PORTFOLIO > A STRUCTURAL CRISIS IN AN EMOTIONAL LANDSCAPE

An artwork raising money to pay writers to remove 30 words from three political/cultural texts for up to one year.

30 WORDS
Capital/Capitalist/Capitalism
Fascist/Fascism
Neoliberal/Neoliberalism
Populist/Populism
Political/Politician/Politics
Divide/Division/Divisive
Establishment
Global/Globalizing/Globalization
Nation/National/Nationalism
Media
Government
Conservative/Conservatism
Liberal/Liberalism
Party/Partisan/Partisanship
Country/Countries
Right
Left/Leftist
Progressive
-phobic
Republican/Republic
Democrat/Democratic/Democracy
America/American
Colonial/Colonialism
Corporate/Corporation/Corporatism
Racist
Elite/Elitism
Sexist
White
Black
Resist/Resistance

In 1996, Newt Gingrich as part of GOPAC released a memo entitled, "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control." In it, he instructed Republicans how to 'speak like him' and incorporate terms such as "welfare," "criminal rights," "mandate," "liberal," "corruption" and "abuse of power" as objects of resentment and optical 'contrast' with Democrats.

In 2012, 5 days after Obama won his second term election, Donald Trump dusted off Reagan's "Let's Make America Great Again" slogan and registered with the Patent and Trademark Office the phrase "Make America Great Again," deeply rooted in the politics of eternity, a forward facing nostalgia and resentment; a phrase that would ultimately lead to a Trump presidency in 2017.

A STRUCTURAL CRISIS IN AN EMOTIONAL LANDSCAPE is a phrase written by the artist that has now been sent for review at the United States Trademark Office to mirror the same registration of Trump's "Make America Great Again" - "promoting public awareness of political issues" and "fundraising in the field of politics."

However, this is a campaign to raise money to pay writers to stop using 30 words in up to three texts for one year - 30 words chosen by the artist as a reflection of the times and the terms used to provide the experience of certainty in what is distinctly an uncertain time.

This project is a thought experiment to engage directly in the media landscape and incentivize writers to seek alternatives for the following fractures of language (please note, this list does not apply to every word in this project but reflects an overall inquiry):

• Words that oversimplify
• Words that may no longer have meaning
• Words that maintain binaries
• Words that give a false sense of accuracy
• Words that orient attention only to a single subject
• Words that may not actually reflect conditions
• Words that keep us invested in paradigms
• Words that signal morals more than dialogue
• Words that signal intended audience more than dialogue
• Words that have debated meanings or multiple meanings
• Words that produce the opposite of their intent
• Words that function to end dialogue
• Words that offer structural logic but no connection to an emotional landscape

This project is not intended to silence conversation or minimize the work being done around the words on the list. The texts commissioned are directly incentivized to engage with these very topics. This project is a thought experiment to reconsider specificities, and understand our attachments to existing explanations.. It is one strategy among many and is not designed as a solution, but a question and a challenge.

For more information, please contact the artist through this site.