Culture jamming

DEFINITION

Culture jamming refers to forms of art and other activities involving social agitation. Culture jammers take a number of sociopolitical issues as their primary focus, including media literacy, consumerism, television addiction, television violence, pollution, North American social laziness, use of sweatshops, and various hazards of corporate dominance of media, government, and daily life. The term was first used in 1984 by the San Francisco audio-collage band Negativeland, but the concept dates back to the suffrage and avant-garde movements of the early 20th century. Because they often employ photomontage and other techniques employed by graphic designers, and they take stances in defiance of the status quo, their works often resemble the anti-art of the Dadaists, as well as various works by Surrealists and Situationists.Quote: "Culture jamming is about jamming the signals that put us in this trance in the first place. It's about creating cognitive dissonance, disseminating as many seeds of truth to as many people as you can, with the ultimate goal of toppling existing power structures and changing the way we'll live in the twenty-first century." Kalle Lasn (contemporary Canadian, born Estonia), a leading figure within the culture jamming movement since the late 1980s.Related links: Adbusters is a magazine and a web site published by Kalle Lasn. The Billboard Liberation Front has been "establishing a new paradigm in street marketing" since the 1970s. Free Press is an American nonpartisan organization working to increase informed public participation in crucial media policy debates, and to generate policies that will produce a more competitive and public interest-oriented media system with a strong nonprofit and noncommercial sector. Urban75 advocates "billboard improvement."Also see advertising, detournement, First Amendment Rights, and visual culture.

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