I'm not sure they're really doing it for the climate
Maybe activists are doing it for themselves
Back when Twitter was interesting it was where you too might have stumbled upon a brand forecasting agency talking in gibberish. It was called K-Hole Trends.
It seemed to be saying something that might be useful, if your job was related to marketing and communications. Especially if you wanted to come across as clever.
K-Hole Trends said things like
Using the tactics of symbolic reduction and strategic withholding, Daffy’s ‘Underground Puzzle’ implements what we would term a fragMOREtated advertising campaign. With its semi-pornographic imagery and division into parts, the advertisement alludes to both censorship (which sexualizes withholding) and to scaling back (which maintains discretion). Daffy’s successfully links desire to reduction (or, in more direct terms, that pair of coveted shoes with the reality of your bank balance) transforming the shame of the bargain basement shopping bag into your own dirty little secret.
(That was their commentary on this ad campaign for some clothes)
K-Hole Trends also invented ideas that were essentially valid, entertainingly cloaked in obscurantist language.
ProLASTination dissolves temporal delineation by establishing checkpoints that move with the consumer through time. These fluid strategies de-emphasize consumption and instead seek perpetual consumer engagement.
That's a personal favourite. And so is this one - 'Mass Indie'.
It’s like someone yelled ‘Fire!’ in a crowded movie theater the day Kurt Cobain died and everyone tried to find a different exit. Mass Indie is what happens 45 minutes later. Tired of fighting to squeeze out the doors, everyone decides to stay in the theater. Panic subsides into ambivalence. Mass Indie ditched the Alternative preoccupation with evading sameness and focused on celebrating difference instead.
Mass Indie was their term for how the desire to be different leads us to become similar. A not particularly original idea, but made compelling by exquisitely silly language.
Eventually K-Hole reached mainstream attention by inventing something that went viral. They coined the term 'Normcore' and inevitably this got them hired as brand consultants to some very big names.
K-Hole Trends was an art collective.
In transcending the absurdities of consumer culture K-Hole Trends became a player in consumer culture.
Some people accused them of selling out when they started working for The Man but surely this was how it had to end. I'd just call it jealousy.
Last year I wrote a little-read piece about another artist who fucks with the culture. Sarah Brand seems to me a variation on K-Hole Trends.
Sarah now has a fanbase on YouTube that just likes her songs and videos. She has transcended her cultural commentary to become a player in entertainment culture. Good for her. Good for K-Hole Trends.
When climate activists glue themselves to works of art they seem to be essentially engaging in performance. Throwing tomato soup onto the glass covering Van Gogh's Sunflowers is just so Warhol in several ways. And when young Phoebe stentoriously delivers her soliloquy 'What is worth more? Art or life?' the moment has a Shakespearean air.
Meanwhile, I find it impossible to see past her pink hair and hear beyond that studied T-glottalisation, so beloved of educated upper middle class British leftists.
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