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Also of Things: Notes for a Film Remembering Harun Farocki

What if sounds and images were food, the raw material of a meal? Could one then think of ideas as the spices one adds to the food material? And the structure of the audio-visual as the cooking medium that brings everything together? It needn’t be totally arbitrary—or always “added on top,” or “injected into.” It could be that certain raw foods invite the use of certain spices and discourage the use of others.

Or one could flip it around. It could be, couldn’t it, that by the end, as you bring it to your mouth, as you bring the finished thing to all your senses, you’re unable to tell which was the idea and which the image and sound. Could you maybe trace the genealogy of earlier dishes or meals that went into what you’re eating? Could you then taste a certain kind of knowledge, the caramelized sugar or the pepper-burn of a certain kind of understanding?

At first you don’t notice it. The taste of the chilies only comes through afterwards, after the mouthful has gone down, or even after you’ve eaten a lot of the food.

But most suppliers are not like that, most of them want to deliver meaning right up front, like pizza delivery at home. Otherwise, why is the customer wasting his time?

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