The task is to produce a power artefact between 1-3 minutes long that explores the concept of power. There are certain obstructions which make this task more difficult which are listed below:

– Your work must ask or examine a question about Power/test a hypothesis.
– It must draw from at least one influence (in the arts, theory, science, an idea in a film etc)
– If you borrow actual content (music, images, film) from other artists it must be openly licensed or you must have permission to use it
– No series of still images or found footage
– You must use a technique/experiment with an approach that you have not used before

I have two ideas which I thought of but both circle back to the same topic. The first thought was to explore the power that social media has, not as a social site but the power it has against governments and why governments are so scared of social media. A prime example of this is China. The Chinese government are well-known for the censorship of their own people; they even have their own version of Twitter called Weibo. I started looking at this last year during the creative activism module, researching into why China has its own version of twitter. The short answer is to censor the Chinese people by directing them away from certain articles and stopping them from posting certain things, stifling their freedom of speech because they’re scared of the power their words will have. As we know, Twitter has been the forefront of some ‘revolutions’. The best example is the Libyan revolution that started a few years ago. The people in Libya used Twitter to broadcast the revolution and have some sort of freedom of speech. Again, using Twitter to obtain some of the power by sending messages, photos and videos for the whole world to see.

I watched this video from RSA Animates which is Evgeny Morozov – The internet in society: Empowering or censoring citizens?

The video was saying how the internet is transforming countries (China, Iran & countries of the former Soviet Union) and is a good tool in helping promote democracy. It is really cheap for people to produce content on the internet with free blogs and video sharing sites like YouTube, therefore everyone in the world that has a computer or a phone with internet access has a voice and is able to contribute to anything online, even a ‘revolution’. He goes onto saying that Twitter is a social platform that acts as a revolution site because if people want to start a revolution they post on Twitter and suddenly the whole world can see it, which is the basic idea of my power artefact. People use the power of words (and the internet) to start something like a revolution, or like a demonstration. I find it interesting when he talks about iPod liberalism, saying that if people have western technology they are more likely to support western values. Morozov went on to say that if people had these western technologies that they will favour democratic change.

After researching this further I realised I wouldn’t be able to do this because of the obstructions so I went to plan B.

My plan B is still using the concept of ‘the power of words’. There are certain snippets of speeches and films throughout history that people know without actually knowing the rest of the speech or seeing the film. For example, I know the line “Life is like a box of chocolates” but I have never seen Forest Gump. I know the line because it’s such an iconic piece of cinema and the line stands out because how the actor is saying it is giving the phrase a powerful meaning. I have decided to compile a selection of quotes from historical speeches, film and news broadcasts and will choose the quotes that are the most powerful. Once I have these quotes I have two ideas as to how I will produce this artefact.

1) I will get people to read the quotes and I will record the audio, no video. When editing I will put the audio in with a blank black screen so that there are no visuals whatsoever. This will give the words more of an impact when you’re listening to them.

2) Contrary to the last idea, I will do the exact opposite. There will be visuals but no sound. This will therefore make you read the words.



Gloria Goodale. (2011). In Libya, perfecting the art of revolution by Twitter. Available: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0510/In-Libya-perfecting-the-art-of-revolution-by-Twitter

BostInno. (2011). The Libyan Revolution Through Social Media.Available: http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2011/08/22/the-libyan-revolution-through-social-media/

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