Re: [rumori] mcdonalds

Andrew Lander (
Tue, 26 Oct 1999 13:31:14 PDT

>->>etc. etc.... BUT with every picture of the exhibit it said that it was
>->>supported by McDonalds.
>->>is it just me or does that sort of take away from the impact?

That may be the idea. If a little sign says, "Supported by McDonald's" many
viewers will think "Oh, lookit how cool McDonald's is in letting an artist
do this with their trademark." Of course it can also be read "This is not
actual, relevant, much less hard-hitting criticizm of McDonald's." And I
think more than a few viewers will read it that way.

Then there are those whose reaction will be "I'm hungry. Let's go get a
cheeseburger after the show."

>now it may be true what they say
>about "any publicity is good publicity" but if so then ANY criticism is
>actually impotent. which i dont believe.
>also it's just not a very good comparision. Dispepsi was not funded by
>Pepsi, whereas the example Philo cited was "about" mcdonald's but was
>funded by McDonald's. the point is that even if it WAS a "scathing"
>critique its integrity would be suspect. No matter what the impact of the
>work, it is reduced by the monetary involvement of the subject.

If the criticisms made are valid, then the funding, especially if
acknowledged, would serve to undermine those very criticizms. Viewers could
say "Oh yeah, I heard that before, in a show put on by McDonald's!" That
could be intentional - a purposeful eviceration.

Ever notice the jarring cut-up sound of station IDs on modern rock radio?
"Our" appropriative ęsthetic has been appropriated. (Too bad kids aren't
buying "the real thing baby.")

More problematic I find is the level of sarcasm and self-effacement (or
pseudo-self-effacement) in advertising these days. Our culture's gotten to
the point where the ęsthetic of rebellion has been made to support the
staus-quo (see the Baffler). This has weakened the efficacy of symbolic
protest. Action, not just statements, are necessary for change.

How shall we fight now that the enemy has appropriated (There's that word
again!) our weapons and tactics? Perhaps the time has come for artists to
shift focus from form back onto content. And what goes on outside a work of

Here's an interesting idea for Negativland (or whoever else): instead of a
work on advertising boosterism, how about one on advertising pessimism and
nihilism, and how an ęsthetic of dissent can be emptied of real meaning and
actually used to support what it claims to be against. Maybe even
criticizing certain uses of appropriation.

Andrew Lander

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