Remote Sensing

A film by Ursula Biemann

2001 | 53 minutes | Color | DVD | Order No. 02764


In Biemann’s film, she traces the routes and reasons of women who travel across the globe for work in the sex industry. By using the latest images from NASA satellites, the film investigates the consequences of the U.S. military presence in southeast Asia as well as European migration politics. This essay takes an earthly perspective on cross-border circuits, where women have emerged as key actors and expertly links new geographic technologies to the sexualization and displacement of women on a global scale. By revealing how technologies of marginalization affect women in their sexuality, REMOTE SENSING aspires to displace and resignify the feminine within sexual difference and cultural representation.


“An artistic triumph, Biemann's tape provides a searing account of the parasitic networks of global, sexual trafficking in the digital age.”

Timothy Murray CoCurator of CTHEORY Multimedia, Cornell University

“Biemann navigates a unique path through critical dialogues on the global sex trade, feminist geography and media activism and her video will become a natural resource for anyone interested in these areas."

Lisa Parks Dept. of Film Studies, UC SantaBarbara

"Hand in hand with her critique of digital technologies of visualization, Biemann constructs a thought-provoking visual rendering of instances of national impoverishment as well as of the strategies for economic development that rest on the exploitation of women’s sexual labor."

Films for the Feminist Classroom


  • Govett-Brester Art Gallery, New Zealand
  • Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • Duisburg Film Festival
  • Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm
  • Lux Centre, London
  • Finger Lakes Envonmental Film Festival, Ithaca College
  • Feminale International Women's Film Festival, Cologne
  • Whitechapel Gallery, London


Ursula Biemann

Ursula Biemann is an artist, writer, and video essayist based in Zurich, Switzerland. Her artistic practice is strongly research oriented and involves fieldwork in remote locations where she investigates climate change and the ecologies of oil and water, as in her recent projects Acoustic Ocean (2018), Forest Law (2014), and Deep Weather (2013). Her earlier work focused on global relations under the impact of the accelerated mobility of people, resources and information, e.g. in the widely exhibited art and research project Sahara Chronicle on clandestine migration networks or her early video works examining the role of gender in the global reorganization of labor in Performing the Border. She is cofounder of World of Matter, an online collective art and media platform on resource geographies. Her video installations are exhibited worldwide in museums and at International Art Biennials in Liverpool, Sharjah, Shanghai, Sevilla, Istanbul, Montreal, Venice and Sao Paulo. She had comprehensive solo exhibitions at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein and Helmhaus Zurich among others. Biemann received the 2009 Prix Meret Oppenheim, the Swiss Grand Award for Art and a honorary degree in humanities from the Swedish University in Umeå. (7/19)


Shopping Cart