Danish shit-starting counter-culture forward-thinking mainstream-subversive art collective Superflex stand for all that is good in the world: creativity for creativity’s sake, exploration of ideas, disposal of cultural assumptions, free and open-source access to their work, and a sprinkling of a good ‘ol “fuck off if you don’t like it” vibe. Truly the best vibe there is. I love them. I want to be them.
Their latest work is a short film, “Flooded McDonald’s”, where they’ve (shockingly accurately) created a full-size replica of the inside of the ubiquitous fast food joint and then slowly filled it with water. Playing now in an exhibition at South London Gallery, the film is exactly what the title suggests and yet so much more. Here’s a taste:
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Is it a commentary on the globalization of big business? Is it a statement on declining health and rising levels of obesity? Is it a prediction, like an Atlantis, like Ancient Egypt, like the burning of Rome, that when a culture begins to believe in its own omnipotence that it will eventually be destroyed by the very weight of the power it sought to create?
Or… is it just really fucking awesome to watch stuff get filled with water?
The only one I know for sure is the latter. We’ve all seen “Titanic.” It’s an almost universal paradox of human arrogance that for as much as we enjoy thinking we control the universe, we also love to “imagine” what it would be like for our own magnificent edifices to be destroyed because, in our ignorance, we assume everything we build will always be there. Like cataclysmic voyeurs, jerking off to thoughts of the apocalypse. “Wow, this movie must be good, because the Statue of Liberty just got destroyed by a tidal wave. And we all know the Statue of Liberty WILL ALWAYS BE THERE…”
The digital revolution has only just begun, and the very realities of how we collect, gather, and distribute information are changing too rapidly for most mainstream media companies to adjust. This the future of how we’ll read books, and publications as we know it are dinosaurs waiting for the asteroid. The music industry already knows it (thank you Radiohead). And if you don’t believe how fast the digitization of a cultural standard can completely alter our lives, when was the last time you went a day without checking your Facebook?… Exactly.
But you enjoy the feel of a book in your hand and the subtle rustling of the turning pages, you say? People said that about telephones at the dawn of the cellular age too: “But I like always knowing where it is, and the cord gives me something to do with my hands. Why would I want to carry a phone with me all the time?” Fast forward to now and again I ask… when was the last time you left your house without your phone?
It’s all coming and can’t be stopped. And forward thinkers like Superflex and The Pirate Bay are helping to usher our way in.
Via Don’t Panic