Graham Harwood

Aluminium: Beauty, Incorruptibility, Lightness and Abundance, the Metal of the Future

Aluminium…is a kind of film/ software/ book hybrid: it takes ‘The Futurist Cinema' manifesto from 1916 and turns it into software that tracks ‘aluminium’ online and traces the relationships companies with interests in the aluminium industry had to each other and governmental agencies.

Graham Harwood and Matsuko Yokokoji (YoHA) build what they prefer to call contraptions: powerful, allegorical objects that make understandable complex real-world relations: for example, see here1.

 

Aluminium…is a kind of film/ software/ book hybrid: it takes ‘The Futurist Cinema' manifesto from 1916 and turns it into software that tracks ‘aluminium’ online and traces the relationships companies with interests in the aluminium industry had to each other and governmental agencies.  And it then applies those results to promotional footage for the aluminium industry, corrupting it into a new film in which workers and consumers seem to merge with aluminium goods and even the smelting process itself, in the kind of man-machine of Italian Futurist fantasy.

 

Given all of the above, don’t you wonder, in a country with hardly any iron reserves, and an artistic avant-garde calling for both a future man-machine and a Fascist politics: did 1920’s Italian Fascism need aluminium; or to become an alternative to steel, did aluminium need Fascism? Or both: maybe Graham can provide some provisional answers?

  • 1. e.g. the effects of China’s reliance on coal and its relation to the pits of North East England via a contraption of a sheep’s lung, slowly blackening as it ‘breaths’ a steam-engine powered Coal Fired Computer’s exhaust fumes…
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