Cued by the ominous mood of Shawn O’Sullivan’s imperial fugue, video artist Farley Gwazda dismembers the infamous film “Experiments in the Revival of Organisms” (1940) and reanimates its analogue corpse with hyperprocessed digital sutures and relentless mechanical loops.
Gwazda’s video is a rumination on the ethics of acquiring knowledge through animal experimentation and the complicated relationship between mind and suffering. In Director D.I. Yashin’s film, Dr. Sergei S. Bryukhonenko brings a canine to a state of clinical death, and then uses his “autojektor” - a primitive heart and lung machine - to raise him back to life. The clinical conditions only highlight the inhuman cruelty of this situation - the dog must suffer death and the man must become a killer. Yet such experiments led to the development of devices that are routinely used in surgery, saving countless lives, and which comprise the core functional units of man’s developing cybernetic body. Such animal experiments form the foundation of the vast wealth of scientific knowledge that makes contemporary civilization possible and informs our understanding of our place in the universe.
Gwazda’s artistic practice explores the ethics and aesthetics of science:
His most recent work is a video for “Pleasure” by Blondes:
Support the artist! Order "Free Flight" 12" (WT.09) by Shawn O'Sullivan on WT Records, 2012:
Listen to full album:
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