Messaging has existed longer than media, but with the onslaught of technology – messaging and media go hand in hand. From television broadcasts, to YouTube and even graffiti campaigns co-opted by large corporations – there has always been an idea to be expressed or better yet an idea to be consumed. And at present, one cannot deny that the very act of consuming has become political.
For the month of September, Luggage Store’s Projection Space presents the program, The Messaging of Politics. This program looks at the various ways messaging has evolved and effected politics within the United States. With the integrity of our economy compromised, unemployment at an all time high, higher education becoming less important, healthcare barely accessible to the general populace and the wealth of this country being held by only 1% of our population, it is important now more than ever to understand how messaging has effected us and continues to effect us.
The Messaging of Politics presents three different perspectives of how messaging has and can be used. From vintage political campaigns presented through broadcast television between the late 50’s to the late 80’s (“Crime & Punishment”, Stephen Parr/Oddball Film + Video), to the usage of visual vocabulary targeted toward the millennial generation (“Solutions”, Megan Wilson), to a look at documenting actions in order to engage (or perhaps enrage) the public in real time (“Pignapped – An Anti-Capitalist Adventure”, TWCDC).
Stephen Parr/Oddball Film + Video
Crime & Punishment (2011)
TRT: 18 min
Stephen Parr, founder of Oddball Film+Video has a long history of presenting and archiving the unusual. Since the 1970s Parr has produced and documented live performances of John Cage, Christian Marclay and The Ramones, screened his signature pop culture montages from the Danceteria in New York to the Moscow Cinematheque and created found footage based films such as “Historical/Hysterical?” and “Eurphoria!” which have screened worldwide in venues such as The Anthology Film Archive, Jaaga in Bangalore, South India and the Leeds International Film Festival. His company, Oddball Film+Video, the largest film archive in Northern California has supplied eclectic footage for countless feature films, doc, music and media projects worldwide. He curates an eclectic weekly film series-Oddball Films at his archive and is a frequent presenter at film, media seminars and symposiums. He is an active member of the Association of Moving Image Archivists.
TWCDC (Together We Can Defeat Capitalism)
“Pignapped – An Anti-Capitalist Adventure” (2011)
TRT: 8 mins
In “Pignapped – An Anti-Capitalist Adventure”, Together We Can Defeat Capitalism (TWCDC) used their repurposed 1985 Mercedes 300TD Marxist stock car that runs on waste vegetable oil “Das Vegetal” as another vehicle for getting the word out that we the people have the power to create change in all areas. On July 29, 2010 “Das Vegetal” took to the downtown streets during the lunch hour of the working masses and TWCDC operatives proclaimed into megaphones that Capitalism is indeed over (if you want it). On this adventure they encountered the Capitalist Pig (a bright pink pig wearing a big grin and pushing a cart of gifts for all) that they heard had been wandering the streets of San Francisco for some of America’s richest companies, and they took the pig captive to dialogue about capitalism and its discontents.
Together We Can Defeat Capitalism is a loose collective of cultural guerrillas, whose aim is to raise questions about early 21st Century Capitalism and have some fun too.
As concerns continue to rise globally for the economy, unemployment, environmental degradation, food shortages, and human rights abuses, the call for “SOLUTIONS” has become the mantra of the masses. While primarily wealthy, privileged pundits and politicians debate this need and how best to address it on cable news, millions have taken to the streets throughout the world to demand action. Until our voices are heard, the call for revolution will grow louder.
SOLUTIONS! is part of this call to action. However, rather than taking to the streets through direct protest, the project is using the same strategy that corporate adverting uses to influence the public – utilizing strong graphics at select sites with targeted high visibility. With a colorful, pop interface and choice locations, SOLUTIONS! puts forth the messages that are being demanded by millions, yet denied by an elite few. The goal is threefold: (1) to heighten awareness; (2) to cultivate a panalog within communities and amongst disparate groups; and 3) to support the call for revolution. In addition to San Francisco, SOLUTIONS! will be presented in throughout California, Nevada, Idaho, and Montana.
Megan Wilson is a visual artist based out of San Francisco. She creates large-scale installations and public projects that often incorporate traditional crafts and ornamentation as a point of entry and engagement for the issues she addresses conceptually. These include socio-political structures and their impact on community and culture, Buddhist principles of impermanence and generosity and the intersections between art/life/architecture/design. Wilson grew up in Montana. She received her BFA from the University of Oregon and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art (S.F.), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Southern Exposure, Intersection for the Arts, The Luggage Store, the San Francisco Arts Commission, Sun Valley Center for the Arts (ID), thirtyninehotel (Honolulu, HI), Maude Kerns Art Center (Eugene, OR), Green Papaya (Manila), Print It! (Barcelona), and LIP (Yogyakarta). She has created public projects in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tokyo, Japan; Yogyakarta & Bali, Indonesia; Jaipur, India, and Manila Philippines.