During our last lecture, my group’s conversation took a turn when we started discussing the Disobedient Electronics. Some of the questions that were rightfully raised were what makes a hacker, and how is that impacted and impacting the artist or maker’s identity; and if it had an actual use. Some of the photographs seemed conveniently staged, as if the activists were expecting to be arrested, once again questioning the authenticity of the action.
While this could be tied to the age-old, impossible question of “does art need a purpose”, this one seemed a lot easier to answer. In a world that is now even more connected than ever, and yet still mostly presents the more palatable narratives when it comes to societal issues, staging and actions help bring awareness to issues that are too often ignored or forgotten about, drowned in the continuous flow of incoming new informations.
Our human, limited brains also can’t fully process information we can’t “see”. It becomes intangible, like a fictional story, something far removed from the reality where it takes place. Seeing these drones, or seeing that equal pay clock, becomes a visual punch in the face of the viewer: it’s not just a vague rumour they heard about, it is now anchored in their reality, for all to see. Alternatively, even without any context, these unusual creations can spark conversations: people are curious in general, and like a bit of drama.