‘The Mad Man’s Laughter,’ 2021 Alaa Mansour

The Mad Man’s Laughter is a video-based work that engages with the simulacrum of the so-called global war on terror, and the worlds of ubiquitous surveillance and simulations it has since spawned. By exploring the fictitious entities that are at play in the military-entertainment complex, the video embarks on a journey across artefacts and precepts shaped by modalities of power and control. Through the use of archival material and computer generated imagery, sounds, and texts, artist Alaa Mansour navigates both latent and visible spaces of violence carved by colonial-militaristic image production and the data used to generate algorithmic biases. 

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Produced by:
29/06 2021
Alaa Mansour
The Mad Man’s Laughter, 2021
Single-channel video, color, sound
42 min 23 sec
A film by Alaa Mansour | Curated by Edwin Nasr | Editing Alaa Mansour | Sound design and mixing Mhamad Safa | Voice over recording Alexandre Frigoult | AI training George Simms | Colour grading Julien Saez | Main title graphic design Khajag Apellian | Translation to Arabic Safa Hamzeh | Translation to English Bassem Saad | Excerpts from books The Travels of Marco Polo translated by Manuel Komroff · Samarkand by Amin Maalouf translated by Russel Harris | Archives, images and sounds Library of Congress · National Archives · Defense Visual Information Distribution Service [“The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement”] · deepweb
Commissioned and produced by Thyssen Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) for st_age in collaboration with Ashkal Alwan
Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) Collection
  • Peace, justice and strong institutions