Capitalism as Creative Destruction: The Representation of the Economic Crisis in Hito Steyerl's Free Fall.

Opening with an image of a Boeing aircraft falling to the ground, Hito Steyerl's video In Free Fall (2010) significantly differs from documentaries produced in the aftermath of the global financial crisis in that the work does not embrace a straightforward and detached didactic approach. Instead it mimics the spectacular quality of consumer culture by presenting the audience with a nerve-racking combination of theatrical performances, lively animations, clips of aeroplane explosions and snippets from television science programmes about recycling. This act of mimicry demands attention: is Steyerl's work an elegy to the possibility of critical distance under the conditions of financial capitalism and an example of accelerationist politics? Or is it an attempt to create an aesthetic of ‘cognitive mapping’? This article offers an in-depth analysis of Steyerl's appropriation strategies and discusses them in relation to the theory of capitalism and schizophrenia of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari.

Author Name: 
Magnagnoli, Paolo
Journal: 
Third Text
Citation: 
Paolo Magagnoli, Capitalism as Creative Destruction: The Representation of the Economic Crisis in Hito Steyerl's Free Fall, Third Text, No 125, 27:6 (2013), pp. 723-734.