I’ve been thinking a lot lately about one) the ways my message –any message– can be expressed and two) the ways I can –or everybody can– make the message –any message– to grow. I came to understand a long time ago that the first summit to conquer is the what of the message. After understanding this, it would be easier to delineate the path in which this message will be delivered. This is not a novelty, I know.
But what I believe is distinctive this time is that by mean of reflecting on this issue I’ve become more and more interested in the acceptance of the form as a message itself. A form in which both content and context operates together.
I am particularly interested in the form of the insider boycott, the form in which denounce and/or protest become visible. Culture jamming is considered a way to manifest complaints from inside the system. It is using either an already established image or a concept to make your point. In a way, it is to pervert the mainstream original form and to give it a new connotation. From my perspective, what is the greatest thing of this manner is that the new connotation is often time subverting the whole system in which the original structure was conceived.
The Yes Men is a smart couple of New Yorkers whose main job is to, basically, falsify. Their activist actions are framed within the domain of the known –the way conventionally the system looks. They use the aesthetic of the systematically accepted events/circumstances/characters to sarcastically show the way they would like things to be. Their decision is such because they want to be listened not only by their colleagues activists or by the people that usually sympathize with them, but by the people that do not have neither the access nor the open mind to do so.
Why are these guys saying this?
Should I hear them? Why?
What does their message make me feel?
A few weeks ago I attended the Sustainability Summit @NYU. What was the most interesting discovering for me there was the concept of Freeganism. The students/activists who introduced me this concept (and practice) talked about how harmful the whole process of consumerism is. Not just for the environment but also for human mentality. The idea of being subject to a production system that mandates what and how we should consume is strongly wrong. The inert way of consumerism behavior produces the lack of interrogation and insurgency.
My classmate Holly Bernal talked a little bit about Freeganism in her final project proposal. If I If I understand her right, she mentions this practice as a way to instigate the action against the erroneous chain of food consumerism. I really like that Freeganism is then seen not just as an action to do, but also as an action that itself is a message: stop, think and then act.
Where does my food come? Where does my food go?
What does it waste means?
Eating the system from the inside is a very good strategy. It is almost like you are being the enemy of your enemy.
In the 90s, the activist movement FUNA was created in my country, Chile. It was formed with the aim of underlining the imminent need of political and social changes regarding dictatorship’s legacy. They utilized public manifestations in order to denounce and repudiate what was wrong in the country. From then on FUNA means an in your face action. It is to make evident the dishonest, the incorrect and the fake; without any kind of politeness or anonymity.
The radically of this kind of acts is very attractive to me. Nonetheless, I must accept that oftentimes it is unbearable to support extreme manifestations. Oftentimes it is vital to modulate how extended and how drastic is the action. Censorship is not just the muting, but also the denying of access. Any kind of access.
One way to keep exposing the system’s misdoing is to say the message loudly, but also smartly. I believe that The seafood fraud project generated by my classmate Reut Elimelech is a good example of an intent to funar the reprehensible fraud structure of seafood market. She will be just transmitting facts. She clearly will not go and say to the dishonest people: “hey, I know you are doing this and this”, but she will denounce and repudiate them through her action of making the data accessible to everyone.
I guess that to post in this blog is a way to denounce. I am not quite sure if it is either FUNA or Culture jamming, but it is a try at least. We know that we should start demanding for reasonable explications, so let’s interfere on the system’s plans.