”All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.” ( T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia )
Part of the phenomena known as culture jamming encourages turning away from the mainstream, or specifically, its form of herd mentality. Which creates, in its wake, a new form of conformity, an aesthetic ennobled with its own socialization processes that embody the mechanisms of the culture it seeks to oppose. Culture jamming can be defined loosely as a synchronization of art movement and public activism and has become a trademark and brand of art delivered with all the bells and whistles viral marketing savvy can muster.
” The “Culture Jamming tm” is more in the domain of Adbusters than the BLF ( Billboard Liberation Front ). We really don’t feel like it’s necessary to be part of a “movement” other than the requisite daily bowel movements. Unlike Adbusters and despite the fact that we promote our work as “advertising” we have neglected over the last 32 years to actually design, fabricate, market and sell a product! Silly us. Our confrere’s to the north not only have created a fairly complex business model that has been extremely efficient at marketing their trademarked schwaag, they have accomplished this not small task while marketing “non-marketing” type products.” ( Jack Napier, BLF in interview with Brian Gonnella, Bombing Science )
”They only miss out on sales potential one day a year—the aptly named “Buy Nothing Day.” They amply make up for this down time in product sales the other 364 days of the year as do all other nationally and internationally known brands. This jiu jitsu marketing maneuver which targets a very specific but well heeled youthful protest market has been successfully used by others in the “Culture Jamming” business community. This demographic is also profitably mined by such brand as American Spirit Cigarettes, The Daily Show, Tom & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Burning Man, “Organic” of “Green” anything. Prominently among the (not necessarily self defined) “culture-jamming” crowd, we would place Shepard Fairey…” ( ibid )
Thus,In its own insulated and ego-driven fashion,culture jamming appropriates a manner of cultural imperialism endowed with the veneer of artistic pretension. A cultural hootenany in the West Bank town of Bethlehem called Santa’s Ghetto in December, 2007 was a successful foray into cultural exportation. A type of whirlwind art tour; If Its Tuesday It Must Be Bethlehem type scenario. Since all roads do lead to Jerusalem, it begs the question, Is it easier for an artist to pass through the eye of a needle than a political activist to pass into the kingdom of heaven?
Like T.E. Lawrence, there is among the participating artists, a level of emotional struggle with violence, a search for personal identity and a question of divided allegiencies.Little appears to have changed in Palestine since Lawrence wrote in 1918:
”We rode past the other bodies of men and women and four more dead babies, looking very soiled in the daylight, towards the village; whose loneliness we now knew meant death and horror. By the outskirts were low mud walls, sheepfolds, and on one something red and white. I looked close and saw the body of a woman folded across it, bottom upwards, nailed there by a saw bayonet whose haft stuck hideously into the air from between her naked legs. About her lay others, perhaps twenty in all, variously killed… One wounded Turk, half naked, not able to stand, sat and wept to us. Abdulla turned away his camel’s head, but the Zaagi, with curses, crossed his track and whipped three bullets from his automatic through the man’s bare chest. The blood came out with his heart beats, throb, throb, throb, slower and slower.”