de-Advertising Series (1995-97)
|By the mid 90's I became shocked at the mind-numbing practices of advertising, on TV and in print. The dehumanization of people by depicting a smiley-faced world of cute violence and fear, in a hyper-speed rat race to get ahead. A callous disregard for personal feelings while pounding the viewer to accept this state of affairs as "the new normal". This practice in the year 2016 is in hyperdrive on TV advertising with humans thrown through windows, buildings and fences, smashed with furniture and products of all kinds, thrown across the screen, and dragged down roadways. This is a visual desensitizing process to try and make people accept every systemic decision made by the ruling 1%, and it's selfish neoliberal agenda, with an enthusiastic cheer. While the media attempt to candy coat reality, crashes, joblessness, debt, racism, war, terror drive an unconscious panic and hopelessness in the 99%. The age of Valium was followed by the age of Prozac that now yields to the age of Adderall. People see no future. Many contemporary philosophers have written about this problem...
"Contemporary mass cynicism can be linked to two different sources: the failure of twentieth-century utopian ideologies, and the perception that the exploitation of labor, competition, and war are inevitable and irreversible. Mass cynicism results from the dissolution of social solidarity. Globalization and the systemic precariousness of the labor market resulting from neoliberal deregulation have imposed competition as the inescapable, generalized mode of relation among actors. Workers, once linked by a sense of social solidarity and common political hope, are now forced to think in cynical terms: survival of the fittest." - Franco Berardi "The Uprising" (2012)
The series of digital collage paintings below are composed almost entirely of portions of scanned print ads of the mid-90's. I wanted paintings composed entirely of visuals and words created by the advertising industry. Things I did not make up or exaggerate. It's all from the horse's mouth. These collages are a form of detournement, a recomposition of visual elements in such a way as to break the spell, break the Blue Pill (The Matrix) effects of what Situationists call, the Spectacle. Breaking the spell of a consumer fetish obsession and the psychic and environmental damage it wrecks is a first step toward reclaiming our Earth from the 1%'s neoliberal nightmare. Revolt and reclaim!
|"Believe in the Dream" (1995) 16x22" (print file)|
|"Buy Now" (1995) 15x23" (print file)|
|"Blue Smoke" (1995) 16x22" (print file)|
|"Cage of Desire" (1995) 16x22" (print file)|
|"Follow the Yellow Brick Road" (1995) 16x22" (print file)|
|"Culturing Endless Growth" (1995) 15x22" (print file)|
|"Manifesto for Managers" (1999) 16x21" (print file)|
|"Packaging is Everything" (1995) 16x22" (print file)|
|"Slippery Slope of Quick Relief" (1995) 16x22" (print file)|
|"Signing the Sell" (1995) 16x22" (print file)|
|"The Cure" (1995) 16x22" (print file)|
|"There's a Better Way" (1995) 14x22" (print file)|
|"Where Are We Going?" (1995) 17x20" (print file)|
|"Why Wait?" (1995) 16x21" (print file)|
|"The Euphoria of Terror" (2016) 16x21" (print file)|
|All works copyleft sandy 2016 Thank you Tup Wanders for the wonderful Fettecke font!
Would you like a signed fine art print? Click here.
|Postscript: I majored in Advertising Design for pragmatic economic reasons in the early 70's. I jumped ship as soon as I saw brilliant work from some of my friends completely ignored while mindless pablum was advanced. The best students in advertising loved coming up with brilliant, funny stuff but all of it was candy coating for mindless consumer consumption. Quality of product and how well they solved people's needs was irrelevant. Sell 'em a cure to a disease we created. That was enough for me... off the cliff into aesthetics and spirituality... poverty be damned! And now, what difference does it make? Capitalism, in it's hyper-mode neoliberalism has stripped bare the Earth, humanity and now is driving us all to ecocide. I am just damn glad to have been fighting it all these years and to NOT have been sucked into The Matrix cranking out blue pill mindwipers.
I am hoping the 99% sees the light, now, and realizes, yes we can create our own sustainable planet with a war-less world of egalitarian sharing. Capitalism and profit are obsolete. Not one of the 1%'s policy initiative matches the needs for a sustainable planet. Growth on a finite planet is over. Too many people, not enough resources. Their solution is more. More growth, more money, more people, more more more. The above advertising is meant to make us conform to a flywheel of more when what we need is creativity, sustainable design and a sharing society. This is an anathema to people to whom profit is god. That is why they want surveillance and Police State, endless war, phony terror, austerity. To crush our spirit with what they have determined for us as inevitable. Rubbish! Worker collectives and democracy in the workplace. Direct democracy for self rule. And a permanent sidelining of the 1% and their corporations from any ability to shape the future. The 1%'s time is done. It is now time for the 99%'s sharing creativity to reign. Solidarity!