Since 2000, I have been showing some of my work under the title Associated Artists for Propaganda Research which was developed as a project to help explore and organize multiple political, philosophical and artistic ideas within the context of a collective. The projects tend to be political in nature and explore themes of propaganda, political dominance, corporate control and military prowess. Here’s what I wrote about it. The second paragraph is used as the introductory statement for the information page on the AAPR website.
The body of my work is channeled through an organization called the Associated Artists for Propaganda Research. The A.A.P.R was developed as a project to help explore and organize multiple political, philosophical and artistic ideas within one common context. Through this “organization”, a framework is established in which many forms of art can be developed under one common title, that of the collective. By distorting traditional notions of personal identity, this restructuring helps loosen the conventional emphasis on a single, personalized aesthetic, instead placing the activity of art within a larger artistic context.
The Associated Artists for Propaganda Research has at its roots a critique of the political and economical disinformation distributed by those intent on protecting invested interests. These private tyrannies aim to circumvent democratic processes by misinforming the public through very select, corporate controlled media outlets while continuing to carry out illegal and often state sanctioned acts against popular interests. This elaborate system of control becomes an important tool of the status quo and provides, as “truths”, a systemized set of beliefs that can be easily assimilated into the greater society. Propaganda in this way provides an interesting study on how information, and therefore ideas, can be altered by an intricate filtering system intent on subverting intelligent discourse.
Over the years I’ve made a lot of different kinds of work under the AAPR title including installations, paintings, sculptures, drawings, posters, stickers, 3 websites and digital work. When I exhibited any work for the AAPR, it was important to do so using the name Associated Artists for Propaganda Research, not my own. This was an important detail that I felt was necessary in order to fully complete the illusion that I had worked so hard to create. For many years everything was placed under the AAPR banner but I eventually took out what didn’t belong. I liked the idea of the AAPR being a loose organization that allowed for non-political work, but in the end, thought that for conceptual purposes it needed to be kept political. In 2006 I had a show at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo, NY which I tilted Epicenter City about the atomic bomb. After this exhibition I felt exhausted with the AAPR and briefly closed the organization down in 2008 after I felt like the political climate had shifted. Truthfully, I hadn’t done very much for the AAPR in the years leading up to it, so it seemed like the natural step. I started it back up in 2010 when I made Sursum Corda which is also a Future Living Projects piece and Silence is Golden in 2011. Since then I’ve been filling in a lot of older ideas that weren’t initially included like the rubber stamps that I made that said “AAPR Approved” and “AAPR Archive” and the T-shirts that I made that say “The Future is Now”. I made a lot of work without thinking about wether or not they constituted proper art objects. I was more interested in their digital format anyway so a lot of stuff I made web only which poses problems when trying to figure out what is and what isn’t art.
I have a lot of unrealized ideas for the AAPR including a zine called, “Strategy is for Fighting” which I’m still going to make one day. I want to present it as a book of zines that back date everything back to 2000-2008. I made a résumé lately that mimics one that I found in the back of a John Miller book that I have. Most of the information is true but some of the photos are faked, including several book covers. I also made a poster based on an old eye chart that I found. I thought that it would make a great announcement for a show. Here it is and below that are 3 different zine covers that I designed.