Throughout the past six weeks, my research into guerrilla marketing and street artist Banksy, has created a direction of where my major project may head. As I am completing a minor in marketing and advertising, this is where my interest into guerrilla marketing piqued. The idea of executing an unusual or unexpected marketing activity in a common, everyday place correlates similarly to what I want my own art practice to be. I was inspired by previous guerrilla marketing campaigns such as Sony Playstation’s Graffiti campaign and Shepard Fairey’s accidental guerrilla marketing stunt titled Andre the Giant. These works reminded me of one of my all time favourite artists, Banksy. When investigating Banksy’s vast collection of graffiti and installations, you can identify clear themes, mostly of controversial political topics being displayed in the most powerful and visible environments. Thus, you can see how guerrilla marketing and Banksy have similar artistic qualities in terms of sending a message that will reach a large audience in a slightly controversial way. This key idea in both has been the basis for my inspiration for my major work.
Ideally, I would like to create a project that has a key message with the aim of sparking retrospection for an audience. I would like to create a sense of curiosity and bewilderment within the work in order to reaffirm this idea of creating a lasting impact or memory on the viewer. The form of the work could be a sculptural installation, projection piece, or a video/photography series. Conceptually, I would like to centre the project around a controversial topic regarding technology and its potential to become something destructive or how technology becomes obsolete.
Melbourne performance artist, Stelarc, incorporates similar ideas about technology and its relationship with the human form. Stelarc’s artwork is a clear reflection of his perception of society. The constant need for an improvement of technology to enhance society has somewhat become obsessive. His work is an expression of his concerns of the human body eventually becoming a creation of mans technology. Stelarc conveys these strong beliefs through his dramatic performance art and it leaves the audience questioning society and technology’s involvement in everyday life. Stelarc’s work strikes a chord with me as it encapsulates the idea of shocking an audience and provoking thought about a controversial topic.
Stelarc’s Third Hand
Furthermore, London artist, Nick Gentry, relates to this concept of materials becoming obsolete, specifically with his floppy disk paintings and film negative works. Gentry is trying to place an emphasis on recycling obsolete media and the reuse of personal objects as a central theme. He is making a comment of waste culture and by using these old disks as a canvas may draw connections to the personal information that is then forever locked down underneath the paint. This idea of obsolete media may be a concept that could be worth exploring in my major work and potentially incorporate unusable technological products.
Nick Gentry’s Digital Montage
By investigating and researching my passions, heroes, and artist’s of similar interest, I have thus been able to formulate a major project idea that encapsulates my practice.