FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) has announced their next exhibition How Much of This Is Fiction; open from 2 March until 21 May, and focusing on politically inspired media art that uses deception in all its forms. The exhibition shows the artist as trickster, using a variety of hoaxes and hacks to reveal the hidden workings of power structures.
One local example of a media hoax to make a statement which the Echo reported on last year is when special “Merseyside editions” of The S*n started to appear in newsagents, following their refusal to mention the Hillsborough inquest verdicts on its front page, and the infamous ‘The Truth’ front page on April 19, 1989, containing false accusations towards Liverpool fans.
At the heart of How Much of This Is Fiction. is the desire to address one of today’s most urgent political issues: a radical shift in the boundary between fiction and reality in public discourse, in a world increasingly governed by ‘post-truth’ politics.
Highlights include 3D print technology used as a tool for both resistance and documentation following the destruction by ISIS, a striking, sculptural 1:1 reproduction of Assange’s office at the Ecuadorian embassy, and a hoax from The Yes Men hinting to the shooting in Orlando and the response and attitude of the NRA, by stating on a fake online store that handguns will be donated to at-risk American citizens in the urban centre of their choice, as a next step in the ongoing efforts of the NRA to ‘spread the freedom and security that come from gun ownership.
As well as acting as a timely reflection on the nature of truth in a time filled with fake news, misinformation, and tactical propaganda, the show also serves a historical purpose. Many of the high speed media interventions in the show are to a degree legacies of ‘Tactical Media’: a cultural and political movement that flourished briefly in the late 90s.Tactical Media was the first to combine the power of art, the practices of the PR and advertising world, and an experimental approach to digital media, to mount hit-and-run interventions in the media sphere.
How Much of This Is Fiction. will show how the legacies of this DIY media movement remain all around us. Whether it be the social media meme tactics of political extremists, the live streaming of police shootings to social and mainstream media platforms around the world, Trump’s midnight tweets, the exposure of the surveillance state through Snowden’s actions, or information unveiled by Wikileaks, it is clear that the critical role of “do it yourself” media politics is as crucial as ever.
For more information visit the FACT website here.