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(başak şenova) 1. What are the most significant control mechanisms in your city? (keywords)

(murat germen) tribal formations, boss-follower relations, calculated dependencies, “other”ization, tradition, fear, hierarchy, income as social status symbol, cultural domination, over-intellectualization, over-banalization, lack of spontaneity, lack of sincerity…

2. How do you define “control mechanism”? (one sentence)

a control mechanism is a system / plan / constitution / process / habit that is used to maintain and sustain the dominant power.

3. Do you know any artwork or art project processing and/or questioning these mechanisms? (can you name them?)

graffiti artist banksy seems to question them a lot. yet, as soon as a critical approach becomes effective the system internalizes, normalizes, assimilates it by exhibiting, pricing and buying the artwork. fame is seductive and the system is very much aware of this fact. so, i do not believe much in politically involved art, since at the end artwork turns out to be an investment instrument for the system and a demonstration apparatus for its creator, instead of staying independent. if one is politically motivated s/he better works as an activist in NGOs, not as an artist sipping drinks and making contacts at exhibit openings.

4. Do these works/projects produce or enable the formation of alternative information channels? (how?)

if it is not in the artwork form reaching a very limited amount of people, and if it is a “down-to-earth” social project that reaches the people in target, yes projects enable alternative information channels… how? well, internet and new interactive technologies can be used to spread messages faster, start independent social networks, reach local activists, etc.

5. Do these works/project question dominant social and political systems? Or do they function to empower them?

most art projects that claim to question dominant systems usually end up empowering them since consumption of art is a highly elitist practice. some exhibits, galleries, curators, artists are sometimes sponsored by big companies that indirectly create the problems that artists complain about. this is an ironical paradox and should make artists very irritated and be more frank about their artistic motivations…

6. What makes an art project / artwork communicative?

potential of self-association on the beholders’ side, simplicity, avoiding sophistication as demontration of intellectual abilities, a point of view you cannot obtain otherwise, coverage of daily issues, novel experience, effective use of new technologies, being able to attract kids’ attention, etc…

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