Tag Archives: advertising

Mental Fights#1: From Advertising to Anarchism

Here’s an edited extract from my first column for Sable Litmag as Arts & Politics editor:

From Advertising to Anarchism

Afloat in an ocean of gigabytes, lessons from history slip through our wireless nets. Instead, we climb aboard celebrity-captained Titanics, happy to Harlem Shake, tweet and twerk the night away, pausing only to chip a little iceberg into our drinks...

“Advertising is the greatest art form of the twentieth century”, so says Mr Marshall Mcluhan… For most of my adolescence and into my early twenties I was fully onboard with this appraisal of the dark arts…

However, something ended up going right.


>> Read the full article over at Sable’s E-Mag here.

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Licence to Spill – Shitting in the Palace

Platform launch their latest publication ‘Not if but when – Culture Beyond Oil‘ this evening. Here’s the full version of some commentary I contributed to their 2010 leaflet, Licence to Spill:

download the full leaflet here

Shitting in the Palace – 8/6/10

During the 2009 C Words artist-activist season at the Arnolfini gallery in Bristol I heard several versions of a story about a legendary character known as “the Shitter”. The Shitter, as one version of the tale went, was a disgruntled visitor whose method of protest was to take a dump in the corner of the gallery.

The Shitter’s medium of choice reminded me of the Bill Hick’s quote:

“You do a commercial – you’re off the artistic roll call, forever. End of story… You’re another whore at the capitalist gang bang… there’s a price on your head. Everything you say is suspect and every word that comes out of your mouth is now like a turd falling into my drink.”

There have been a lot of oily turds falling into drink-water of late.

There is however, one pleasing aspect to this latest oil spill – it directly affects rich people. As such the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster is big news and some action is thus being taken to mitigate its effects. We can only fantasise that oil is discovered, drilled and fracked on the Rockefeller family estate; huge coltan reserves mined under the Pentagon; a massive plutonium store tapped in the grounds of Windsor Castle Continue reading

Escaping the Mad-Man Jail

As a former practictioner of the dark and dubious ‘art’ that is advertising (12 years in remission and counting…) George Monbiot’s article in the Grauniad: Advertising is a poison that demeans even love – and we’re hooked on it, provides a welcome addition to mainstream attempts at addressing this all-pervasive evil.

Monbiot does acknowledge that his “column is framed by two airline adverts”  (on recent view also a Barclays ad, together with a Join the British Army ad provided by Google…) and further in depth analysis of such issues can, as ever, be found via medialens – an essential antidote to the ad-reliant corporate media – who comment:

“the deeper problem is that advertising is one of a number of filters built into the state-corporate media system that prevent us from accessing corporate unfriendly facts, values and perspectives. People are not even able to see that there are alternatives to materialist happiness. These possibilities are almost completely filtered out, maligned, ignored…” Continue reading