Brave New World

35mm Film transferred to HD
RT: 6:36 minutes
Sabine Gruffat 2015

In 1927 Henry Ford bought land in the Brazilian Amazon and called it Fordlandia. His plan to build a rubber plantation was part of an ambitious strategy to export mass production techniques and Midwestern Puritan ideologies to a foreign and diverse ecological system. While his enterprise failed, Fordlandia lay the groundwork for future environmental assaults on the rainforest.

In this video, 35mm archival silent documentary film footage shot by Henry Fordís own filmmakers is reworked and given a soundtrack revealing the colonial lens through which the filmmakers apprehended unfamiliar nature. Through editing and processing the film confronts the violent history of Fordism while questioning the limits of mediated vision.

-Sabine Gruffat

"What art in the broadest sense works with, it oppresses: This is the ritual of the domination of nature that lives on in play. It is the original sin of art as well as its permanent protest against morality, which revenges cruelty with cruelty.”
-Theodor Adorno, Aesthetic Theory