Huge thanks to curator Christian Madsen at Museum Jorn for sending the ‘Art Strikes Back’ exhibition catalogue with a lovely note inside. Also a very kind reference from Christian to Spectre in the introduction to the catalogue – indeed ‘the avant-garde will not give up!’
There are also essays from fantastic writers including Mark Sanders and Gavin Grindon (again, thank you for referencing Spectre), as they trace the impact of détournement through contemporary and avant-garde practices of the last 100 years.
In the opening introduction to the catalogue, Christian Madsen, curator of Museum Jorn writes:
“Bill posters and Daniel Howe are highly topical with their interactive installation Spectre (Pp. 46-47), sourcing data about its users from Facebook, and composing deepfake videos, revealing user behaviour as it unfolds on the internet. Spectre transposes the detournement theory to a digital context and creates a convincing product, indicating just how manipulative and propagandist modern technology can be. Spectre has produced a number of deepfake videos of famous men in power and influencers such as Donald trump and the Facebook founder, mark zuckerberg. The work thus received global press coverage and provoked official statements from Facebook, instagram and YouTube. The avant-garde won’t give up!”
– Christian Madsen, Curator, Museum Jorn.
Later in the catalogue, in the essay ‘Detournement After Jorn’, Gavin Grindon mentions how the detournement theory underpinning Spectre can create space for art-activist practices to operate and contribute to wider social contexts outside the confines of the gallery:
“Artistic gallery works using bricolage, montage and replacement elements might function as a research ground for these art-activist pracites taking place in a wider social context. Here we might look to projects such as Spectre, which expose us personally (and our data) to the digital influence machine with the brakes removed; in the hope of functioning like an inoculation shot, it appropriates the act of appropriation conducted by data harvesters from Facebook to political parties – taking the viewers data clandestinely in the form of a game and then deploying it abrasively against them, including presenting them with a film of themselves performing in their own disturbing deep fake video. The tactic of detournement, in art and politics, is not going away, as the territory of image-manipulation it operates on becomes more prevalent and open. In fact from being an experimental technique of avant-garde artists, it has become one of the key aesthetic-political tactics of the twenty first century.”
– Gavin Grindon, Curator
‘Art Strikes Back: From Jorn To Banksy’ runs at Museum Jorn until the 8th of December 2019