BRANDALISM: RECUPERATION AND DETOUREMENT

When I think of brandalism, I think of Banksy. And who doesn’t? Banksy; the ‘alternative voice’. His art brings power to the artist. A critique of political/social convention.

“Banksy turns familiar signs into question marks, inviting us to rethink, on the one hand, our understanding of the cultural status of graffiti and, on the other hand, our understanding of the museum and gallery: public spaces which are defined by exclusion.” 

Iconic Banksy works brought to life by photographer Nick Stern
A quick google of ‘brandalism’ brings about a wikipedia page speaking of the ‘movement founded in July 2012 in London’ where a group of artists covered billboard advertisements with their own monochrome art evoking an ‘anti-advertising sentiment’. While I guess this does sum up what ‘brandalism’ is, it’s interesting that the page only focuses on this particular circumstance.

Through remix, artists are handed the perfect tool to transform something in order to evoke a new meaning (often satirical or ironic when considered with regard to the predeceasing work). Works are republished to the consumer creating new ideas, and a completely new way to provide societal commentary.

KEY TERMS:
RECUPERATION: The process in which politically radical ideas and images are re-developed into the media culture. How ideas are expressed to others through the form of media.

DETOUREMENT: Reversing the idea of recuperation, turning logos/adverts/ideas on their heads into something with a shifted meaning that is instead, against the original message.

CONSUME THIS

I think that it is particularly interesting that ‘brandalism’ is often associated with activist rebel groups and has such negative connotations, when it is all around us all the time – often unnoticed. Especially regarding the history of media propaganda, even only in the last century.

There is no need to watch the entire clip, a minute or two and you will get the gist of the scene, but the taboo regarding graffiti and ‘propaganda’ reminds me of this scene from ‘Wayward Pines’, where the ‘creators’ wish to exicute a graffitti artist for disrupting the town’s order. For going against convention and ‘rules’.

And this is Remix. This. Is ‘Culture Jamming‘.

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