By Carolyn Sortor on December 29, 2010
I’ve been v. absorbed in the Wikileaks story lately. And I happen to consider art a form of information. And while listening to one of J. Assange’s many good speeches (here; partial transcript + analysis here), I realized he views information as a form of wealth (among his other insights). And that the infowar is in fact a class war, with “class” defined by wealth measured not in terms of money but in terms of information.
And one of the most concerning aspects of the WL situation to me is the way p.r./propaganda obviates truth – that WL could, with great risk and effort, get all the truth in the world published w/o any harm to anyone, only benefit; but with the kinds of p.r. now deployed by the oligarchs, which reaches deep into our minds to tap our most primitive fear, anger, greed, and lust, so that our higher faculties are completely bypassed – with that in their arsenal, mere information, actual truth, might simply not matter anymore.
And I’m not totally sure where I’m going with this yet; but part of it is that this isn’t just an infowar, it’s a p.r. war; and that art, as a form of info, is literally a form of wealth; and I hope everyone’s paying very close attention to what’s happening out there.
And art is also a form of p.r. And I believe artists have a very important role to play in helping, as Assange has put it, to turn truth into “an emotionally impactful story.”
So consider this a call to aesthetic/economic arms. More info, tools re- the WL story here.