Is This What Civil Disobedience Looks Like? — Nathan Schneider

  Nathan Schneider, from Waging NonViolence makes an excellent point here in his coverage of the mass arrests of Occupy Wallstreet on the Brooklyn Bridge about what are we trying to “demonstrate” in our demonstrations: “One might wonder, however, whether causing such an obstruction is really the proper mode of civil disobedience given the purposes …

8 Reasons Young Americans Don’t Fight Back

Steve sent me this article in response to a question we were batting about around why there is seemingly no public outrage surrounding the burn the public or boil the public “debate” on the debt limit, especially in comparison to what has happened or is happening in Egypt, Spain, Israel and elsewhere. I think the …

Poor Immigrant as Muse

The following is an article about the artist Tania Bruguera and and her year-long project of living with and “as” an immigrant in NYC. This raises the question of: How does this art address and/or effect poor immigrants’ lives? The most charitable reading is that the artist intends to use her position of power and …

Art as Terrorism — Antanas Mockus

Antanas Mockus, was a mayor of Bogota Columbia who used innovative, creative methods to build civil society. The following is from an interview between Mockus and Pedro Reyes (From Marisa’ Jahn’s Byproduct) PR: How do you imagine the role of the artist as social agent? AM: I think one could veery convincingly put forward: “Commit …

Charting Creativity: Neurologically

Charting Creativity: Signposts of a Hazy Territory NY Times, Patricia Cohen, May 7, 2010 Grab a timer and set it for one minute. Now list as many creative uses for a brick as you can imagine. Go. The question is part of a classic test for creativity, a quality that scientists are trying for the …

Art Power

Boris Guys, Art Power (MIT Press: 2008) “Art becomes politically effective only when it is made outside the art market — in the context of direct political propaganda.” “Of course, one can easily argue that such propaganda art is simply political design- and image-making….They are making advertisements for a certain ideological goal — and they …

Why Metrics Are Killing Creativity in Advertising

“Thing is, you cannot truly quantify creativity. And in ever-increasing fashion, our clients’ (and our own) rote dependence on the dusty world of metrics is exactly why creativity is going to hell. When marketing decisions are based on numbers, we lose completely the desire to “waste” time being creative. And heaven forbid we ever again …

Sublime Accidents

A public service ad for a seatbelt campaign in the UK, gone viral with lots of press too. Nice tension between beauty and horror. But if I didn’t before, will I wear a seatbelt now? Or does this serve the function of reinforcement? Or merely an e-mail forward as banal statement of concern? Hard to …

A promise not satisfied

“Aesthetic art promises a political accomplishment that it cannot satisfy, and thrives on that ambiguity. That is why those who want to isolate it from politics are somewhat beside the point. It is also why those who want to fulfill its political promise are condemned to a certain melancholy.” Jacques Ranciere, “The Aesthetic Revolution and …

Test Marketing Michael Moore

NY Times article (9/20/09) on Michael Moore and how he tests the effect of his movies: “Although I’m trying to say things I want to say politically, I primarily want to make an entertaining movie,” he said. “If the art of the movie doesn’t work, the politics won’t get through.” To make sure the politics …

Politics of Surrealism

Some interesting tidbits from The Politics of Surrealism by Helena Lewis (NY: Paragon House, 1988) ” tried to link together two revolutions: that of the mind, by liberating the unconscious, and the social and economic revolution of the masses. The Surrealists always maintained that one of the most important ways to undermine capitalism is to …

Power needs culture

from Terry Eagleton’s new book: Reason, Faith and Revolution (Yale: 2009) p. 150 “Culture is what beds power down, interweaving it with our lived experience and thus tightening its grip upon us. An authority which fails to do this will loom up as too abstract and aloof, and thus fail to secure its citizens’ unqualified …

Gihan Perera: Internal Efficacy

Gihan Perera: Grounding our Inner Leadership Spirit & Sustainability Profile “In so much of my political work, the benchmark of that was external. It was intellectual, and I mentally related it to my impact on objective conditions. However, so much of what I felt about my larger purpose was so non-related to those benchmarks. What …

"Entertainment- Education and Social Change"

“Entertainment- Education and Social Change” M.J. Papa, et al, Journal of Communication, 50, 2000, pp. 31-55 This seems to be the ur article for most recent research in this field. Again, what’s useful here is that these folks are taking efficacy seriously, relating it to culture, and are looking for demonstrable effects. entertainment-education

The Efficacy of Soap Operas

“Increase in Calls to the CDC National STD and AIDS Hotline Following AIDS-Related Episodes in a Soap Opera” by May. G. Kennedy, Ann O’Leary, Vicki Beck, Katrina Pollard, and Penny Simpson An article tracking material audience response to the inclusion of AIDS related themes in a soap opera. Now if art ever had a national …