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About the inequality between humans and machines

Werner Herzog explores and challenges the internet – as the dreamy documentary he continues to be.  


Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Interconnected World (2016)
Directed by Werner Herzog


In Jean-Jacques Rousseus About the inequality between people (1755), an imagined developmental story of man, he argues that it is not the thinking ability that separates man from the animals, but our peculiarity as a free being. This sense was to become important to the Romans in the 1800 century, who responded to the Enlightenment worship of human reason.

Had not the great victories of the Enlightenment – the enlightenment of the falsehood of religious dogma and the liberation of the power of thought – been at the expense of attention to the intuitive, sensitive, and dreaming that also characterizes the human world? This meant many of the artists in what has been called the Romantic Revolution (which started around 1790), and which initiated a new focus on a creative irrationality – such as love, passion, madness and dreams – that could blast the horizons of mind and relieve us from a "common sense" that limited our freedom.

German filmmaker Werner Herzog has been making visionary films since the 1960s that have continued such romantic sensibility. Where German post-war directors such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Hans-Jürgen Syderberg and Alexander Kluge had a studied intellectual and explicit political approach to filmmaking, Herzog has embraced a more intuitive, physical and poetic film language that explores man's irrational visions and dreamlike visions. harsh and often indifferent climate.

Ecstatic truth. For Herzog, it has been important to search for "fresh images" (as he describes it Duke on Duke, Paul Cronen, 2002) in a world full of clichés. He has taken an interest in people who are exploring, seeing and thinking through his naive, sometimes deaf-mute trasking, through his passionate and dreamy journey: On his travels around the world – most famous is probably the recording of Fitzcarraldo in the Peruvian jungle – the filmmaker has sought what he calls an "ecstatic truth". The truth lies not in the documentary's observation or in the desktop intellectual's analysis – it must be conceived by a wandering mystic and constructed by a conscientious poet.

In his latest film, Lo and Behold – Reveries of the Interconnected World (2016), which is a documentary about the internet, encounters and problematizes this ducal sensitivity information climate where artificial intelligences are increasingly. . .

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Teaches film studies at NTNU Email endreeid@gmail.com

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