Re: [-empyre-] Do You Still Own Your Reality? (forwarded from Geri Wittig)

According to Helen Thomas' recent article: "Terror Fears Only Card Bush 
has to Play 
( "Public 
opinion polls continue to show a tight presidential race, which suggests 
to me that voters have devalued the importance of credibility in top 
government officials."

This is very sad (and dangerous).

On Sat, 9 Oct 2004, Randall M. Packer wrote:

> Geri (didn't we meet at Joel Slayton's some years ago?).
> I wish you could have seen our recent installation, the Experimental 
> Party DisInformation Center, installed at LUXE gallery right in the 
> heart of the 57th St. gallery district in NYC during the Republican 
> Convention. Also the heart of the NYC Gucci neighborhood. Not a 
> typical place for political art.
> In any case, we had everyone from students to activists to red meat 
> Republicans, etc. going through the gallery. Around 5,000 people in 
> two weeks. There was one group of students from a New School 
> sociology class that had been given the assignment to view the show 
> and interview me. The Professor said the show had "opened the eyes" 
> of her students to the current political climate and the use of 
> propaganda by the Republicans. These were kids not at all experienced 
> with contemporary new media art, so this struck me as particularly 
> compelling.
> To get to the point, US DAT is a form of "performance art" that 
> dissolves the border between the virtual and physical realms of 
> galleries, Web sites, press releases, live performance, etc. It is 
> intended to reach people viscerally in its use of fantasy and satire, 
> which I believe, has been effective in drawing a large audience into 
> thinking about complex issues that might otherwise be inaccessible.
> I believe that if art has a political message, it needs to touch 
> people, it needs to connect with people and the world they live in. 
> Otherwise, you are right, it comes off being not only humorless, but 
> colorless and ineffectual.
> Randall
> >Yes, thank you Randall, very valid point. That's something I've been 
> >trying to reconcile for a long time myself. I was involved as an 
> >artist with ActUp in the early 90's and did a lot of political art 
> >in the 90's related to such U.S. domestic issues as the 
> >Telecommunications Act (media concentration) and international 
> >issues such as the Hong Kong handover in '97, but with the explosion 
> >of global information technologies in the past decade I began 
> >thinking there needed to be new strategies that weren't so didactic, 
> >etc. I've been to lots of art and activism discussions, actually 
> >recently went to one a few weeks ago up in Northern California - one 
> >of the key points that was made there was the need for not being 
> >over the top and hitting people over the head in a humorless way and 
> >also communicating to people on a personal/emotional level. What you 
> >at DAT do does embody humor and I think that is one of your 
> >strengths, but I think my negative reaction when I read some of your 
> >statements is some of it seems like preaching to the choir and 
> >perhaps holds a condescending tone that might not be helpful. But of 
> >course I could be wrong, as I'm not really sure who DAT has been 
> >reaching in terms of audience.
> >
> >I agree with Tobias and think "stealth" was probably the wrong 
> >choice of words.
> >
> >At 12:18 AM -0400 10/9/04, tobias c. van Veen wrote:
> >>Although sometimes I feel the stealth approach, unless as disguised as the
> >>ultimate model, the mythical Hashasheen, is simply an excuse for faking the
> >>chameleon and reaping the benefits of the system while espousing its
> >>downfall.
> >
> >What I mean instead is to work to communicate in a way that is not 
> >in a confrontational/didactic way that builds resistance to hearing, 
> >but in an expansive way that is stealth in that one attempts to 
> >fully understand what makes those you're trying to be in dialogue 
> >with tick and using that knowledge to be more effective.
> >
> >To point to a work that I think has been very enlightening in these 
> >technologically-savvy times, I would say Josh On of Future Farmer's 
> >"They Rule":
> >
> >geri
> >
> >>To Geri and the rest of the empyre list:
> >>
> >>Elaborate on the proposition of a "stealth" approach to confronting 
> >>the current political environment and its players who partake in 
> >>elaborate mechanisms of public deception and media manipulation.
> >>
> >>What is the 21st century solution?
> >>
> >>How can artists engage in effective mediation in these 
> >>increasingly, technologically-savvy times?
> >>
> >>Randall
> >>
> >>>I think there's a very clear understanding of the power of the 
> >>>media and has been for a long time in academic, publishing, art, 
> >>>media, etc. fields. I just don't think this "rhetoric" is 
> >>>effectual, in my opinion it's not shedding any new light. I think 
> >>>this strategy echoes a political activist art practice that worked 
> >>>well in the 80's and early 90's, but we're in a different even 
> >>>more media savvy time that I think demands an even more stealth 
> >>>approach.
> >>>
> >>>geri wittig
> >>>
> >>>>The statement was posed rhetorically, clearly not everyone is asleep...
> >>>>
> >>>>The problem is: 45% of the country can't be awakened from their 
> >>>>hypnosis. They will vote for Bush even if he is campaigning for 
> >>>>the apocalypse (which, by the way he is). If the rest of us are 
> >>>>searching for ways to confront our "nation of robotic brethren," 
> >>>>to quote Abe Golam, we must have a better understanding the power 
> >>>>of the media as the opiate of the masses.
> >>>>
> >>>>>----------
> >>>>>
> >>>>>From: Geri Wittig <>
> >>>>>Date: Thu, 07 Oct 2004 08:35:17 -0700
> >>>>>To: soft_skinned_space <>
> >>>>>Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Do You Still Own Your Reality?
> >>>>>
> >>>>>I completely understand the sentiment of this post - the Bush opposition
> >>>>>movement in this country has been critiquing the power of the 
> >>>>>misinformation
> >>>>>and fear mongering that comes out of the Bush administration - 
> >>>>>this is not a
> >>>>>new observation and has been duly noted for years. I watched the
> >>>>>Cheney/Edwards debate and had the same analysis of Cheney's 
> >>>>>uncanny ability
> >>>>>to hypnotically put forth inaccuracies that an uninformed public 
> >>>>>would take
> >>>>>at face value without question, but to lump all of "America's 
> >>>>>reality" into
> >>>>>one basket is a disservice to the many in the trenches who have been
> >>>>>fighting the good fight to oppose the Bush administration in all of it's
> >>>>>varied negative policy impacts upon the world. For example, in these last
> >>>>>few weeks of this campaign, the work that many grassroots voter 
> >>>>>registration
> >>>>>efforts have been doing are showing results - the late voter registration
> >>>>>has been surging. A friend of mine who recently moved to North Carolina, a
> >>>>>Republican stronghold, informed me that late voter registration is running
> >>>>>60% Democrat, 12% Republican. Yes, we need to continue to 
> >>>>>critique and point
> >>>>>out the insane "reality" that the Bush administration is trying 
> >>>>>to pull over
> >>>>>the uninformed American public's eyes, but we need to also 
> >>>>>acknowlege where
> >>>>>the work in action is gaining some ground. On a psychological level it's
> >>>>>going to be important to help boost any momentum that is being 
> >>>>>gained by the
> >>>>>Bush opposition, as it's going to be very important for getting out those
> >>>>>left leaning voters who do not support Bush's policies, but who haven't
> >>>>>voted in years because they've become disillusioned with the 
> >>>>>system and have
> >>>>>gone into inaction. Critique is vital, but without action and
> >>>>>acknowledgement of the successes that that action may be attaining, the
> >>>>>critique is futile.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>geri wittig
> >>>>>
> >>>>>>  (((((((((( We the Blog Update: Do You Still Own Your Reality? ))))))))))
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>  October 07, 2004
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>  The Republicans are heightening the attack, ramping up their spin
> >>>>>>  strategies to reinforce disinformation in order to fool the country
> >>>>>>  into re-election.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>  Straight out of the playbook from Orwell's 1984...
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>  They continue to retool their highly refined doublespeak tactics to
> >>>>>>  maintain a stranglehold on the reality of unsuspecting Americans.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>  Have the Republicans co-opted your reality?
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>  According to columnist Tina Brown in the Washington Post discussing the
> >>>>>>  VP debate:
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>  "Cheney found a more primitive way to bluff with a bad hand... In a
> >>>>>>  culture of blatherers, Cheney intimidates with his silences, his
> >>>>>>  stingers, and above all his awesome capacity to stare down the evidence
> >>>>>>  and assert that black is white."
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>  Despite the fact that this week, the administration's own Paul Bremer,
> >>>>>>  Don Rumsfeld, and the weapons investigator Charles Duelfer have all
> >>>>>>  declared the reason's for going to war were deeply flawed,  as well as
> >>>>>>  the so called follow-up plan, Bush and Cheney not only stand their
> >>>>>>  ground, the tighten their tenuous grip on a fictional narrative
> >>>>>>  designed to disguise their true ambition to control the oil-rich middle
> >>>>>>  east.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>  The real issue in this election though, is America going to wake up to
> >>>>>>  the dream (or nightmare) it finds itself in? Can we lift the veil on the
> >>>>>>  disinformation pouring out of the White House. Can we take command of
> >>>>>  > our own reality?
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>  Or has America's reality been permanently hijacked by the Republicans
> >>>>>>  and their media propaganda machine?
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>_______________________________________________
> >>>>>empyre forum
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>_______________________________________________
> >>>>empyre forum
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>_______________________________________________
> >>>empyre forum
> >>>
> >>>
> >
> >_______________________________________________
> >empyre forum
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum

Jeff Gates

Life Outtacontext: Farm Fresh Writing at a Fraction of the Cost!

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