I consider myself to be a trans-media artist or generalist. I convert systems of cultural iconography via media and technology into an analytical and satirical electronic narrative. I have been conditioned by the media culture so television (media) easily serves as my electronic landscape. The computer serves as the primary tool by which I link all my tools including sound, imaging and varied commercial software. By digitizing, manipulating and re-digitizing the electronic images of media, I am illustrating how “propaganda is to democracy what violence is to totalitarianism.” Noam Chomsky’s admonition to those who attempt to analyze the methods and messages of public control speaks to artists as well as political theorists:
“For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of ‘brain-washing under freedom’ to which we are subjected and which all too often we serve as willing or unwitting instruments.”
(Chomsky, The Manufacture of Consent)
My own daily awareness of TV/print propaganda through image and script and what is not written or filmed is translated into art that speaks in the language of mass culture but offers “coverage” and interpretation that is erased or ignored in mainstream TV culture. My job is to share my outrage and sense of absurdity to effect some point of awareness in the vast network of cyberspace and wall space. By “naming” the codes of control, I seek empowerment for myself and therefore my community so we can stay awake in the midst of the media’s pervasive anesthesia that numbs us to hear no evil, speak no evil and see no evil.
[remark: this artist statement was published in the FISEA’93 Catalogue without a title of the work]
- STEVE BRADLEY, Artist; Assistant Professor of Art, Electronic Imaging, College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, NY, USA