STAY DISTRACTED, DON’T THINK: An MMVA reality intervention
Two days ago we went to the MMVAs with signs (for the uninitiated, this is the brainwashing super-spectacle of the Much Music Video Awards). We were not there to protest but to hack reality, taking the ideology of the event more literally than it takes itself. We spoke as overzealous TV fans, praising television for its corporate superstructure and its role in stupefying our society.
On our placards were giant barcodes scannable by smart phones, leading users to a resource of cultural de-mystification.
Hopefully, by making the event’s brainwashing impact explicit we shocked some attendees into stepping outside it. Reactions were mixed – some understood the satire immediately, others gawked with opened mouths or bought into our absurd TV fandom. Many wrote us off as corporate lackeys advertising a mysteriously absent product. A Toronto gallerist tried to buy our placards, seeking to turn them into fine art wall-things for the bourgeoisie. The most mystified of the bunch identified us as Illuminati or free masons, commanding thoughtlessness on behalf of the New World Order (‘mystified’ in the sense that they believe the illuminati is more likely to brainwash them than Much Music).
We were not alone in our attempt to hack the event – corporate shills on stilts advertised for milk, a friend subverted the expectations of the audience by calmly reading dense psychoanalytic theory on the red carpet, and a pair of ardent Christians condemned the event as brainwashing (“Down with false idols, ours is real!”).