Franjas de gaza

Collective project made with Cristian Espinoza.


On November 15th, 2012, Israel carries out a devastating missile attack on the Gaza Strip. Death of children and explosions over the skyline of the city, populate the news and the networks. The images of the brutal attack at different scales, as on previous occasions, produced a sensory saturation, a pornographic saturation. A sound and visual hypertrophy that, more than bringing reality closer, distances it away.

Not only morbidness but something worse. Aggression to the tv audience, a tv audience incapable of getting involved. Still worse, naturalization of the images, a limit within which everything else is livable. As Virilio points out: "depriving us of our freedoms of action and decision while leaving us the appearance of a power that we are no longer in a position to exercise" and further on "When people can be mediatized, they are!" (ARTE DE MOTOR:1993).

The impact of the "live" transmission is inversely proportional to its reality. The images of Gaza under attack are terrifying, but more disturbing is the possibility that they are there to narcotize us, to take us into a territory of sensory indeterminacy, which finally naturalizes the atrocities as a whole, which transform the facts into cinematic-dramatic facts. An example of this is given again by Virilio: "in 1993, to satisfy the needs of a large women's magazine, an elegantly dressed "beauty queen" is filmed while running through the ruins of Sarajevo amidst the pancaked vehicles, imitating the deadly flight of the city's inhabitants trapped under sniper fire. The fashion photographer's sights are then absolutely confused with those of the ambushing assassin, and we are invited to share in his solitary excitement" (MOTOR ART:1993).

To explain the pornographic psychosphere capitalized by the images of the bombing, it is worth listening to Benjamin: "The need to expose oneself to the effects of shock is an adaptation of man to the dangers that threaten him (...) On the level of private existence, every pedestrian, in the transit of a great city, experiences, just as every citizen [experiences] on the contemporary historical level." (The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility: 1935).