If I shout loud enough will I be an artist?? I decided to take my ‘art’ to the streets as an attempt to self-validate my statement. I AM AN ARTIST and I want the world to know.
In keeping with idea of producing only quick, unconsidered work (and in this case inconsiderate) I hashed together a badly drawn stencil (my first attempts started off neat and measured but had to remind myself of the point ) and wandered the streets at midnight with a spray can.
Whilst painting I realised my stencil wasn’t shouting loud enough and looked minuscule on the expanse of a big wall. I went freehand. It felt good.
I’ve recorded myself saying ‘great’ over and over again as a little exercise in semantic satiation. I thought I probably wouldn’t use it for anything but Trump says ‘great’ a lot so I will botched together a little video in homage to him.
I really didn’t want to include trump in this translation of post-truth but I feel its pretty unavoidable….He becomes president on the day of the presentation after all.
In an attempt to find segments of video with Donald Trump declaring to ‘Make America Great Again’ I watched a tonne of pro-Trump propaganda, so much that it’s hard not to understand the why people rooted for him so much….seems like a stand up guy…
So here it is, I have a website. I’ve put together a blog for my alter egos art-work, somewhere to catalogue AAZZBB’s poignant, thought provoking, engaging work. A place to display my art to prospective buyers and attract more Post Truth art fans.
I feel like this project is ongoing. I’ve really enjoyed the freedom it has given me to just do stuff regardless of whether it is any good I really think I can keep that up as a past time, it is ridiculous fun!!
Watched Network during the time of putting the project together. A satirical black comedy from 1976 about a deranged news presenter who exposes television journalism as a sensationalist wasteland where entertainment value and short-term ratings were more crucial than quality. Amazing dialogue and again seems like another prophetic fiction..or more evidence that our current ‘post-truth’ landscape has been around for decades before now.
I have created an Instagram account for my I AM AN ARTIST alter ego (on 14th January 2017).
Exposure gets you fame not talent at the end of the day and I decided to start there. I discovered a trick to collecting followers, it entails trawling through popular celebrities Instagram pages and following EVERYONE on their suggested drop down….I picked up 200 followers and 60 likes on my only picture in the first hour.
So I set this page up late on Saturday night, it kept me up as I watched all the follows come through..I couldn’t help but feel a little satisfaction as I was continually validated by strangers. It was quite addictive going through and following as many celebs as possible knowing I was going to pick up more followers by doing so (for the sake of the project I wanted 1000’s!!) but it also made me feel pretty shallow, empty and like I was being incredibly unproductive. I had no clue who any of the people were who followed me on there but their day-to-day was now on my feed. I had to stop following for the night as Instagram temporarily blocked me for abusing the service. I couldn’t sleep, I woke up late for work as a result. I woke with this sinking feeling and 60 more followers. I felt like I had wasted the night scrolling through Instagram having now followed 1500 pages I was getting a whole load of shite on my feed but I was sucked in a bit…Kim Kardashian is literally everywhere on Instagram it’s fucking awful.
However I was a little saddened when I noticed I had dropped a follow as if someone had saw through my disingenuous bullshit straight away…for a fleeting second it felt personal. Is it really that easy to get caught up in the gratification of the like???
I’m the kind of person that finds it difficult to get going making art (well making anything really), I will draw a line, it won’t be right, I’ll scrap it and start again. I feel like I’m always on this quest for perfection which always leaves me feeling anxious and normally results in work undone or out of time before a deadline. In a way I am creating an alter ego which will give me licence to be reckless with work…or work in a more organic way which will require me breaking some old habits.
I will be making art I don’t believe in. A lot of it.
My post truth art needs to be impulsive. The intention is to overload you with artwork, artwork with no particular common thread and with limited thought and executed in a deliberately poor or unskilled way.
Much like being overloaded with information in this post truth media climate, I want to leave you in a state of confusion to whether I’m for real and feeling like you don’t know where to start with my exhibition of tat!
I intend on having a description for every piece of art I make, all relevance in after thought. I will create the art first and then relate it to the political climate in some way.
As a reflection on the current state of news and media I am taking something that I have decided is true and circulating it until it becomes true.
So in my previous posts I mentioned an interest in semantic satiation – the repetition of a word until it becomes meaningless.
In the case of the lie repetition makes it real, as Nazi Chancellor Joseph Goebbels is famously quoted as saying, “if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.”
If a lie can be shared enough and people want to believe it then it will be true. And, if repeated enough will become so intrinsically linked with the subject of the lie, that you cannot separate them. David Cameron and the pigs head for example. He did it. Whether he actually did it or not because people prefer to believe the entertaining story.
In the hope of believing my own bullshit, I created a very simple little mantra to affirm my new career as an artist. A phrase I could repeat over and over to myself and anyone who would listen…I AM AN ARTIST.
Making a slightly crazed sketch where I wrote IAMANARTIST until it felt right to stop, I couldn’t help but go into a little trance like state where I got caught up with thinking…maybe I am an artist? Could this actually be the beginnings of a career as an artist? Is this a totally out of this world, original, brilliant project that literally no one has thought of before?!?!…. I AM AN ARTIST.
So in writing my manifesto I realised that the work I intended to create was not living up to the manifesto. I was concerned with making art that would represent the idea of post truth and its surrounding jargon-y fodder but it would not be post truth art in the way I was defining it in my manifesto.
Also after thinking of post truth as a person I realised that my project needed to involve me becoming that post truth person. In my execution of the project and in my conviction until the deadline I need to work by the rules of the manifesto.
Meaning I have to fake something or convince myself and others of something until that thing becomes real.
So I have always had trouble with calling myself an artist. I don’t believe I am an artist, perhaps and aspiring artist. I feel like it is a discipline that needs working at, like anything. You need experience and a shit tonne of work before you can call yourself an artist…I feel. Just because you make art doesn’t make you an artist as much as cooking everyday doesn’t make you a chef.
But. If I am to become a post-truth artist and create post-create art then I must lie. To myself and to others. Is it possible to convince you I am an artist, a good one at that? Can I convince the media? How long will in be until I am featured in an arts blog? If done with the utmost conviction can I trick people into taking me seriously? Sharing my artwork, validating it. Will I eventually believe my own hype? Can I build a name for myself in the arts world on lies?
More and more men and women are exposed and seen for who they truly are. Still they manage to sway a good number of people. Thanks to misinformation and falsehoods these individuals thrive in the world like never before. Coming from a dictatorship I’ve had the experience to live in a place where the truth was not common in politics. Propaganda and very few announcements regarding the country’s current affairs appeared on the news. I preferred watching Cartoons anyway.
My interest in politics only really started when coming to the UK and having internet at home. Back home I could only access the internet either at school, my step-dad’s work or an internet cafe. With this new unrestricted access to the web, I was astonished by how much I didn’t know about my home and the world around me. A thirst for all knowledge took over me dabbing in politics, philosophy, psychology, art, religion, history, physics, I.T. and more esoteric subjects like the occult, the supernatural, Conspiracy theories, Ancient civilisations, World myths and Mythologies.
It wasn’t text book stuff, no one was telling me what I could or couldn’t read. It was a freedom I had never experienced before. My digital fluency came from years of trial and error and learning what looks like reliable information. My uncle acted as father figure when I came to the UK, always pushing me to challenge my views and the information I found online. I remember him saying it would be something I would always have to strive for.
However, my brain can be like a hyperactive sponge. Often I need to find out every detail about a subject in order to form a comprehensive mental map of the knowledge acquired. This has sent me on endless hours of reading and multiple tabs opening. This process can be quite exhausting especially when you’re looking for the definition of a word and up watching a 3 hours lesson on Quantum Physics and gravitational waves.
Like a scavenger in a wasteland of information I dig and find digital clips. At first glance they seem banal and unrelated but by putting them together we can slowly start to create something Using an amalgam of hip-hop funk and electro music I created, using various sound samples and videos found online, a video where I explore the idea of post-truth, mass information and technology. Drawing on the traditions of Experimental filmmaking “Digital Quest” is a short film which explores an era of short attention span and information overload which can be arguably said to help ensure a post-truth society.
The digital age has given us more than ever before the ability to influence our realities. Our civilisation relies on technology for everything, to eat, to educate ourselves, to research, to work, to communicate with each other, to organise ourselves, to create, to heal our minds and our bodies. According to a report by the Office for National Statistics “in 2016, almost all adults aged 16 to 24 and 25 to 34 years were recent internet users (99.2% and 98.9% respectively)”. According to another report, “truth, lies and the internet a report into young people’s digital fluency” by Jamie Bartlett Carl Miller, despite growing up with technology young peoples technical savvy is pretty poor with “only one third of 9 – 19 have been taught how to verify the validity of online information”.
This is telling us many things. One of which is that we are raising a generation of mindless robots. Easily influenced by the constant bombarding of information this can be very dangerous for the future of society. Many marketing technics already makes the use of emotional triggers to sell, it can be said of post-truth to be of the same kind of process, making you feel before you think. With ignorance and misinformation we are easily triggered into making the wrong decisions.
I believe education and digital savvy will help create a better world on the never ending quest of scientific research.
January 20, 2017 6:34 am.