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“Climate, Capitalism, Control” (2019) is an experimental video essay that aims to diagram the conjunctive power of planetary-scale computation, commodification, and climate change.
Over the duration of the ~30 minute project, a détourned montage of YouTube videos including data visualizations, drone recordings, defense industry promotions, corporate advertisements, news reports, Silicon Valley product demonstrations, protest documentary, and machine learning research is swiped through in order to visually survey the technical, political, and aesthetic dimensions that compose our disastrous present. Voice-over narration is algorithmically performed by the synthetic voices of Google’s WaveNet deep neural network, tensorflow performs live object detection and recognition on the video montage, and a soundtrack is streamed on an Amazon Alexa.
Inspired and informed by diverse revolts, militant research, and contemporary anarchist and communist thought, the project aims to explicate the entangled operations of climate, capitalism, and control as well as to speculatively propose methods of bringing about their eventual undoing.
In addition to its formalization as a video essay, “Climate, Capitalism, Control” is also presented as a standalone text which can be read and/or downloaded as a pdf by clicking here.