2013

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Artist and critic Hito Steyerl's video works explore how images are produced, circulated, and shared. The artist has referred to images as a "condensation of social forces," suggesting that through them we can trace the underlying systems of the contemporary world.

In this satirical take on instructional films, Steyerl demonstrates several tongue-in-cheek strategies for remaining "unseen" in a world subject to new, sophisticated means of surveillance—pointing to the ways in which our technologies encroach on physical experience. Much of the work was shot on a desert site riddled with photo calibration targets used by the military to hone the focus of airplane cameras. Acts of war are therefore mediated by digital tools; Steyerl drives this point home by superimposing a computer desktop onto the desert landscape, underscoring the links between economies of violence, communication, and entertainment. In her words, "How do people disappear in an age of total over-visibility? . . . Are people hidden by too many images? Do they go hide amongst other images? Do they become images?"

Gallery label from Cut to Swipe, October 11, 2014–March 22, 2015.
Video (color, sound)
14 min.
Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds
Object number
© 2019 Hito Steyerl
Media and Performance

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