18 episodes

The Center for Artistic Activism digs deep into pop culture to recover lessons, insights, and inspiration for artistic activism.

The Pop Culture Salvage Expeditions The Center for Artistic Activism

    • Philosophy
    • 5.0, 13 Ratings

The Center for Artistic Activism digs deep into pop culture to recover lessons, insights, and inspiration for artistic activism.

    12: The Chevrolet Suburban

    12: The Chevrolet Suburban

    “It’s a brand new car!” The gang hit the road in a 2018 Chevrolet Suburban SUV. Rugged, automation, comfort, and luxury – how can we use these lessons in our activism?







    Sound Note: This show was recorded in a moving car. Thanks to Jimmy Bigbee Garver who recorded, edited, and mixed this episode.







    The Chevy Suburban







    Why the Suburban? It’s the longest continuous use automobile nameplate in production, starting in 1935, and has traditionally been one of General Motors’ most profitable vehicles.







    Chevrolet Suburban – Wikipedia







    We were driving the 11th Generation of the Suburban. Truck front, station wagon back: it’s the reverse mullet of the Chevy truck line.







    If you’re not familiar with the Suburban…























    What do we make of fake engine noises?







    * Faking It: Engine-Sound Enhancement Explained-Tech Dept.* www.popularmechanics.com – The Rise of the Fake Engine Roar* BMW M5 generates fake engine noise using stereo* A roar deal: why your car’s engine noise might be fake







    Thank you







    We want to thank our sponsor who made this episode of the Pop Culture Salvage Expeditions possible, The Chevrol– just kidding! That’s never gonna happen. This show is paid for by donations to the Center for Artistic Activism, a 501.3c non-profit organization.







    If you like the show – donate! (It’s a tax-deductible and a little bit goes a long way)







    DONATE!

    • 46 min
    Creative Resistance 5: Success & Failure

    Creative Resistance 5: Success & Failure

    Creative Resistance is a special edition podcast mini-series in affiliation with the Center for Artistic Activism and is hosted by Research Fellow, Sarah J Halford.







    EPISODE 5 — SUCCESS & FAILURE







    Creative Resistance is a special edition podcast mini-series in affiliation with the Center for Artistic Activism and is hosted by Research Fellow, Sarah J Halford.







    In this episode, we heard from art activists Diana Arce, Elliot Crown, Mark Read of The Illuminator, and André Leipold of the Center for Political Beauty.







    From Stephen Duncombe, co-founder of the Center for Artistic Activism:







    “I’m very interested in metrics which are relative to what artistic activists want to do\…I think it’s too arrogant to say, ‘here’s the one path to success’ – that doesn’t get to the nuances of how artistic activism works. But I do think we need to demand that people have an idea of what they want to have happen and have criteria, their own criteria, for measurements of: are we moving closer to it or farther away from it? Because without those measurements how do you know if what you’re doing actually works?”















    Photo credit: Elliot Crown (Pictured: Elliot Crown in costume).







    Key takeaways from episode 5:







    How do we know when something has succeeded or failed? We “measure” it with parameters called **metrics. **







    Everyone has different metrics of success and failure; it’s up to you to choose your own. These may be statistical (i.e. how many people showed up to my event?), but they could also be more intangible (i.e. a story someone shared about changing their actions).







    Remember the affect/effect relationship when figuring out your metrics of success and failure. If someone told you that your work made them feel a certain way, great (that’s the affect). But did they do something different (that’s the effect) based on that feeling? We’re shooting for a tangible effect in artistic activism.







    Going back to your objectives/goals can help you to determine your metrics.







    * (https://c4aa.org/2016/09/diana-arce/)* (https://c4aa.org/2017/01/elliot-crown/)* (https://c4aa.org/2016/08/andre-leipold/)







    Music By (in order of appearance):







    * Theme: “Drum Flute Loop in G Minor” by Enoe* “Golden Hour” by Podington Bear* “Sepia” by Podington Bear* “Hip Horns with Drums” by Ryan Cullinane







    Music courtesy of freemusicarchive.org







    Special thanks to Professor Stephen Duncombe.







    For more information on the Center for Artistic Activism, visit: https://c4aa.org







    THAT’S IT!







    This was a mini-series, and this was the last episode. The Pop Culture Salvage Expeditions will return to this feed in the future.







    Thanks again to Sarah J Halford, creator and host of Creative Resistance: The Podcast Mini-Series







    Who is Sarah J Halford?







    Sarah J Halford is an academic and activist based in Boston. She has worked closely with the Center for Artistic Activism as a research fellow, conducting fieldwork for the Æfficacy project. Additionally, she worked as a fellow of the Urban Democracy La...

    • 18 min
    Creative Resistance 4: Context

    Creative Resistance 4: Context

    Creative Resistance is a special edition podcast mini-series in affiliation with the Center for Artistic Activism and is hosted by Research Fellow, Sarah J Halford.







    EPISODE 4 — CONTEXT







    In this episode, we heard from art activists: Ron Goldberg, Elliot Crown, Avram Finkelstein







    From Avram (on the context of the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic):







    “Well, it was pretty nightmarish actually. In 1984 – it was before Rock Hudson was diagnosed, Reagan had never mentioned the word, it was a very private moment to be experiencing what I did…Of course, I thought I was going to die myself – there was no HIV test back then, so you just had to make assumptions about yourself. And you have to realize people were literally dying in hospital corridors and being thrown out of their apartments and dying on the street. It was really bad! It’s impossible to understand how bad it was.”















    Photo credit: Avram Finkelstein (pictured at center, circa 1985)







    Key takeaways from episode 4:







    Context can make or break any action. It is perhaps the single most important element of artistic activism, as there’s a context for your audience, your tactics, and even logistical things like location and the weather.







    The various contexts that we’re working with need to be on our minds consistently when creating artistic activism, and a helpful way to do that is to practice shifting our focus from the little picture to the big picture and back again.







    The more you look, the more contextual elements you’ll see that need to be taken into consideration.







    * Ron Goldberg Full Interview Transcript* Elliot Crown Full Interview Transcript* Avram Finkelstein Full Interview Transcript







    Music By (in order of appearance):







    * Theme: “Drum Flute Loop in G Minor” by Enoe* “Conveyor Belt” by Podington Bear* “Adventure Darling” by Gillicuddy* “Please Listen Carefully” by Jahzzar







    Music courtesy of freemusicarchive.org







    Special thanks to Professor Stephen Duncombe.







    For more information on the Center for Artistic Activism, visit: c4aa.org







    Donate Now







    Enjoying this show? We’re glad. Your donations help make things like this happen. The Center for Artistic Activism is a 501.3(c) non-profit – we do this because we love it. If you love it to – donate! A little bit, (or a lot). We make it easy and we have great thank you gifts: c4aa.org







    T H A N K S

    • 12 min
    Creative Resistance 3: Tactics & Strategies

    Creative Resistance 3: Tactics & Strategies

    Creative Resistance is a special edition podcast mini-series in affiliation with the Center for Artistic Activism and is hosted by Research Fellow, Sarah J Halford.







    Tactics & Strategies







    In this episode, we hear from art activists Ron Goldberg, Joey Juschka, Diana Arce, André Leipold (Center for Political Beauty).







    From Ron:









    “You have to get into a room. Get in a room with people who maybe don’t think the same way as you, but who see the same problems. It’s about building that trust, that love, that knowledge-base.”

















    ACT UP protest of the FDA in 1988 Photo credit: (http://www.actupny.org/)## Major takeaways from episode 3:







    A tactic is a thing that you do in order to reach an objective. In artistic activism, often times those tactics will be art-related.







    A strategy is the overall plan for your work, which takes on different areas – often artistic activism takes on a cultural strategy, but there can be a legal strategy, political strategy, and so on. Strategies are also linked to goals, the big things that we want the work to accomplish. We create a strategy in order to direct the tactics and collect successful objectives along the way.







    There is no one right way of approaching tactics and strategies in art for social change efforts. Ron Goldberg recognized that his tactics needed to be ready at a moment’s notice with the ability to be improvised, Joey Jushka wants her writing to be funny and imaginative, while Andre Leipold and Political Beauty want to throw you off your axis and provoke you into action.







    * Ron Goldberg Full Interview Transcript* Joey Juschka Full Interview Transcript* Diana Arce Full Interview Transcript* André Leipold Full Interview Transcript







    Music By (in order of appearance):







    * Theme: “Drum Flute Loop in G Minor” by Enoe* “Please Listen Carefully” by Jahzzar* “Golden Hour” by Podington Bear* “Hip Horns with Drums” by Ryan Cullinane







    Music courtesy of freemusicarchive.org







    Special thanks to Professor Stephen Duncombe.







    For more information on the Center for Artistic Activism, visit: c4aa.org







    Donate







    Your donations help programs like this happen. The Center for Artistic Activism is a 501.3(c) non-profit – we do this because we love it. If you love it to – donate! A little bit, (or a lot). We make it easy and we have great thank you gifts: c4aa.org/donate







    T H A N K S

    • 18 min
    Creative Resistance 2: Audience

    Creative Resistance 2: Audience

    Creative Resistance is a special edition podcast mini-series in affiliation with the Center for Artistic Activism and is hosted by Research Fellow, Sarah J Halford.







    Episode 2: Audience!







    In this episode, we heard from art activists Avram Finkelstein, Mark Read and Rachel Brown of The Illuminator, Diana Arce, and Beatrice Glow.







    From Avram:







    “First of all, I think that art that isn’t about communication is about class. So, if you’re an activist who’s making art and what you’re trying to do or say is not clear, you’re no better than being in a Gagosian Gallery. It’s not activism if it’s not understandable. So, clarity is essential to having an audience understand it.”















    Avram Finkelstein | C4AA.org – photo credit ACTUPny.org







    From Beatrice Glow:







    “I talk about these domino-effects in a perfume shop, and that allures an audience that I find normally wouldn’t go into an art space. An art space presents this hierarchy, and in a shop it’s broken down into consumer language, which is I think becoming a universal, international language at this point. So, how do we find new ways of reaching out to folks? That’s the biggest challenge that I think educators and artists face today.”















    Beatrice Glow | C4AA.org – photo credit – Beatrice Glow







    Major takeaways from episode 2:







    * The audience is a key element in artistic activism; incorporating the audience into the work is what can take the art from a personal project to social activism.* We need to figure out who the audience or audiences are, and get as specific as possible.* Then, we need to investigate what kinds of signs, symbols, and codes resonate with them so that we can make artistic activism that is understandable to the people we’re trying to reach.







    Avram Finkelstein Full Interview TranscriptDiana Arce Full Interview TranscriptBeatrice Glow Full Interview Transcript







    Music By (in order of appearance):







    * Theme: “Drum Flute Loop in G Minor” by Enoe* “Adventure Darling” by Gillicuddy* “Conveyor Belt” by Podington Bear* “Please Listen Carefully” by Jahzzar







    Music courtesy of freemusicarchive.org







    Special thanks to Professor Stephen Duncombe.







    For more information on the Center for Artistic Activism, visit: c4aa.org







    Donate







    The Center for Artistic Activism is a 501.3(c) non-profit – we do this because we love it. If you love it to – donate! A little bit, (or a lot). We make it easy and we have great thank you gifts! c4aa.org







    T H A N K S

    • 20 min
    Creative Resistance 1: What is Artistic Activism?

    Creative Resistance 1: What is Artistic Activism?

    Creative Resistance is a special edition podcast mini-series in affiliation with the Center for Artistic Activism and is hosted by Research Fellow, Sarah J Halford.







    In this episode, we meet Diana Arce, who is an artist, researcher, and activist based in Berlin.







    Diana’s also the creator of Politaoke, a karaoke-style participatory performance in which audience members are invited to step into the shoes of politicians from their region by delivering portions of political speeches.







    You’ll hear more from Diana in the coming episodes, but you can read her full interview with the Center for Artistic Activism here. If you want to know more, Diana and others are featured in our great Artist-Activist Interviews as well. And be sure to check out her website for more of her incredible works of artistic activism!







    Art activists in this episode:.







    Diana Arce







    Diana Arce Full Interview Transcript























    Major takeaways from episode 1:







    * No matter if you’re an artist who wants to use your work for the greater good, an activist who wants to get creative, or someone with zero experience in either area but is really concerned about an issue – artistic activism is for you because it’s for everyone.* Artistic activism utilizes the affect/effect relationship. Affect, as in feelings, effect as in results. So, people see the art and they feel something that motivates them to do something.* Objectives are the smaller, more attainable accomplishments that are necessary steps toward goals, the bigger accomplishments. So, we can start thinking about what overall goals we want the work to accomplish (i.e. stop systemic racism! Make feminism intersectional!, etc.), and then figure out the necessary objectives that we need to reach before that can happen.* And, artistic activism has been used for years and years by people from all types of actions and movements, so creating this work is actually a continuation of efforts from activists of prior generations.







    DONATE







    Like this podcast? Help us out and donate a little something tax deductible to the C4AA







    Credits







    An additional art activist in this episode:







    Avram Finkelstein







    Avram Finkelstein Full Interview Transcript







    Music By (in order of appearance):

    Theme: “Drum Flute Loop in G Minor” by Enoe

    “Sepia” by Podington Bear

    “Adventure Darling” by Gillicuddy

    “Please Listen Carefully” by Jahzzar







    Music courtesy of freemusicarchive.org







    Special thanks to Professor Stephen Duncombe.







    Listen to more C4AA podcasts here.

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

Issygeek ,

Culture hacking

These conversations about popular culture are aimed at what it can teach social activists about how to appeal to the masses. It's hugely instructive in that domain. I find the insights of the hosts equally useful in thinking about other aspects of my work: how to interact with coworkers, how to make software that appeals to users. Just great stuff.

paullemon ,

A fun look at using pop culture for political organizing

A podcast about pop culture could easily lapse into one of two extremes: criticizing it as total trash, or elevating it unthinkingly. The “Pop Culture Salvage Expeditions” does neither, but instead looks at why pop culture is popular, and what we can learn from it for political organizing. I love that the hosts of the show have a good time — this is not some dour dissection of pop culture, they’re enjoying each other’s company and the discussion and the subject itself. Great stuff!

bluepoetics ,

Radical Refuse

What I appreciate most about The Pop Culture Salvage Expeditions is that in the end Patricia, Steve, and Steve are up front about their alienation from the subject at hand (whether Transformers or T.G.I. Friday’s) — they express out loud that they did not enjoy the experience, that they’d be happy to trash it — and yet still exert the effort to find meaning and usefulness. Their dissections are savvy, thoughtful, and genuine — modeling a kind of analysis anyone could replicate to carry this work forward. I’m excited to see what they subject themselves to next.

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