The New Political Action (2006)

Curated by Michael Dupuis
Editorial description Comments (0)

With the advent of PACs (Political Action Committees), 527 groups, and other political advocacy organizations in American politics in the mid-1970s, the concept of “political action” has changed significantly. What was once a term stereotypically associated with naive public protestors on hunger strikes or rogue Greenpeace operatives scaling skyscrapers has become something conservative and institutionalized into the very corporate politics it once addressed. <br/><br/> Discussions within the right and within the left have been “resolved” and refined, then disseminated through the most widely consumed media: newsprint, radio, and television. The brevity of their positions on the issues and the black and white nature with which they characterize either themselves or their opponents may be attributed to the cost of articulation (30 seconds of air time, 1 page of newsprint), or the attention deficient constituent. Either way, the voter is not allowed to reason, as the argument for each side is not thoughtfully presented. <br/><br/> The works in this exhibit do not better represent the positions of contention. They do, however, reconsider political action in the context of a new medium. New media artists have used the less restrictive space of the Internet to return to an older definition of political action. Whereas movies, music, television, and other forms of mainstream communication require huge capital investments to make one’s voice heard, access on the worldwide web demands substantially less funding. The web is also a more neutral medium; a webpage creator is not limited by the political affiliation of his hosting server as a chief editor at a newspaper may be by the paper’s owner. <br/><br/> So long as the contemporary powers of “political action” cannot infiltrate the largely decentralized structure of the worldwide web, new media holds immense potential for the advancement of the public discourse and art of a political nature. In this way, one can think of the mainstream media as the primary vehicle for contemporary “political action” (PACs, 527s, etc.) and new media as a voice for an old style of political activism. This exhibit hopes to present and comment on such new media works in the scope of political action. The following works either embody the notion of political action/activism themselves, or address political action from an outsider’s perspective.

This exhibition has no comments. You should add one!

Leave a Comment