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  » Issue contents  2020-03-23 Technology Fetishism in The Wandering Earth
Technology Fetishism in The Wandering Earth

Amir KHAN
 
ABSTRACT  
My claim is that Frant Gwo’s film, The Wandering Earth (2019), fetishises technology and, in so doing, forces Western audiences of the film to face an otherwise outdated thematic motif of social togetherness or solidarity. That is, the exquisite onscreen rendering of advanced technological achievement (the construction of 10,000 Earth Engines designed to drive the planet to inhabit another solar system after the sun begins to rapidly deteriorate) acts as an aesthetic Trojan Horse. We in the West are seduced by the slick technological hardware showcased in the film; from there, however, the film forces us to ask if such advanced technology can be achieved outside of the profit-motive. The capable visual rendering of technological progress subtly masks a more subversive political message critiquing Western colonization of the planet. In the end, the film asserts China’s right to lead humanity past impending global disaster not simply (nor solely) by making the necessary hard technological leaps, but by mobilizing the necessary collective energy and will of the world’s colonized and oppressed. 

KEYWORDS: Technology fetishism; The Wandering Earth; decolonization; China; the West; film studies; cinema studies; David Harvey; Mobo Gao; Fredric Jameson


Notes on contributor

Amir Khan is Xinghai Associate Professor of English in the School of Foreign Languages at Dalian Maritime University. His books include Shakespeare in Hindsight (2016) and Comedies of Nihilism (2017). He is managing editor of Conversations: The Journal of Cavellian Studies.

 
 
    

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Notes for contributors

Vol 21.1

21.1 visual essay

Vol 1-10

Vol 11-15

Vol 16-19

Vol 20.1

Vol 20.2

20.3

Vol 10-15 visual essay

Vol 16-19 visual essay

20.1 visual essay

20.2 visual essay

20.3 visual essay

IACS Society

Consortium of IACS Institutions

Related Publications

IACS Conferences

visual essay 20.2

A Chronology