Creative Brief

"I have had my moments of rage where I think the powers that be will never end oppression or inequity voluntarily. But I do not trust these moments of violence within me. Passion is persuasive. Power is dominating. Passion is contagious and inspirational. Power is threatening and coercive. Passion moves people. Power controls them. I think in these perilous times, a third way is emerging, a kind of escalated passion — a creative energy that comes from giving one’s heart and soul and imagination to the struggle. Not aggression but fierceness. Not hurting but confronting. Not violating but disrupting. This passion has all the ingredients of activism, but is charged with the wild creations of art. Artivism – where edges are pushed, imagination is freed, and a new language emerges altogether." —Eve Ensler (2011)1

Brief

Objective

The primary objective is to persuade the audience to start their own club or to join one, as well as to introduce the project.

Audience

We are looking at people who want to bring about social or political change. They engage in activism or volunteerism in their community, or have a desire to do so. They question the dominant ways of seeing things, and explore alternative views of the world through art, academic discussion or civic action. They might experience feelings of despondency, apathy or helplessness. They might feel isolated from other people, ideas, resources or information that can help.

Message

One can change one's world through dialogue and interaction.

Requirements

  • It should be playful, approachable, inclusive, and welcoming. Examples: informal copy and graphics of Tea With Strangers; rebel clowning (case study) uses play and absurdity to undermine authority and reframe mainstream media narrative.
  • It should emphasise the power of the individual to create change rather than relying on the masses, and that movements and power structures are interconnected. Example: Planetary Collective's Overview short film (see Mood board below).
  • It should aim for a hint of mystery and wonder. Example: National Geographic Society's Dive to the Edge of Creation documentary (see Mood board below).
  • It should be difficult to co-opt. One might use misdirection, mutation, and a mix of protest art, propaganda and subvertising (see Mood board below).
  • Visual style and palette should be as simple as possible, and should rely on a strong concept. Example: protest art from the 1970s (see Mood board below). Graphics should be legible when reproduced with low-res technology, e.g. photocopy.

Themes: connectedness, discovery, extreme ecosystems, life, sea, space

Deep-sea dandelions (order Siphonophorae) are colonies of individual marine animals working together for their mutual benefit. These individuals are specialised for different functions (feeding, defense, reproduction, bouyancy) and physiologically integrated to the extent that they are incapable of independent survival. The animals pictured below were observed near hydrothermal vents and cold seeps at depths of up to 2,500m. These deep-sea communities exist in absolute darkness and depend on chemosynthesis for sustaining life2. Chemosynthesis is the conversion of inorganic carbon (carbon dioxide) to organic compounds such as sugars and amino acids (food) using inorganic compounds (hydrogen sulfide) as energy sources. In contrast, sunlight is the energy source in photosynthesis. It has been hypothesised that life on Earth might have originated at hydrothermal vents3, and that chemosynthesis might support life below the surface of other planets4 and moons5.

Mood board

Protest art and social commentary

"Politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum. We intend to fill that vacuum. We also intend to make some people wish that wolves had stolen them from their cradles." —Hunter S. Thompson (1970)6

(1970s © Gorilla Graphics, College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley)
America and Vietnam (1970s © Chicago Women's Graphics Collective)
Sisterhood is Blooming (1970s © Chicago Women's Graphics Collective)
Committee to Defend the Panthers (1970 © Faith Ringgold)
(1969 © Emory Douglas)
Various (1970s © Emory Douglas)
Xenophobia Poster Series 2: Live in SA (2008 © Sindiso Nyoni)
Persona Non Grata (Black Lives Matter) (2015 © Sindiso Nyoni)
Fear (© Michael Thompson)
Profits Before People (© Michael Thompson)
Aspen Wall Poster #1 (1970 © Thomas W. Benton, Hunter S. Thompson)
Aspen Wall Poster #2 (1970 © Thomas W. Benton, Hunter S. Thompson)
Aspen Wall Poster #3 (1970 © Thomas W. Benton, Hunter S. Thompson)
Aspen Wall Poster #4 (1970 © Thomas W. Benton, Hunter S. Thompson)
Aspen Wall Poster #5 (1970 © Thomas W. Benton, Hunter S. Thompson)
Aspen Wall Poster #7 (1971 © Thomas W. Benton, Hunter S. Thompson)

Subvertising

"A well produced 'subvert' mimics the look and feel of the targeted ad, promoting the classic 'double-take' as viewers suddenly realize they have been duped. Subverts create cognitive dissonance. It cuts through the hype and glitz of our mediated reality and, momentarily, reveals a deeper truth within." —Adbusters (Do It Yourself: A Handbook For Changing Our World, Pluto Press, 2007)7

Work Buy Consume Die (1990s © The Designers Republic)

Propaganda

"Lenin lived, Lenin lives, Lenin will live forever!" (date unknown)
US poster advertising YWCA United War Work Campaign during World War I (1918?)
US poster advertising World War I Liberty Bonds (1918, Library of Congress)
Soviet education poster: "In order to have more, it is necessary to produce more. In order to produce more, it is necessary to know more." (1920, Through the Russian Revolution)

Deep-sea dandelions

Documentaries and short films

Dive to the Edge of Creation - National Geographic Society (1980)
Vimeo / YouTube
Overview - Planetary Collective (2012)

Updated: Sun, 2015-11-01 14:50

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