Published Jan 01, 2006Three Canadian organizations (terminus1525, C0C0S0L1DC1T1 and the National Film Board) have joined forces to work on propaganda. But don't worry we're not dealing with a dictatorship here, just a crew of young talent adding their remixing skills to some old propaganda footage.
Another fine brainchild from terminus1525 that provides emerging young artists (generally under 25) a chance to produce work, the 40 ("minus forty") project lets 20 artists (ten audio and ten video, three from each medium commissioned) remix and reinterpret 1940s propaganda films under the restraint of some interesting rules: sound-artists had to leave their film footage intact while video artists couldn't alter their soundtracks.
The musical results range from Akufen cutting up radio broadcasts and bomb whistles as WWII newsroom and battlefield footage runs, to Venetian Snares' disturbing atmospherics playing over significantly more disturbing shots of disfigured veterans' social reintegration, while the video work covers all manner of visual disintegration, from Matt Burke's slow-motion focus on the funny mugs Hitler and Mussolini made, to Cinetik decomposing his footage to create a surreal dialogue with the soundtrack. Other musical contributors include Lowfish, DJ Dopey, hellothisisalex and Deadbeat.
"We wanted to put together a compilation that would put the younger, emerging artists within a context of other artists who were more established and more known," said Katherine Watson, terminus1525's executive producer and, along with organiser Eric Shinn, a key player in bringing 40 to fruition.
Though the DVD/CD package (to be released by C0C0S0L1DC1T1) won't be available for purchase until January, the NFB studios will be hosting public receptions on Nov. 4 in Toronto and Nov. 10 in Montreal.
"Certainly when you're in the middle of a time one doesn't necessarily think that what's being created is propaganda," commented Watson. Perhaps there's more to this project than we're being told