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Wolverhampton Intellectual Repository and E-Theses > School of Art & Design > Centre for Art, Design, Research and Experimentation (CADRE) > Art, Society and Environment > Childhood’s End

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2436/10657
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Title: Childhood’s End
Authors: Cornford, Matthew
Issue Date: 2000
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2436/10657
Additional Links: http://www.active-media-solutions.co.uk/sadrae/mcornford/docs/childhoods_end_2000.htm
Abstract: Anarchy symbol with smoke in the sky. This was filmed from a cine camera mounted on the weapon platform under the left wing, and from a miniature video camera inside the cockpit. The duration of the piece is about six minutes, being the time taken to complete the manoeuvre, and the length of one uncut roll of film. Aerobatic displays apply the skills and manoeuvres developed for aerial combat to create public spectacles; the demonstration of technological power and technical prowess serves to pre-empt critical thinking and popularise militarism. Cinema has rich associations with conceptions of utopia: the medium depends on and fuels people’s desire to be mentally ‘transported’; it offers dramatic possibilities to explore utopian and dystopian alternatives to existing social conditions, and it plays on the tensions between individual and collective fantasy. Flying and filming have been historically bound up with militarism on many levels, from the development of related gun and camera technologies to the strategic and cultural implications of new ways of seeing space and movement. ‘Childhood’s End’ is the title of a novel by Arthur C Clarke, which envisions a future where humanity undergoes the loss of innocence or the attainment of maturity, and becomes subject to forces that acknowledge no distinction between ‘good’ and ‘evil’. Inscribed by a fighter jet on the optimistic space of blue sky, the ambiguity of the Anarchy symbol is heightened, its utopian ideals of universal understanding and autonomy becoming enmeshed with the implied threat of violence. Simultaneously, the order and discipline of a militaristic activity is co-opted into displaying the transgressive impulse that lies beneath its urge to destroy.
Type: Image
Language: en
Description: First exhibited in Utopias, Mead Gallery, University of Warwick
Keywords: Innocence
Aerobatic displays
Appears in Collections: Art, Society and Environment

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