Viral propaganda

by Robert Brečević

Yesterday was yet another sesssion. This time with Robert, Mattias, Marco, Andreas and Tina present. We discussed propaganda-as-style vs. propaganda-as-tool. Mattias summed it up nicely: are we making propaganda for propaganda – or should we make propaganda for something?

I think everyone has to decide themselves on that.

Furthermore we plunged into style issues: kitch (my not-so-favourite word), bombastic (like that more) vs. subtle, unnoticeable, permeating. And of course: irony! When I grew up (ex-Jugoslavia) irony was a popular way of defying the authorities and the actual sillyness of power. I saw the same phenomenon, “irony”, being used to sell old-new sexistic attitudes, adds and magasines in the end 90-ies and onwards. And I’ve heard people (younger than me) saying that thy are against “irony”.

We also discussed conviction. Marco pointed out that believes in a set of values but the question is if we want to make propaganda for it or not? Private vs. public.

Proselytizing your beliefs shamelessly is something entirely different then reflecting the world around you (something which lies implicityly in some versions of the role of the artist). Do we become bad artists if our work is labeled as propaganda? I think we should answer the question with: yes, but only if it is bad propaganda.

And finally – it appeared that noone in the group had seen the first Zeitgeist-movie! This movie spread all around the internet via google video and yutube nd and real distribution. A more than 2 hours (!) long documentary/propaganda video from 2007 with millions and millions of viewers. See it! It is skillfully composed as a triptych: religion / nine-eleven / federal banking reserve. And it leaves the viewer with the creepy notion of being controlled by global puppet masters!

Zeitgeist: The Movie – 2007 by Peter Joseph from on Vimeo.