Post Newtonianism (2010)

This piece is a two-channel video with sound. The video on the left consists of a loop of actual war footage taken from cameras mounted on American military airplanes and helicopters during the first Gulf War in 1991 and the current occupation of Iraq. In contrast, the footage on the right is from the popular video game “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare”. The sound track is a mixture of audio taken from the video game and the footage released by Wikileaks approximately 9 months ago in which the US military killed two reporters working for Reuters as well as a number of unarmed civilians. Through the audio we experience the result of a collective desensitization in the brutally insensitive, numbed, distant language used by American soldiers in Iraq. As the audio plays we become aware of the encroachment upon reality by the media driven simulacrum. The start of the piece exhibits audio taken from the Wikileaks video that is gradually and inextricably intertwined with audio pulled from the video game. The end result is an approximately equal mix of sound and imagery from real and unreal sources that defeats the line between reality and fantasy. Additionally it serves as a meditation on the power of the internet, as both a political and artistic tool. Every piece of footage and sound in this video was intentionally harvested from the internet for that purpose. My intention was to make art using the internet and YouTube, creating a work political in both content and form. Constructed using the “mash up” technique, familiar to anyone watching YouTube videos, it looks and sounds like a YouTube video and is made on one of the two platforms most if not all YouTube video’s are constructed on (final cut/premiere) .

The title “Post Newtonianism”, references Henry Kissinger’s essay “Domestic Structure and Foreign Policy” in which he surmised that the inferiority and backwardness of the east lay in its refusal to acknowledge the Newtonian (read scientific) revolution.
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Artist Statement

My work attempts to expose the social power structures that dominate our lives; those we witness, take for granted, and participate in (both consciously and unconsciously). I want to peel back and reveal conventional artifices, dominant cultural hierarchies, social systems and their effects by exposing their machinations like armatures in order to provide context for unexpected connections. In creating a visual lexicon for personal intellectual potential I hope to expose viewers to the capacity for the reformation of new and individual paradigms. I avoid imposing a moral agenda, but rather work to form a discussion about repressive structures that we often overlook or no longer see due to historical entrenchment.

As a means for activating the human psyche, I often work with the mundane and the familiar, (toys, anonymous vacation photos gleaned from the internet, found objects, paint etc.) to re- contextualize the everyday, shifting points of emphasis through a Deleuzian re-formation and re-patterning of the known and accepted.

By way of personally generated techniques in combination with a formal approach to structures inherent to the art world, I outline problematics through a process of reduction, simplification and negation. Ultimately, my work provides no solutions and no answers. Instead it exists as a signal, acting as a call to arms while serving as an ontological bruise to the human ego, exposing the ridiculous nature, cruelty, and absurdity of humanity.

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