State of Affairs

THE LIGHT BULB CONSPIRACY

Cosima Dannoritzer

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Screening time  
29.02. / Wednesday, 19:00 - 21:00 Theatre 1  
How can a tiny electronic chip ‘kill' a product? Why are millions of computers being shipped around the world to be dumped rather than repaired?

Does the ever-lasting light bulb really exist? How can a tiny electronic chip ‘kill' a product? Why are millions of computers being shipped around the world to be dumped rather than repaired? How did two artists from New York use the Internet to extend the life span of millions of iPods? And what has all this to do with Planned Obsolescence? Planned Obsolescence is the deliberate shortening of product life spans to guarantee consumer demand. As an influential advertising magazine stated in the 1920s: ‘The article that refuses to wear out is a tragedy of business’ – and a tragedy for the modern growth society which relies on an ever-accelerating cycle of production, consumption and throwing away. The story starts in the 1920s when a secret cartel was set up to limit the life span of the incandescent bulb, converting the light bulb into the first victim of Planned Obsolescence and turning it from a symbol of progress and innovation into a model for designers and entrepreneurs aiming to increase profits and sales at all cost. Ever since then, Planned Obsolescence has been the basis of our economy, affecting the life spans of products as diverse as nylon tights, cars and cutting edge electronics.

Cosima Dannoritzer

Cosima Dannoritzer is a director specialising in history, ecology and science who has made films for a range of broadcasters in the U.K., Germany and Spain. Her filmography includes: 'Rebuilding Berlin', 'The Duel', the BBC series 'Germany Inside Out', 'If Rubbish Could Speak', 'Electronic Amnesia'.

The Light Bulb Conspiracy

France
2010, 52', color, video

Directed by:
Cosima Dannoritzer

Screenplay by:
Cosima Dannoritzer

Cinematography:
Marc Martinez Sarrado

Edited by:
Georgia Wyss

Music:
Marta Andrés, Joan Gil Bardagi

Producers:
Patrice Barrat, Joan Úbeda

Produced by:
Arte France, Article Z, Media 3.14, Televisió de Catalunya (TV3), Televisión Española (TVE)

Festivals & Awards:

Ondas Awards 2011 - Television Award