All art is a political act. And we must act. With the 2004 elections around the corner, our personal and global media saturated with party grand-standing, the art community is feverously voicing fresh, strong, disturbing, satirical and much applauded opinions, many of which are at work in these web projects.
With so many strong submissions, I can only hope that this number of significant artist investigations reflects the numbers of voters at the polls in November. Art for a stronger America, Art for a stronger World.
warProductwar represents an ongoing meditation on US war culture. Previously web published content is recontextualized @ war-product-war.com in efforts to promote active re-readings of US visual culture in reference to war, politics, and the global economy. Through the course of the project warProductwar will remain in a state of flux. Broken links and loose ends should be expected. Additions, deletions, and changes are continually pondered and infrequently enacted.
Thomson & Craighead
In ‘CNN Interactive just got more interactive’ artists Jon Thomson & Alison Craighead allow site visitors to add a variety of soundtracks to the monolithic CNN Interactive website in an attempt to further mediate a moment of infotainment -to bring a cinematic conceit to this ever changing global news feed. As such, the economy of the news is blurred ever more towards venerability and entertainment -forcing us to question ways in which we all distinguish between Fact and Fiction.
Michael Takeo Magruder
FALLUJAH . IRAQ . 31/03/2004
Fallujah, Iraq, 31/03/2004 - According to witnesses and U.S. officials, four American 'civilians' were ambushed and shot or beaten to death by Iraqi insurgents. Townspeople mutilated the bodies of the men, dragged them through the streets, lynched them from a bridge, and burned them while crowds danced and cheered... notes: - The desecration of the victims' bodies was filmed in its entirety by an Associated Press camera crew. - There was no intervention by collation forces during the attack or the subsequent mutilations. - The coverage of the event was highly censored on all international media networks. - The 'civilian' causalities were mercenaries employed by Blackwater Security Consulting, of Moyock, N.C. * This work is not intended as a discourse on the axiom of 'the evil nature of war'. It is merely a consideration of an event we have (or have not) witnessed and a reflection on the iconic nature of conflict in the new millennium.
Margaret Crane and Jon Winet new media project focusing
2004-America & The Globe
The 2004 US presidential elections and democratic practice in America.
Our very own 2004 campaign contribution!
'after the revolution'
The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. They will neither harm nor destroy. David Rovics sings 'after the revolution'.
The Instant Memorial is capable of commemorating an infinite number of tragic events that have yet to take place. Feel free to let it run in the background as you go about your business, and be ready (if the opportunity should present itself) to exploit the tragedies it generates to advance the political goals of your choice.
(music by Vic Chesnutt) "Distortion” is a video piece commenting on the United States’ current obsession with war and the War on Terrorism specifically. Our view of the world is constantly distorted by the filter which exists between truth, government, and the media. We live in a culture of fear that is capitalized upon by media outlets which prey on our vulnerabilities by doling out our daily intake of governmental propaganda.
Casualties of War (WHITE REDUX) http://www.orangemancreative.com/video/html/casualties.html
This video is meant to be a counter-action to the idea in other parts of the world that most Americans support our current president’s policies and his reasons for going to war in Iraq.
I perform “I Miss a Merry K UH” live, on the web, and through email. This is an ongoing political project, which is critical of corporate greed and domination. Themes include anti-war, anti-corporation, and feminism. There are multiple characters - such as Miss Marry, Snookums, and WorkEr. Miss Marry is the beauty queen, a spoof on Miss America. Snookums is the sexist CEO of the company. WorkEr is an employee of the I Miss a Merry K UH empire.
Lionello Borean + Chiara Grandesso
A TV preacher is promoting a new way to deal with religious conflicts – a software application helps you get converted in a couple of clicks. You can choose the most suitable and convenient religion for you – anytime, anywhere. Fanatic crusades, bloodshed – get away with it without compromising your pacifist ideals and launch new religious marketing campaigns. The website parodies these attitudes to elicit dialogue and thought sharing on serious issues like tolerance and religious wars. The language you read and the graphics you see on the website pertain to the IT world – it is a typical e-commerce portal selling innovative, complete, but most of all plausible and convincing software kits. The “Plug’n’Pray” concept borrows its name and reinterprets the famous idea behind “plug and play” technology. PnP is now a synonym for easy hardware installation and hassle-free software set up that allows you to immediately start using a new HW device or SW application. “Play” becomes “Pray” – your conversion is instantaneous, smooth and seamless.