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Terms of Service. When We Pretend, We're in Control
Benj Gerdes

Terms of Service explores cordiality and a certain return of forgiveness negatively through a reading of the military-sponsored (and freely distributed) computer game America’s Army. The text is a letter from the CEO of the software company commissioned to create the game, in which he accuses players who hack the game of breaching US Military secrets. In juxtaposing this letter with the game’s content, Terms of Service attempts to demonstrate the proximity of anti-terror and copyright law. This piece is the initial chapter of a project that will deploy awkward juxtapositions to posit a series of reconciliations: between film and video, video game and documentary, and representation and annihilation.

Aspect ratio 1.33:1 (4:3)
Prod. format DVCam
Duration 00:05:07
Language English
Color Color
Year 2005
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About the artist

Benj Gerdes

Benjamin Gerdes is an artist, writer, and organizer working in video, film, and related public formats, individually as well as collaboratively. He is interested in intersections of radical politics, knowledge production, and popular imagination. His work focuses on the affective and social consequences of economic and state regimes, investigating methods for art and cultural projects to contribute to social change. Gerdes’s projects emerge via multiple articulations from long-term research processes conducted in dialogue with activists, trade unionists, architects, urbanists, geographers, and archival researchers. Prior to coming to the Institute for Futures Studies, he was based at the Royal Institute in Stockholm, where he conducted research and led a professor group in fine art and moving image for 5 years.