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They Invented Machines1997

  • 3.2
THEY INVENTED MACHINES is about colonialism, entertainment and love. The images are taken mostly on Disney World rides where one is shown facsimiles of people from far away lands. The soundtrack, a little more than half-way through, ceases its cricketing and, against impressionistic waterfalls, mentions love ("they have love here") which must then be thought of in the context of this same wonder, possession and amusement. The film ends with a series of flights.

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Member Reviews (3)

top reviewer

Haunting. Imagine a tourist's photographs captured, dissected, deconstructed. The final image - the "fights" mentioned in the description, are first beautiful, then terrifying.

I thought it was fantastic. I've always appreciated the Visual Music found in the manipulation of found footage. The Europeans, Tscherkassky, Fruhauf, and Arnold, have produced excellent work in this realm.

Unless Barber is from some alien part of America that is disconnected from the rest of her country, the description of this piece makes no sense and has no context. It isn't a "culture jamming" piece as much as it is a Dadaist film. There is no significant subverting of the images here, nor are there any clear references of colonialism within the film. Simply stating that the piece makes a certain statement does not make it so. The context of that statement needs to appear in the piece, and if it's not there, that is a failure of the artist. The message of love must have been extraordinarily subtle, because I didn't catch it at all. Once again, her work shows detached distance, and only seems to express that. If that is the goal, then it is a success.