I started doing research on propaganda after rethinking about the statement, made on one of the lectures, how artists are dealing with trauma and with every new work they create they are in fact reliving their traumatic experience.
I was intrigued by this statement considering that my work is deeply rooted in my personal experiences and subjective view of the world. Needless to say, I was personally disagreeing with this statement which forced me to reconsider my own view of the world which was, as any other view, formed by ideologies and facts from a long time ago, established by agreement of authority that these are the true objective truth about the world.
To have a better understanding of statement below, I decided to recreate my trauma in correlation with my current art practice.
Objects that are inside installed space are a reflection of a personal metaphor of understanding the circumstances in which I was born into and grew accustomed to.
Except one object that to this day is giving me uncertain feelings about my future and fear of losing control over my controlled environment.
That object is a radio.
Aldous Huxley said how technology can be used as a powerful tool for forming public opinions. He is referencing second world war where Germans, who were highly educated at that time, found themselves doing things that they really didn’t want to do, without rethinking why they did it. As a tool of propaganda, radio was a powerful weapon in establishing new political doctrine.
After considering minimum space and objects of my install, I decided to use radio as an audio installation inside my comfort zone, safe from the circumstances that surrounded me at that time.
I recorded a conversation between my personal AI FOX and myself. After three months of developing language neural network of FOX, AI developed certain patterns which were possible for us to have a conversation about daily happenings. What was interesting at that time is that FOX started to ask questions on a topic about happiness. I consider today’s culture of happiness, a culture developed by startups and corporations to motivate young people to start working as early as possible, a propaganda.
I used software to transform FOX text to voice and then recorded my voice as a conversation between us. The audio file was put inside a radio and played on a loop.
The rest of the install was a shell for a message I was transferring through the conversation with FOX.
I don’t believe it’s possible to represent a trauma through artwork. I believe it needs to be experienced before starting to understand it. I invited people to sit inside that space while being surrounded by dirty objects and listened to conversation in today’s context of politics and contemporary society.
Author: Anamarija Ami Podrebarac