Protest rhetoric has been singularly focussed lately on either police brutality/equality or the orange troll and both issues have been understandably consuming so it’s easy to forget other matters. For instance, if both problems disappeared today by some miracle, we would still be stuck with all our destructive habits. Where art meets activism though, BRANDALISM has a cool thing going and it’s an issue dear to my heart. I love the idea of hijacking/hacking not only their spaces, but their messages. The number of people dying in auto accidents is going to pale in comparison to what it’s doing to the rest of us.
The fetishization of the automobile has both fascinated and repulsed me for a very long time. There is no way I’m saying I’m immune to the allure though my personal attachment is stunted. I don’t even drive and much of the draw ends at some point in the late 70s. It’s partly design and partly lifestyle design. The automobile is a huge part of the fabric of the American culture and personality. From a design perspective the attraction is similar to my affinity for post-war architecture, technology and art, not dissimilar from my love of brutalism and the early space age. It’s very much hauntological where it all converged into a collective vision of a future… that largely never happened.
At the same time, I live in a realm entirely congested with hurtling masses of steel, rubber and plastic and noise. The sound of thousands of cars passing by daily actually takes solid mass. It’s oppressive from any sense of the world oppressive. There is a perpetual black grime on everything. It’s become so ubiquitous that nobody even notices until you touch something and your hand comes away black. Then you sit down on a bench and read a news story about how the incidence of colon cancer in people under fifty has tripled in recent decades. We are literally eating the industrial waste of these mechanical beetles…. and before I get too shrill. This guerilla campaign is clever.