The Strangely Modern Production Values of ISIS’ Propaganda Videos
It may seem ghoulish to discuss this video in terms of aesthetics, but the rise of ISIS (also known as Islamic State or IS) has been distinguished by its messaging and technical savvy as well as its viciousness. “IS is very good at this,” J.M. Berger, a counterterrorism analyst and author who runs the site IntelWire told me, explaining that their videos have high production values and “a strong sense of narrative.”
Sometimes these videos highlight the group’s provision of social services to residents of the areas it has captured. Others are direct recruitment efforts, such as the video released earlier this summer showing British fighters in Syria urging Westerners to leave their “fat jobs” and join the jihad. (The man who beheaded Foley also appears to have been British.)
Others have darker content. Days before it launched its offensive in Northern Iraq in June, ISIS released a video called “The Clanging of the Swords IV,” a slickly produced and brutally violent compendium of propaganda and battle footage. That short film, which focused mostly on ISIS’ operations in Syria, was likely aimed at demoralizing its Iraqi opponents. The Foley video may have been designed to send a similar message to the U.S. public: that American citizens aren’t immune from retaliation for American military actions.
The availability of laptops, editing software, and HD cameras has made it much easier to produce sophisticated-looking videos. The Internet has also made it simple for terror groups to promote them.

The Strangely Modern Production Values of ISIS’ Propaganda Videos

It may seem ghoulish to discuss this video in terms of aesthetics, but the rise of ISIS (also known as Islamic State or IS) has been distinguished by its messaging and technical savvy as well as its viciousness. “IS is very good at this,” J.M. Berger, a counterterrorism analyst and author who runs the site IntelWire told me, explaining that their videos have high production values and “a strong sense of narrative.”

Sometimes these videos highlight the group’s provision of social services to residents of the areas it has captured. Others are direct recruitment efforts, such as the video released earlier this summer showing British fighters in Syria urging Westerners to leave their “fat jobs” and join the jihad. (The man who beheaded Foley also appears to have been British.)

Others have darker content. Days before it launched its offensive in Northern Iraq in June, ISIS released a video called “The Clanging of the Swords IV,” a slickly produced and brutally violent compendium of propaganda and battle footage. That short film, which focused mostly on ISIS’ operations in Syria, was likely aimed at demoralizing its Iraqi opponents. The Foley video may have been designed to send a similar message to the U.S. public: that American citizens aren’t immune from retaliation for American military actions.

The availability of laptops, editing software, and HD cameras has made it much easier to produce sophisticated-looking videos. The Internet has also made it simple for terror groups to promote them.

Islamic State militants seize four more foreign hostages in Syria | World news | The Guardian
Flush with looted weapons, buoyed by sweeping gains in Syria and eager to shock, Islamic State militants have seized four more foreign hostages near Aleppo in recent days, taking to more than 20 the number of foreigners they now hold.
The latest captives, two Italian women, a Dane and a Japanese national, were seized in or near Syria’s largest city. All held are either reporters, photographers or aid workers taken near Aleppo or Idlib. They have been subsequently moved to Raqqa, the Isis stronghold in north Syria.
The abductions have controversially proved good business for Islamic radicals. In the past six months at least 10 hostages, including a Dane, three French nationals and two Spaniards, were freed after lengthy negotiations with captors, who demanded ransoms. Some organisations have insisted on information blackouts about nationals still being held.

Islamic State militants seize four more foreign hostages in Syria | World news | The Guardian

Flush with looted weapons, buoyed by sweeping gains in Syria and eager to shock, Islamic State militants have seized four more foreign hostages near Aleppo in recent days, taking to more than 20 the number of foreigners they now hold.

The latest captives, two Italian women, a Dane and a Japanese national, were seized in or near Syria’s largest city. All held are either reporters, photographers or aid workers taken near Aleppo or Idlib. They have been subsequently moved to Raqqa, the Isis stronghold in north Syria.

The abductions have controversially proved good business for Islamic radicals. In the past six months at least 10 hostages, including a Dane, three French nationals and two Spaniards, were freed after lengthy negotiations with captors, who demanded ransoms. Some organisations have insisted on information blackouts about nationals still being held.

By replacing the geometric term sphere with the spatio-temporal term ‘dromosphere’, we can’t help but come to the conclusion that, if the speed at which the unknown has been growing expands or intensifies fear, this alarm in the face of the final end of humanity of which the ecology movement represents an urgent warning sign, then that fear is set to increase even further in the 21st-century, in anticipation of one last movement emerging, an eschatology movement, this time, that would be concerned with stockpiling by dividends of terror.
Paul Virilio, The Original Accdent
I take the threat of terrorism seriously. And I think we all do. And I think it’s really disingenuous for the government to invoke and sort of scandalize our memories, to sort of exploit the national trauma that we all suffered together and worked so hard to come through to justify programs that have never been shown to keep us safe, but cost us liberties and freedoms that we don’t need to give up and our constitution says we should not give up.
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Jenny Marketou, ‘Be careful who sees you when you dream’, installation view, 2007.
Picked up from a previous installation this time is specifically designed for FEEDBACK exhibition curated by Christiane Paul, Jemima Rellie and Charlie Gere and co produced with Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial Gijon, Spain. The airborne installation features 18 red balloons inflated with helium, wireless CCTV, four video screens, and live video streaming. The aim of the artist is to shield the deep darkness of surveillance with aesthetic playfulness. The installation lures the visitors in enforceable encounters as they offer themselves as the watched subjects. Movements of visitors through the balloons are recorded as ephemera, traces, forms and patterns are broadcasted live in the four video screens set up on the floor of the gallery.
(via Jenny Marketou)

Jenny Marketou, ‘Be careful who sees you when you dream’, installation view, 2007.

Picked up from a previous installation this time is specifically designed for FEEDBACK exhibition curated by Christiane Paul, Jemima Rellie and Charlie Gere and co produced with Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial Gijon, Spain. The airborne installation features 18 red balloons inflated with helium, wireless CCTV, four video screens, and live video streaming. The aim of the artist is to shield the deep darkness of surveillance with aesthetic playfulness. The installation lures the visitors in enforceable encounters as they offer themselves as the watched subjects. Movements of visitors through the balloons are recorded as ephemera, traces, forms and patterns are broadcasted live in the four video screens set up on the floor of the gallery.

(via Jenny Marketou)

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Stripped of context, these comments might make you consider anew the ramifications of a world in which there is no privacy, nor any expectation of it. It reifies the notion that someone, somehow, somewhere in an office in Virginia, Utah or Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, is listening to your every word. That’s not paranoia; that’s the modern surveillance state, say the artists, who considered a live audio stream but settled on text instead.