Short Story of a failed Soldier Ep 2

“Well, you succeed against war” Mike interrupted, ” Yes, I escaped” he  answered   mechanically turning his head towards my friend and showing him all the languish in his pale eyes. ” Learning to be a soldier was easy, you have to stop to think and start doing and remember! There is not such an easy way of remembering as when learn to be a soldier because each thing finds a link with other things, instructions become mental schemes;     I enjoyed making my bed, washing floors, charging the weapons, marching, peeling, repeating… When I had some spare time, I used to look at the other soldiers, they where as me: strong, ambitious and precise, they could carry out commands as perfectly as I did and that’s what I liked about the competition between such masculine individuals: it lied in their capabilities of adapting to an intensive lifestyle, but it was a celebration of life.

One of those days training, a soldier, Alexandre Dunajski, who came from a nearby village, sit next to me and asked ” What do you think makes a valiant and honourable soldier”? I replied almost instantly with a computational intuition, ” to fight with courage and defeat the enemy”, my assertion was solid. ” What do YOU think makes a valiant soldiers”? I saw in his eyes a sense of liquid loss, ” to die, I think”.

So when the war began, we camped in the field and everyday, 30 people died and everyday I shoot 10 people. We run for the highest, and It felt like a game, as long as you and the boys you knew survived. In the first year as a soldier, I could not succeed but at least I knew I tried to help my country, and I survived! whats more honourable than that? Plus, when I got back home everybody was treating me as a respectable figure to which to refer to for  serious matters such as war, Germany and politics.

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Short Story of a Failed Soldier Ep 1

This is the short story of a failed soldier, the smiling security guy told us, puffing out the second cigarette we’d been offering him. You’ve been told little about the war in Poland, and surely this story will not enlighten you but is really important for me, it explains the reason why I am here, in this foreign country, distant to my wife and kids and with a humble job that does not reflect my abilities. We were distant from him, he was so much older than us and from his over friendly tone of voice we felt that he did not offer any compromise, hence, beyond the two cigarettes we offered him we even had to listen to his little tale. “You see” he began ” the world is changed, first you had to to born privileged to study, then you’d be privileged enough to get a privileged job that your privileged education ensured you” his English vocabulary wasn’t really refined, ” today – he continued- you don’t have to be privileged to get an education but you are not sure to get to that privileged job you came to aspire to, and if you do not study, well, lock away all your ambitions”. At that point he got a bit emotional and he stop looking at us, his spirt had transfigured away to a far eastern past, and we had to follow him in this time travel. ” “When I was called to serve the army at the age of 18, I never felt so enthusiastic, of course I was not privileged, and I believed that the army could have given me the discipline , that could elevate me from the tiny boutique in which I ended up working. I was literally looking forward to learn to shoot, to run, to hide and to kill. I think the war was useful to that reason, It eliminated marketplace competition, thus giving others the space and the time useful to succeed, tough many people died and is really sad”.

 

 

 

EDMUN CLARK: WAR OF TERROR Exhibiton Review

EDMUN CLARK: WAR OF TERROR Exhibiton Review

War On Terror

Edmund Clark

Imperial War Museum

28 June 2016- 28 August 2017

Free Entry

 

Edmund Clark is an artist-photographer displays the research over the measures adopted by government in counter terrorism programs to investigate their ethics and question the stereotype of terrorist suspects. The exhibition will remain at the War Museum until august the 28th of 2017 and is free entry.

The exhibition is a process of discovery of the implications of the US and UK Global war on terror from 1998 until nowadays. The show opens with the artwork “Orange Screen: War of Images” (2016). Animated by Magali Charrier, the screen represents the common ground to the overall exhibition since it distances famous terrorist attacks from familiar images and intended ideologies. Moreover, he plays on the colour orange that the public will soon associate not only with prisoners but also with victims.

The second room is in fact a recollection of mixed documents and photography, revealing the US organized secret deals for the deportation of suspected people in CIA’s detention centres around the world. The exclusive photographs of these horrific places depict details such as chains and collars bring to light the lifestyle of the suspects. Clark also evaluates the role of pilots flying people to these places: they are conscious of doing illegal deportations but they still obey orders…thus reinforcing Anna Arendt argument back to the processes of Nazi’s executives.  Once we are about to change prospective, Clark mixes interviews, official documents and images to engage with the immorality of the bureaucratic dehumanization of such people. The illegality of such processes of investigation are brought back home, in UK, where 52 suspects were relegated  to their houses. Only the victims, that are the suspects, experience their home as prison in an age of Global War on Terror.

With the mouldering of shocking top-secret document and personal, human data Edmund Clark is capable of constructing a strong demonstration that does not only engage our perception of the world but overturns it.

References

Arendt, H. (1963). Eichmann in Jerusalem. 1st ed. New York: Viking Press.

Electronic Distubances for Alter Globalization protests

Electronic Distubances for Alter Globalization protests

The digital virus spreads through the datasphere the way biological virus spreads through our body. While a virus nucleus, its message, is covered  by”protein coat” ,  when it navigates, attaches and penetrates into the cells of the host body.

The protein shell of the media virus is the “meme” . It ca be an invetion,event,a music riff,visual image,system of tought,scientific theory etc.. as long as it attracts our attention. (Ruskoff, 1994, p. 11-12)The main element of the meme success is not irony but , to be mobile, easily replicable and well suited for the ecosystem that it has to travel.(Boyd, 2002)

Modern movement of social resistance have understood that the web is an instrument for spreading ideas and gaining global support but they had to become virtual organizations: without central office,archives or fixed membership.

They engaged in acts electronic resistance that differ from cyber crimes since they don’t destroy systems, but are programmed to disturb them. The Electronic civil disobediance, is a partecipative action from down below, that hits a software without anonymate and hyper sophistication.

FloodNet, is the example.It is a tool for web jamming created to support the 90’s protests of the Zapatistas  community claiming the indipendence of the state of Chipas in . The FloodNet(work) targeted the URL of the Mexican Governament website and by refreshing and reloading its page for several times per minutes , blocked th site for an hour.Several error log spammed on the website, including the names of the dead farmers . It encouraged interaction between individual protesters that could send their political concerns with justice or democracy to the server error log thus causing the server to return messages like “Democarcy not found on this server” or the Error 404 page.  8000 people have been registered reloading  on a Java Script.

Thanks to international partecipation on FloodNet Zapatistas farmers reached  support in the information space  that generated waves of protests from foreign journalist and activists .Zapatistas even received the support of the European Union that condemned the president Zedillo and invited him to re-initiate the peace process. The latest development laws like Plan Cañadas are focused on suppressing future upraisals of the area instead of improving quality of life, maybe is time for nother action of electronic civil disobedience .

References

Duncombe, S. (2002). Cultural resistance reader. 1st ed. London: Verso.

Thing.net. (2016). floodnet. [online] Available at: http://www.thing.net/~rdom/ecd/floodnet.html [Accessed 22 Nov. 2016].

 

Culture Jamming and the shifts to Conscious Advertisement

 

 

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The idea that  unrelated concepts or events could be linked and remembered over time, was drawn from experiment’s fundings  of psychologist Ivan Pavlov, where a dog , salivated,to an object signifier rather than food signified  has sprawl among psychologists generating the job of many semioticists nowadays.

Corporations hire semiotics who can come up with fresh imaginary links that could generate stimulus over the latest can of drink or insurance deal. Overabundance has made of advertisement a technique for eluding the consumer that a certian product has satisfying power on our profound needs.

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Different adverestisements promise the same things: not a soap, not a resturant, but Youth and Strenght

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Best brands make the consumers rotate around an “Attraction Economics” whose communication inspires and irrational devotion. Hence our  future presents are wrappeds into  abstract ideas and symbols like power love and patriotism that replace genuine descriptions.

Responses are predicted through psychological, neurological findings,while verbal and tricks are used to harness repulsion. Presumptions, for example are definite descriptions ,iterative verbs and syntactic constructions. They confront with a dogmatic truth, supported either by a majority of consensus or an emotional cause.

Moreover the implicit and funny language of  advertisemant  works on a different level than the one of rational communication: by focusing on the mental links that animals build between unrelated items,it guides the consumer’s imagination to form intended meanings.

But the final meaning is not the only thing advertisement build on and hid. By constructing brand image, advertisement also create a bigger distance between the producer and the consumer. The screen to the production ethics and processes, that advertisement  is, creates a “unbalanced” relationship, in which people are subordinated to the needs and lifestyle advertised   that are in turn formulating ( factious) collective desires and needs.

The practice of cultural jamming and semiotic terrorism aims at freeing people from this subordination by subverting word tricks and logos to reveal the hidden reality behind the familiar bra-ad.

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Adverisment Jamming in occasion of the COP2 last year, Paris

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365dff3effb69cb254aa5cabb1773034Most jammings are protests,which use the informal power of advertisement to generate awakening toughs. Intrusive advertisement disrupting lifestyle and objects try  tocommunicate the need for getting out of the functional system and look at the ourselves as part of bigger world and its social and ecological happenings …promising physical and spiritual wellbeing instead of packacges of abstract concepts and (cheap) materialistic satifaction.

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Protesting for a Prefigurative Community

The idea of a protest as a mass demonstration of dissent is changed in the twenty first century because the neo liberal system of the western world has developed way of commodifing everything from food to lifestyles. All the Citizens have been given the price of becoming better citizens, to dress up, make up and having expensive and perfect possessions. On the working environment they are encouraged to be individualist and entrepreneur as to gain sponsorship they need for making an impact on the world economy.

Maintaining the social system, as Brexit shown, is a predictable way that people would have taken as this makes them feel protected and confident. The same system had incorporated so many different cultures and countercultures is claiming nationality and building racist walls. The act that the cities her in the UK are completely controlled by CCTVs does make it more scaring s the culture is regressing they could become instrument of control over unwanted people and also future predicting machines that control opposition movements.

The people coming on the streets for the anti-Brexit march this July were 30,000 but did not achieve much since the new prime minister of the conservatory part, Theresa May, passed a new earing threshold of £ 35,000 that almost caused the deportation of a school teacher. Politics feel unbounded to economics as much as the beginning of the first industrialization but still incapable of embracing change for a deep renovation in society that could led to a prefigurative community either good or bad.

As Brexit will take place, control will just increase and a new ideology of closure spread. This is moment for artists committed to social political change to over think the traditional street protest and to curate a strategy for a prefigurative community which, quoting the reporter Margot Adler, enables people to acknowledge their bonds with other people and with nature, while political tactics are not communicating and systemizing one.

References

YouTube. (2016). HyperNormalisation by Adam Curtis BBC Documentary 2016 – Part 1. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5IQevTbfa4 [Accessed 25 Oct. 2016].

Dpaonthenet.net. (2016). Seeing beyond the cameras: predicting movements in CCTV blind spots. [online] Available at: http://www.dpaonthenet.net/article/55545/Seeing-beyond-the-cameras–predicting-movements-in-CCTV-blind-spots.aspx [Accessed 25 Oct. 2016].

Matt Dathan, A. (2016). Anyone from a non-EU country living in the UK must earn more than £35,000 if they want to stay. [online] The Independent. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-urged-to-rethink-new-35000-earnings-threshold-for-non-eu-migrants-as-teachers-face-a6814841.html [Accessed 25 Oct. 2016

Duncombe, S. (2002). Cultural resistance reader. London: Verso.

YouTube. (2016). Tactical Performance: Thinking Theatrically for Powerful Protest: Larry Bogad at TEDxUCDavis. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psRuhwkwt5Q [Accessed 25 Oct. 2016].

‘AN OPEN LETTER TO CRITICS WRITING ABOUT POLITICAL ART’ by Stephen Duncombe & Steven Lambert

              

As a feedback for the meeting on the current state of artistic activism, Duncombe and Lambert decided to write a letter to art critics as it emerged the need to create a method of evaluation for the delicate theme of political art.

An artist committing his talent to a political cause has to think further than his mere technical possibilities and image his artwork as a campaign i.e. a piece which is functional to the aim of changing what people see of the world. Since the action of the people towards positive progress is what the political artist has in mind, an analysis of his audience is essential for laying the hypothetical ways in which his artwork could affect this people.

There are two different types of political art, one that represent reality and another one, to which Duncombe and Lambert refer, whose aims are provoking change and making sense out of this world, but only the latter is concerned with transcending the boundaries of the public’s culture. The art critic is bounded to the public too since the audience for political art is broader and their moral judgments have to be respected in order to really measure the effectiveness of the artist’s communication.

Political art history can be read through the histories of social movements and textbook on marketing, advertising and public relations, so the critic who wants to examine political art has to study history and ideologies in order to evaluate the medium. Political art is connected with the times and the social circumstance, thus its medium is a selected after political consideration on the audience to become the message.

The art critic must consider aesthetics to the extent they don’t compromise the message expressed but help it reaching popularity. Therefore the political art critic becomes part of the team by delivering instructive critiques that help the artist or stop him by achieving his cause and transform society.

ELISA MELODIA               

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My choice of investigating the political art involved in world changing events derived from the readings over Greenberg’s critics on Dada and Bauhaus. I could not believe that Dada was a failed revolution because is saw its influences all over the 20th century history of counter culture posters and it has postmodern repetitions still. Moreover, the interest in the role of visual communication in political protests as well as at its service of propaganda helped me giving a meaning to the sketches I was doing for Vivienne Westwood ‘climate revolution’ magazine and personal poster-art. Photojournalism, photomontage, design and political art is nowadays so entangled into the newspaper that I am hoping to gain from this course relevant insight on how to use                                           art as a journalistic tool as well as an activist one.