J-L Godard Dataset

Between 1960 and 1967, director Jean-Luc Godard completed 15 movies, from his classic debut Breathless (1960) to the notoriously extreme Weekend (1967). In Jean-Luc Godard Dataset, New York-based artist Kurt Ralske creates a collision between “big data” analytics and Godard’s universe of poetry and politics. The first 15 films of Godard’s oeuvre are treated as if they are mere information: nothing more than a few hundred gigabytes of pixels or a few megabytes of text — a dataset to be totalized, processed, and analyzed.

The results thrown up by the analysis of the dataset are mysterious, sublime, oblique, or blank. In the end, the artifacts derived from the “Godard Dataset” do not tell us much about Godard’s films — instead, they point elsewhere, making visible the types of slippage that occur when we attempt to translate information into knowledge.