Intermedia Art

New Media, Sound and Performance

The Battle of Algiers  2006

Marc Lafia and Fang-Yu Lin

Battle of Algiers, Marc Lafia
The Battle of Algiers, screen grab c. Marc Lafia 2006

The Battle of Algiers by Marc Lafia and Fang-Yu Lin consists of a continual re-composition of scenes from the seminal 1965 film of the same name, by Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo.

The original film proposes a re-enactment of historical events. The success of the actual battle for independence in Algiers has been attributed to the nationalists' organisation: a pyramidal structure of-self organised cells. Lafia and Lin's work uses computation to re-present the logic of the nationalists' tactics as depicted in Pontecorvo's film, by playing and sequencing clips along varied algorithmic trajectories.

… [Marc Lafia and Fang-Yu Lin’s] The Battle of Algiers de-emphasises the film's dramaturgic components, focusing on the film's modes of movement, its meanderings and collisions, its speeds and drifts, its points of intensity, its lines of force, its fluxes and flows. Thus The Battle of Algiers brings the [notion of a] database to the fore, articulating and amplifying the film's multiple trajectories.

Daniel Coffeen from Film, Play, Power and the Computational, or Byting Celluloid

Formally, the work breaks down cinema’s linear structure, proposing an open ended narrative in which the viewer’s intervention catalysts a set of events prescribed by pre-defined rules, which are based on the artists’ interpretation of the original work in combination with the inherent nature of its subject.

The Battle of Algiers has been commissioned in collaboration with artport, the Whitney Museum of American Art's portal to net art.

Launch The Battle of Algiers

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Marc Lafia Interview

Marc Lafia and Fang-Yu Lin interview - discussing their work, The Battle of Algiers

Film, Play, Power and the Computational, or Byting Celluloid

Daniel Coffeen discusses Marc Lafia's and Fang-Yu Lin's The Battle of Algiers and the new context of non-linear cinema.