On Monday, February 13th our Issues in Critical Theory class sojourned to Olga Korper’s Gallery on the west end of Toronto. We (re)viewed an exhibit that was on by artist Stan Denniston. It prompted many thoughts, discussions, and reactions by most.
Considering the context of the class and the relationship to things like remix, appropriation, copy and reinvention, I can see how it was a relevant and timely exhibit to attend.
From an artist-aesthetic perspective I’m not much of a Duchampian or one who is drawn to the use of found objects in general. I think it would be really interesting to see how he could work with the material and recontextualize the object(s).
For instance, I’m drawn to some of Ai Wei Wei’s work, like the Surveillance Camera, 2010. Marble, 39.2 x 39.8 x 19 cm.
Or perhaps, closer to home, an OCADU professor’s work, Laura Moore-
And even Clint Neufeld’s work can sit comfortably in this comparative analysis-
In short, from an aesthetic-object-visual perspective, I think there is room to explore with the material and Denniston’s work did do that to some extent, but for my personal taste, it could have been more fully integrated.
I found his discussion to be frank, open, and transparent. As Morgan pointed out in her blog, Denniston did finish the discussion by noting that his work was unlikely to change the world. It seems like it’s a starting point, and less of an arrival when it comes to cosmic change through art or otherwise.
One comment that Denniston made that I found interesting was how the work related to ‘Climate Change’. He started saying ‘global warmi-‘ and quickly change to ‘climate change’. I find it interesting because it’s two words that are spoken so frequently and commonly that it really doesn’t define anything. It’s like watching a news briefing from a political figure who says ‘democracy’, ‘freedom’, ‘globalism’, ‘capitalism’. They are words that are drummed into the public’s mind so frequently that they lack meaning and identification in some respect. So when I hear them, I really question what does that mean? The public is repeatedly conditioned to believe a certain viewpoint. ‘Climate Change’ = bad. Well, what does that mean and what goes into making that up?
If anyone would like an understanding into propaganda and how we’re programmed to react, I would highly recommend anyone with 28 minutes and 18 seconds and access to a computer and audio, to watch a video on Youtube called “The Art of Deception”:
It will, hopefully, alter your understanding of how we are in a constant battle over the landscape of our minds. How films like “An Inconvenient Truth” can be set up to manipulate the public opinion and are called a ‘documentary’, which implies neutrality, but which anyone with any exposure to the film world knows they are as subjective as any other.
Back to ‘climate change’.. Yes, there is definitely climate change, but there always has been. So, what does that mean and what are the many, many factors that go into manipulating weather, manipulating perspectives, and ultimately manipulating our lifestyles and livelihood.
Take for instance cows. Cows are responsible for about half of the emissions of greenhouse gases that transportation is. Cows contribute methane gas. Transportation CO2. – https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/overview-greenhouse-gases
“Agriculture is responsible for an estimated 14 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. A significant portion of these emissions come from methane, which, in terms of its contribution to global warming, is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.”-
Why do we need HeroBurgers every 1500meters along Queen Street? Has anyone noticed how many burger selling restaurants have opened in Toronto over the last half-decade? A lot. Maybe a switch to a plant based diet would be beneficial for all? Perhaps an exploration into Vitamin B-17 and its anti-cancer effects would be useful in comparing the effects of meat consumption and cancer creation.
And what about weather manipulation? Has anyone heard of HAARP? Or more specifically, geo-engineering? It’s something that is alive and well, particularly in the USA although the official line is that it is not. In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Central Intelligence Agency Director John O. Brennan, said “One that has gained my personal attention is stratospheric aerosol injection, or SAI, a method of seeding the stratosphere with particles that can help reflect the sun’s heat, in much the same way that volcanic eruptions do.” And he goes on to explain the impacts on the environment and geo-political relations.
However, much of what really impacts our lives and situates us in situates that are not optimal and are in conflict with what the majority of humanity would want, are not disclosed or commonly discussed.
We’ve been using oil and gasoline for over 100+years when Nikolai Tesla demonstrated how the earth’s energy could be harnessed and energy would (could) be free for all. But that wouldn’t be profitable would it? So, here we are chugging along in our cars watching films that are meant to make us feel guilty for existing and those that are in influential positions in government, etc. are acting antithetical to the best interests of humanity.
Do we hear about how 30,000+ scientists are suing Al Gore for misrepresenting facts?-
9,000 of those are PhD’s. That’s 9,000! And one of them includes the former president and creator of the Weather Network.
I’m by no means denying that the climate is changing it’s not even the point, it’s that we are so easily manipulated by buzz words that unless we make an effort to explore topics, we just become programmed people. I think we have a responsibility to attempt to fully unpack the myriad factors that go into issues (climate change, democracy, etc.) before we easily buy into whatever the media/corporatocracy is selling.
As George Carlin once pointed out, the earth has been around for 4 billion years. The earth is fine. It’s seen ice ages, warm ages, hot ages and everything in between. It’s humanity. We’re fucked.