This film is part of our ‘Measurement, modernism and mystics’ screening programme, curated by film curator Alice Butler, who will introduce each film and moderate a post-screening discussion.
Screening of Constant by Sasha Litvintseva and Beny Wagner, with a post-screening Q+A with the two directors after the film, who will be joining remotely.
40 minutes (screening time for film)
“Constant” is a journey through the social and political histories of measurement. For most of recorded history, the human body was the measure of all things. “Constant” asks what led measurement to depart from the body and become a science unto itself. The film explores three shifts in the history of measurement standardization, from the land surveying that drove Early Modern European land privatization, to the French Revolution that drove the Metric Revolution, to the conceptual dematerialisation of measurement in the contemporary era of Big Science. Each chapter traces the relationship of measurement standardization to ideas of egalitarianism, agency, justice, and power. Cinematic and technical images that begin as products of measurement systems are stretched beyond their functions to describe the resistance of lived experience to symbolic abstractions.