Our human relations have changed through communication technology, as media and communication somehow rule our lives in the cities. While some people research on media ecology – the study on how media and communication might affect our ways of behaving in society and influence social change –, others prefer to follow the news as a mode of being ‘informed’ and a way to live in the present.
But, what if the newspapers would not say anything? No more bad news about killings, drone attacks, massacres, wars, diseases, natural disasters or inequalities among people. Oh, what a feeling! However, our current time is filled with mass communication, not only via printed media or public broadcast, but also through online media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter or other social media) – sometimes, they might even happen simultaneously. For better or worse, we are overwhelmed by information all the time.
In an era of excess of information, at least we are now in the position to decide whether we want or not to be part of this information overload. Nowadays, we are able to produce or comment ‘our’ personal news in our own way. Social media has made us capable of being able to send our news to the world, no matter where we live. In this age, it is a sort of ‘revolution’ to turn off the computer, television and all media devices, and simply enjoy the moment.
No news is good news? «News» is actually the title of the ongoing series of over-worked newspapers by the artist Yoel Díaz Vázquez (1973, Cuba), a series that he has been working on since 2011, using newspapers from Mexico, Cuba and Germany.
For the exhibition ZEIT UNZEIT, Díaz Vázquez has created a collage of newspapers, that was originally inspired by the work of Argentine artist Jorge Macchi.
Similar to the work of a censor, the artist cuts out actual news’ texts, creating with this action new documents that are reminiscent of silhouettes and convey unclear or unfinished messages. A newspaper extract is placed over the other and presented in layers as a sort of grid or window, which we regard from outside in a voyeuristic manner. What is behind it? New messages arise from these paper shavings that are left open to the reader to interpret them.
«Zeitgeist» portrays in a simple way how information might be adapted, according to the needs to inform (or disinform). The artist’s selection of news are reflections on current global and local political agendas and depict a particular moment in time: how contemporaneity is captured by the media. His work allows us to interpret our own news, leaving them uncut in our brain.
Katerina Valdivia Bruch