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Title: Subverting the spectacle : a critical analysis of culture jamming as activist performance
Author: Platt, W.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7962 8684
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis is a critical analysis of culture jamming as a form of activist performance that focuses on the relationship between performance, politics and ideology in the context of late-capitalism. Culture jamming is defined here as an overtly theatrical approach to political activism that primarily targets corporate power through the appropriation of the signs and symbols that constitute its branding. Drawing on a range of different examples including Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir, the contemporary subvertising movement, the Yes Men and Liberate Tate, this thesis explores the way in which culture jamming intervenes in the ideological construction of the real by reintroducing a sense of the political into everyday life. Situating my analysis in relation to Guy Debord's theory of spectacle and the concept of 'the performative society,' I draw on a range of theories from performance and theatre studies, philosophy, critical theory and cultural studies to develop the concept of 'political force.' Using this idea as my primary reference point I argue that culture jamming is able to meaningfully challenge the pervasive sense of cynicism characteristic of neoliberalism by transforming our experience of everyday life and, in some cases, producing a sense of the world beyond capitalist realism's horizons of the thinkable.
Supervisor: Hodge, S. ; Duggan, P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Culture Jamming ; Performance ; Activism ; Activist Performance ; Political Theatre ; Situationism ; de´tournement ; Reverend Billy ; Subvertising ; Brandalism ; Special Patrol Group ; The Yes Men ; Liberate Tate ; Ideology and performance