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Corporation with a Movie Camera is a videotape about how corporate representations have operated in shaping the American public's ideas about the 'Third World'. Weaving together clips of corporate-produced archival film with poetry, performance, and other metaphorically interpretive text, the tape raises questions about how public relations media operate in the constitution of power, how and by whom history is written, and how audience and consumer desire are constructed.

The tape includes rarely seen footage from industrials such as Sumatra, Island of Yesterday  (Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 1926) and Assignment Venezuela (Creole Petroleum Corporation, 1953). Part propaganda, part narrative, part pedantic exposition, these films are rich sites of information about the mentality of corporate enterprise.

Locating points of slippage in the seamless structure of the archival films, the tape departs on explorations of their many subtexts about culture, power, and Americanism.  Techniques used include image and sound processing, juxtaposition of literary text and poetry, and staging of originally written texts by several collaborating performance artists. These sections amplify contradictions, paradoxes and silences in the original film text, lending notes of personal urgency, humor, and pathos to the tape.

Taking apart the archival films' construction as both factual account and fictional representation, Corporation with a Movie Camera attempts to open new territories for understanding how corporate imagery has embedded itself in both our cultural mythology and historical imagination. 

(1992, 33 min.)

READING CORPORATE MEDIA ABOUT THE THIRD WORLD

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