!!!!!: An installation
Launched June 6. 2018.
This installation is a semiotic demo that focuses on deconstructing the linkage between a particular symbol and its referent, presenting itself as a demonstrative exposé of symbolization in the vein of deviance theory and performative art. In its fullest form, this installation intends to subtly disrupt and subvert the superimposition of the artifice (see page 42 of our newsletter) over daily life by using its logics and grammars against itself. We chose the exclamation point as our symbol of interest – beneath the veil of a multifaceted guerrilla marketing strategy, one step at a time, we are redirecting the meaning of this symbol by linking it to a new referent: Carter Wilson's latest album and the message it carries with it. In this process and through repeated associations, the exclamation point itself inadvertently becomes a trojan horse embedded within the alphabet of the collectivity. This is a small scale demonstration of Unilalianism.
The album at the center of this installation is based on the tragedy of living inside of an illusion, an idea, and an image. Those three things are interchangeable metaphors for the artifice. Thirteen minutes into the album and the listener encounters a sample of a voice reminding us that “when you live in an illusion, you remain in a state of perpetual infantilism, childishness. You never grow up.” This is the driving theme throughout the album; in fact, one word that was thrown around during the creation process was neoteny, a term which is defined as “the retention of juvenile features in the adult animal”. The album is an exposition of this phenomenon in the context of human psychology, an auditory illustration of neoteny on loop.
Our guerrilla marketing strategy involves audience participation as our installation takes on an experiential dimension. Since its initial conception, every move has been calculated as we pull it into further stages of development towards its complete form. In due time, stickers will be available that feature symbolic cues that will redirect any onlooking pedestrians and spectators to an exclusive free stream of the album. These stickers are the first iteration of merchandise for this phase of the installation. Anytime a sticker is slapped onto something, this is an example of literally subverting the artifice – it is symbolic warfare with an artistic, counter-cultural edge.
We’ve already began the work. We need supporters, fans, and those who are genuinely interested to help us spread the album in places that are beyond our reach. In spreading the album, you are simultaneously spreading its underlying message. The way to do this and get involved is simple. The strategic placement of symbolic cues disrupts the status quo, visually. It is also reminiscent of a technique pioneered by the Letterist International in the 1950s called détournement (French for “rerouting”). This technique is generally defined as turning the artifice against itself by using its own machinery, which, as discussed earlier, yields the linguistic trojan horse effect. The symbol has always been the building block of the artifice – in the context of this installation, the exclamation point itself becomes a loose floor board in the jailhouse of consensus reality; step too hard and you might just fall through.
This installation is an appendage of YNAPMOK.