Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price

Wal-Mart (2005, 9.4 MB, 2:48 min)

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price was the documentary film sensation
that’s changing the largest company on earth. The film features the
deeply personal stories and everyday lives of families and communities
struggling to survive in a Wal-Mart world.
It’s an emotional journey that will challenge the way you think, feel.. and shop.
Directed by Robert Greenwald.

Wikipedia Art/Wikipedia Heart – David Kent Watson

Wikipedia Heart (2009, 36MB, 3:12 min)

Wikipedia Art (2009, 15.3MB, 1:32 min)

Being two songs by David Kent Watson inspired by the Scott Kildall/Nathaniel Stern
Wikipedia Art project, which has engendered some huffing & puffing amongst the humourless & imaginatively challenged.
The songs are neat – skillfully made, performed and recorded, & beneath the surface whimsy
there’s some depth ( in particular “Heart” seems to found a whole new hybrid discipline of
epistemological meditation through popular song).

This is in keeping with the whole WA project which unlike so many art projects which claim
to investigate something ( & usually my heart sinks when I see the word) actually does
and very effectively too.
Not only that (and I would expect this from anything involving Stern, whose work in whatever medium
or genre, is always touched with poetry) there’s a wonderfully twisted lyricism* to the WA project, which is very difficult to sum up in the usually one line required for much second rate conceptualism -the Duchamp epigone crew- which is possibly why it seems to have mostly drawn responses ranging from surly to mystified and back to grumpy in discussion in places like Art Fag City and Rhizome.
Now, generously & mischievously, Kildall & Stern have thrown the whole thing open for remixing, which is where these songs appear**.
The remixes in turn form an ongoing contribution to the padiglione internet of the current Venice Biennale -here’s the open call for contributions so what are you waiting for?!

And of course, coming back full circle to David Kent Watson, clearly one to watch. Bravo.

* & I use the term precisely & advisedly, not simply as a term of general approbation.
What I mean is this: it’s the very not-rightness, surface clumsiness
of the WA project that makes it resonate so much. This is what those who want their
art laid out like the ABC or like wonder pills, miss. It’s the failure, or refusal, of glibness,
the stimulus to real thought, that spawns the poetry of it.
Even the language the Wikipedia serf-bureaucrats use as they flounder blindly, hilariously and painfully
seems to have been dusted with a kind of magic satire brush.

** D.o.I – I have a couple of things in there also.