Video
Anxious to Secure (2016) by Sophie Hoyle

Anxious to Secure (2016) by Sophie Hoyle

Excerpt from Transmediale: Festival for Art & Digital Culture (From Issue Vol. 43, no. 6)
Berlin
February 3–7, 2016

Andrea Liu

…Brooding, portentous, and imbued with a claustrophobic feeling of enclosure, Sophie Hoyle’s memorable video essay Anxious to Secure (2016) added a foreboding ten­or to the “Inner Security” panel, a discus­sion of security politics within the digital age. Moderated by Theresa Züger, the pan­el began with Martin Hartmann’s discussion of different typologies of trust within polit­ical philosophy and the pressure that clas­sical notions of trust are put under in the age of ubiquitous surveillance. It conclud­ed with Hoyle’s video essay comprised of a stream of hard-hitting, even damning, pro­nouncements about the prevalence of anxiety disorders and psychiatry as a tool of biopo­litical control, woven into a larger context of the complicity of the American Psychiatric Association in the War on Terror’s use of torture, and a citing of Giorgio Agamben’s theory of the “state of exception” to justi­fy extrajudicial killings in the United States. Ridden with a bleak, indefatigable suspi­cion of the nefarious motives of various in­stitutions (government, psychiatry, military) and with periodic intertitles such as “Inner Security: Anxiety from the Interpersonal to the Geopolitical,” “Interpersonal Security and Technology,” and “Geopolitical Security and the Discourse of Crisis,” Hoyle’s video gave a stunning indictment of the contradiction of the US intervening in Iraq and Afghanistan to putatively uphold international law on human rights violations, while simultaneously us­ing interrogation methods defined as torture under international law. Reading almost like a manifesto with dense nuggets of texts, the video statements by themselves might have come across as plodding or monolithic were it not for the beguiling seventeen-minute ac­companying audio collage consisting of a pulsating, grinding doppler-like wave sound, a helicopter sound, a metallic clanging, and an anxious, gasping breathing…. Continue Reading>

 

 

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