Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Does it matter who is pulling the strings?

How does personal experience and agendas shape the lens through which we see the world?

Some day when historians look back at this and try to make sense of what happened, perhaps what artists leave behind will provide unique perspectives of these times.

It would feel more honest to call most of politics and political campaigns performance art. But because of the role in shaping policy, it is less humorous than the idea might otherwise be. The ability to donate millions to advance a political agenda with anonymity seems quite unfair because of the implied protection that is not an option for those who support causes/candidates in nonmonetary ways. In addition, as money buys influence and attention, it does give those with more money a louder voice.

We could point to the Supreme Court ruling [Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 50 (2010)] that blew open the flood gate for purchased influence over a wide spectrum of policy issues. Brace yourselves for political puppet show unlike anything we have seen before.

Now - looking at the Presidential campaigning taking place never was the evidence of “personal branding” experts at work more evident. It is a grand exercise in political theater. As much as I’d like to see some radical changes, imagine if transparency and truth telling were among them? I can only imagine the reasons that string pullers have for not wanting to be known as such.

Inspired Collaboration

As an artist-citizen an interesting question popped up for inspiration. So what if the personal brand is reduced to a puppet, a sales-figurehead for a position or way of seeing the world?