Thursday, 1 October 2009

Yellowknife: Culture Jam: Hijacking Commercial Culture

WHEN: Friday, Oct 9th at 7:30pm
WHERE: Northern United Place Auditorium / YK United Church
COST: By donation at the door

Culture Jam: Hijacking Commercial Culture
Jill Sharpe / Canada / 2002 / 57 min

A new breed of revolutionary stands poised along our information highways
waging war on logos and symbols. They're "Culture Jammers" and their
mission is to artfully reclaim our mental environment and cause a bit of
brand damage to corporate mindshare. Director Jill Sharpe's subversively
savvy one-hour documentary film - culturejam - Hijacking Commercial
Culture- bursts our last bubble of illusion about free speech in public
space and gives us spanking brand-new hope at the same time. Scream at the
TV, but don't touch that dial! Yet. In the hour long film, Culture Jam:
Hijacking Commercial Culture, we follow three outlandish jammers; media
tigress Carly Stasko, Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping, and
Jack Napier with the Billboard Liberation Front. Armed with DIY anti-ad
stickers, custom neon, and stuffed mice on crosses, these jammers hijack,
subvert and reclaim corporate media space. Enter the intriguing worlds of
midnight billboard raids and the mid-afternoon hijacking of public space.

Ultimately Culture Jammers wage a war of "meaning". They use the tools of
the medium to re-wire the "message". Will Disney's Mickey represent a
"world of laughter" or will he become the anti-Christ representing
"sweatshop labour practices". The verdict of public perception lies in a
battle between billion dollar PR campaigns and guerrilla tactics of rebel
activists. A relatively young movement, contemporary Culture Jammers first
appeared in the early 80's in San Francisco. But court jesters of medieval
Europe, and movements like Dada, Surrealism, and the Situationist
International of Paris, as well as the recent range from punk to "post",
all provide a philosophical lineage for this new brand of rabble rousers.
French Situationist Guy Debord declared in the 1960's that we inhabit the
"society of the spectacle" - where leisure and real living had been
replaced by pre-packaged media simulated experiences. The moment has come
for a new message to take back the medium. Through their interventions
culture jammers make a spectacle of ad-culture.

Hard hitting, controversial, wacky and engaging, this film captures the
drama of jammers in action and asks: Is Culture Jamming civil
disobedience? Senseless vandalism? The only form of self-defense left?

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