Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is the target of this project, while Plato’s Cave is the inspiration. Rupert Murdoch owns over 100 separate media companies, that umbrella under the News Corp. conglomerate. He owns newspapers, websites, film studios, and TV stations, channels, and satellites. In doing research I’ve discovered that Rupert Murdoch very blatantly injects his opinion into the programs he releases on an international scale. These programs fall under the guise of “news,” when in reality what exists is a propaganda and manipulation tool that fights solely for the continuation of free market of capitalism unregulated by any government. In short, through my research, I’ve found Rupert Murdoch manipulates masses of the international population in a successful attempt to gain more money and power. He uses propaganda techniques introduced by the Nazi’s Minister of Propaganda, Gobbles, only much more evolved and complex.
Through the process of my research I slowly started to realize how I have been indoctrinated with Murdoch’s media my whole life without ever being aware of it. Fox News is a network that most liberals steer clear of, myself included. What about hulu.com? myspace.com? Movies such as, Star wars? Alien? Die Hard? These all come from the man himself. Once I realized this, I felt like a prisoner released which leads to my project.
“The Allegory of the Cave” is from Plato’s “The Republic” written in 360 B.C. The story is a conversation between Socrates and Glaucon (Plato’s older brother.) Socrates explains, “in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened.” He describes a cave in which prisoners have been bound their entire lives; they are chained in a way that only permits them to see the cave wall in front of them. Behind them a fire blazes, and in-between the fire and the prisoners is a pathway. When figures cross the path, their shadows project onto the cave wall.
“To them, (Socrates) said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.”
“That is certain.” agreed Glaucon
“Now look again, and see what will naturally follow if (one) of the prisoners are released and disabused of their error. At first, when any of them is liberated and compelled to suddenly stand up and turn his neck round and walk towards the light, he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then conceive someone saying to him that what he saw before was an illusion, but that now when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned towards more real existence.”
I’ve created a “media cave,” in which I hope to free prisoners from Murdoch’s shadows of manipulation. The cave consists of one example from the 30 TV stations and companies Murdoch owns. This three channel video installation has ten examples of stations playing on each of the three projectors. The projectors are pointed at three separate walls and audio is connected. The room shows the sheer scale of information being put out by News Corp. (only the TV stations are displayed, Murdoch has 70+ additional media outlets) Two “prisoners” are seated zip-tied to chairs forced to watch the spectacle. Directly outside the room is a massive poster. It is easy to read. It consists of a picture of Murdoch at the top with text; “Rupert Murdoch CEO of News Corporation controls the following:” Then it lists, with logos, the 108 companies, news corporation owns.* The last detail is a series of QR (quick reference) codes which the viewer (if they have a smart phone) can scan. If they do, it will automatically redirect their phones browser to articles that explain how Murdoch fails humanity.**
*During the projects opening, which was 3.7.11. Murdoch is constantly buying and selling companies and even as I write this on 3.15.11 News Corp. has made deals that present the list is incorrectly. Every time I install this project I plan to make visible corrections, plotting the “progress” of the News Corp.
**Preliminary Documentation can be viewed at: vimeo.com/21051455
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