Screen Activism [in progress]
in collaboration with Brian Lonsway
The contestation over the ownership of space has been the topic of substantial critical debate and activist engagement in the arts for some time. Individuals and private interests have increasing control over the visual nature of the space surrounding their property, legally requiring neighbors to remove or change unsightly objects. These ambiguous controls have the effect of making an easy target of activists and public performers, who may not be or example, at a mall to consume; who may carry signs and banners; or who may distribute flyers which carry a message counter to the motivations of a neighboring property owner.
Blue Screen Activism consists of a series of actions which use blue-screen technology to incorporate information in spaces where it could not otherwise be displayed. Performers enter contested spaces wearing clothing or carrying objects made entirely of chroma-key blue material. They are captured on video in these spaces and in real-time, the blue material is replaced with imagery relevant to the site. This final image can then be broadcast live on-line or recorded for distribution as a video press release, for later broadcast, or for exhibition.
Illustrated is a proposal of a group of performers who, instead of carrying picket signs, are wearing t-shirts made of chroma-key fabric. They are not really assembling, they are not exactly picketing, as they aren't carrying signs or banners, and there is no message visible to the property owners which they could claim is counter to their mission.