Filed under book, thesis | Tags: · art history, artistic research, avant-garde, democracy, modernism, performance, politics, power, propaganda, totalitarianism, war on terror
“This study by artist Jonas Staal explores the development of propaganda art from the 20th to the 21st century. Staal defines propaganda as the performance of power by means of the equation propaganda = power + performance. Through his work as a propaganda researcher and practice as a propaganda artist, he argues that different structures of power generate different forms of propaganda and therefore different forms of propaganda art. Whereas in the context of the 20th century Staal discusses the differences between avant-garde, totalitarian, and modernist propaganda art, in the 21st century he proposes the categories of War on Terror Propaganda Art, Popular Propaganda Art, and Stateless Propaganda Art. By means of concrete examples of artists and artworks within each of these categories, he attempts to show how the performance of power in the 21st century translates into different visual forms, and how they shape and direct our reality. Staal’s study shows that power and art exist in continuous interaction. Propaganda and propaganda art are not terms that only refer to the past, but concepts and practices through which we can understand the construction of reality in the present.”
PhD Dissertation, Faculty of Humanities, University of Leiden
Filed under book | Tags: · art, drones, free software, privacy, surveillance, technology, war on terror
“The filmmaker, artist, and journalist Laura Poitras has explored the themes of mass surveillance, “war on terror,” drone program, Guantánamo, and torture in her work for more than ten years. For this volume, Poitras has invited authors ranging from artists and novelists to technologists and academics to respond to the modern-day state of mass surveillance. Some contributors worked directly with Poitras and the archive of documents leaked by Snowden; others contributed fictional reinterpretations of spycraft. The result is a “how-to” guide for living in a society that collects extraordinary amounts of information on individuals. Questioning the role of surveillance and advocating for collective privacy are central tennets for Poitras, who has long engaged with and supported free-software technologists.”
Contributions by Ai Weiwei, Jacob Appelbaum, Lakhdar Boumediene, Kate Crawford, Alex Danchev, Cory Doctorow, Dave Eggers, Jill Magid, Trevor Paglen, Edward Snowden, and Hito Steyerl.
With an Introduction by Jay Sanders
Publisher Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2016
ISBN 9780300217650, 030021765X
Review: Bernard E. Harcourt (Critical Inquiry).
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Filed under book | Tags: · drones, human rights, military, politics, terrorism, united states, war, war on terror
In Dirty Wars, Jeremy Scahill, author of the New York Times best-seller Blackwater, takes us inside America’s new covert wars. The foot soldiers in these battles operate globally and inside the United States with orders from the White House to do whatever is necessary to hunt down, capture or kill individuals designated by the president as enemies. Drawn from the ranks of the Navy SEALs, Delta Force, former Blackwater and other private security contractors, the CIA’s Special Activities Division and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), these elite soldiers operate worldwide, with thousands of secret commandos working in more than one hundred countries. Funded through “black budgets,” Special Operations Forces conduct missions in denied areas, engage in targeted killings, snatch and grab individuals and direct drone, AC-130 and cruise missile strikes. While the Bush administration deployed these ghost militias, President Barack Obama has expanded their operations and given them new scope and legitimacy. Dirty Wars follows the consequences of the declaration that “the world is a battlefield,” as Scahill uncovers the most important foreign policy story of our time. From Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia and beyond, Scahill reports from the frontlines in this high-stakes investigation and explores the depths of America’s global killing machine. He goes beneath the surface of these covert wars, conducted in the shadows, outside the range of the press, without effective congressional oversight or public debate. And, based on unprecedented access, Scahill tells the chilling story of an American citizen marked for assassination by his own government. As US leaders draw the country deeper into conflicts across the globe, setting the world stage for enormous destabilization and blowback, Americans are not only at greater risk—we are changing as a nation. Scahill unmasks the shadow warriors who prosecute these secret wars and puts a human face on the casualties of unaccountable violence that is now official policy: victims of night raids, secret prisons, cruise missile attacks and drone strikes, and whole classes of people branded as “suspected militants.” Through his brave reporting, Scahill exposes the true nature of the dirty wars the United States government struggles to keep hidden.
Publisher Nation Books, New York, 2013
ISBN 1568587279, 9781568587271
Jeremy Scahill and Dirty Wars on Democracy Now! (interview, trailer for a documentary)
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