Big Election Brother 08
Media coverage in the U.K. conveys the presidential campaigns of Obama and McCain as somewhat fanciful and farcical. The world in which these almost mythical figures of leadership strive seems like a million miles away from my reality in Glasgow. The thing that strikes me most is the production value of these campaigns, I heard that it takes roughly $500 million to run for president in the U.S. Because of the money and the stage sets and the audiences, the whole thing just seems like one big show, a spectacle where contestants scheme to make each other look bad by any means and second guess what the public want them to say or do to come out on top and win the prize.
This show has striking similarities to the most popular reality T.V show in Britain at the moment, “Big Brother” where contestants will bend over backwards and do almost anything (apart from be themselves) to win £100,000 and some minor celebrity status. The funny thing is that Big Brother has more media coverage at the moment than Barack Obama or John McCain.
So, to illustrate this hyped up, sexed up, dreamlike mix of politics, fashion, reality television, personality creation and media craziness with all the money in the world thrown at it, we will play a game of Big Election Brother ’08.
In the television show “Big Brother,” contestants have to perform a weekly task. If they pass the task the house mates are rewarded with luxury food and items and if they fail are given rationed basic food. For Big Election Brother, one participating artist of Exchange Rate 2008 will become Big Brother and set fourth a weekly challenge related to the U.S presidential election. Willing participants or ‘contestants’ will be required to perform these tasks. The tasks will run for six weeks which is incidentally the amount of time that British parliament has voted to detain terror suspects without charge. Each task must be documented with video, photography or audio and will then be posted on the net. By the end of week six the contestant who has performed most well will be awarded a special prize and be crowned president of nothing.
For more information or to take part, please send an email expressing your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“In the last five years I have seen civil liberties decrease steadily in the U.K while the gap between the socially included and the socially excluded seems to have increased. The actions I take aim to explore these notions and communicate them to society, authorities and corporate organisations in a semi-legal way on many depths, while trying to provoke serious debate but remain humorous.”