[-empyre-] The Collaborator
the agenda of the person using it. "Collaborator" in many languages stands
for a sympathizer with Fascists in Germany.
As indeed it does in Norwegian, my mother tongue. I wonder, would this
negative concept of "collaborator" be applicable to those media
professionals -- art directors, designers, moviemakers, artists -- who take
money from the actors of the dominant image culture (Nike, Gucci,
McDonald's) to create for them a look of coolness and desirability.
I've been in this position myself, and it is not very comfortable. As the
outsider with connections to the "underground culture" (the ultimate hip),
you have knowledge that the corporations don't. But they are quick to
learn, as long as people like yourself are willing to sell it to them. Nike
built a great campaign ("The Secret Tournament") around underground
marketing techniques like grafitti and the appropriation of venues for
street sports. The document outlining it was written by people savvy in the
culture of tagging, knowing that the illegality of tags normally means
gives them the authority of being "real", i.e. not manufactured by a
corporation to make you buy products.
This transfer of knowledge from the underground to the dominant culture is
a time-honored tradition, and is only possible due to the "collaboration"
of actors close to the underground. An underground they're ultimately
selling, piece by piece. But then again, is there still such a thing as a
Marius Watz - Amoeba / Unlekker
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