In conjunction with PAMM’s new permanent collection exhibition, Global Positioning Systems, curator René Morales selects “The Forgotten Space,” a film by Allan Sekula and Noël Burch that explores the sea, that forgotten space where the real, human impact of globalization is most visible. The film follows the journey of container cargo across urban landscapes and countryside, elucidating the marginalizing effects of the global transport system.

 

The Forgotten Space follows container cargo aboard ships, barges, trains and trucks, listening to workers, engineers, planners, politicians, and those marginalized by the global transport system. The viewer visits displaced farmers and villagers in Holland and Belgium, underpaid truck drivers in Los Angeles, seafarers aboard mega-ships shuttling between Asia and Europe, and factory workers in China, where low wages provide the fragile key to the whole puzzle.

 

Sekula and Burch employ a range of materials: descriptive documentary, interviews, archive stills and footage, clips from old movies. The result is an essayistic visual documentary that clarifies a mind-bogglingly complex system that affects us every day. The Forgotten Space is based on Sekula’s Fish Story, which explores the contemporary maritime world in relation to the complex symbolic legacy of the sea.