Duty to Act -


“Under certain conditions men respond as powerfully to fictions as they do to realities,

and in many cases they help to create the very fictions to which they respond”

Walter Lippmann - Public Opinion (1921)


An aspiring television editor, film maker or spokesperson plays out a once plausible world event within an amateur media centre – ‘Duty to Act’ is a film which considers the construction, delivery and reception of media imagery, and the ability to create versions of reality in a variety of ways.

Blending a counterfactual history with a speculative obsession, the protagonist acts out a variety of roles, each considering the complex nature of role playing and re-enactment. An undelivered speech, written for John F Kennedy to announce the bombing of Cuba in 1962, forms the starting point for three performative actions -  the composition of pseudo-television news imagery scale model filming, and the recital of a pre-emptive, Presidential address.

The short film is accompanied by a catalogue which includes research highlights, an introductory text, production insights and selected essays and documents.


[A single Channel preview of the original film is available at the bottom of this page]