LETTER OF INVITE to Participants
First and foremost, this is a secret. In sending this letter to
you, we ask that you keep whatever information contained herein between
you and us. It is crucial that no one knows about it until it happens,
even close friends.
We are writing to ask your participation in a forthcoming project which
will be linked to our show at White Box (Six Feet Under) this September.
3. What is the project?
Ok, the project we are working on is in relation to the infamous Office
of Homeland Security.
"National Gallery-Washington (July 22) - With Congress headed into summer
recess, President Bush called on lawmakers Monday to make the Homeland
Security Department -Cultural Bureau a reality as he showcased new anti-terrorism
strategies at the right wing in the national Art Gallery in Washington.
This Cultural Bureau is not a good Republican idea, it's not a good Democratic
idea, it's simply an American idea, and they need to get their work done,''
Bush told hundreds of art goers."
In short, the Office of Homeland Security has set up a Cultural Bureau
(our fictional element). This Bureau will act as a supervising organization
which polices culture. The scenario is a "what if" situation, but
only slightly more absurd than the one we currently face. It is
a framework for expressing our larger concerns about the Office of Homeland
Security itself, and it implicates in a direct way the cultural politics
that took place during the McCarthy era.
4. What will happen at White Box?
From our proposal:
During a one week period, we propose to fictitiously close
down White Box Gallery. The action is simple and requires minimal
physical intervention. The work is more concerned with the implications
of such an act, rather than the physicality of it.
The intervention will involve some kind of notification to the passersby
that White Box has been closed by the Cultural Bureau of Homeland Security
(CBHS). A web URL for additional information will also be provided
for those who wish to find out more information about the official reasons
behind the closure and about the Bureau in general.
Another group of initiatives will be letters of protest that will be sent/circulated
by us and other artists/activists we are currently working with.
We are currently working on a list of possible groups (e.g., 16Beaver,
XXXXX, XXXXXX, XXXXXX) as well as friends/associates which will be enlisted
in helping generate questions/outrage over the closure.
All of these actions will try to generate a public debate among cultural
workers and institutions about the ramifications of "heightened security
and policing" of the "Homeland". Furthermore, they will seek to
question the role and responsibility of cultural spaces/workers in contesting
and calling into question emerging social/political problems.
5. What is the cover project for White Box?
We need a project that White Box can advertise for that week. We
chose to call this project, "RadioActive": An audio project using
the format of a radio station and directing the programming to address
issues related to September 11th and after.
Of course, the subject will be overloaded by that time (the opening is
Sept. 11), but our use of it is largely strategic:
a. It serves as a counterpoint to what will actually take place (as the
gallery will instead be closed by an Office that was created as a direct
result of Sept. 11).
b. Part of the success of this work relies on generating press, before,
during, as well as after the closure. As the opening will be on
9-11, for the press, we will advertise "RadioActive" as a specific project
dealing with some aspects of September 11.
6. what we would like you to write?
We would like you to write something specifically or tangentially related
to Homeland Security. It can be theoretical, personal, it can be
a story, a letter of outrage that can be sent out during the week of the
closure, humorous or satirical , it can also be related to culture and
The point is that we want this closure to be just the beginning.
Your participation set up some contestation and reveal some critical positions
toward homeland security. As well as its relation to culture and cultural
7. How will people access your texts and responses?
We will post your essays and contributions on the RadioActive webpage
(most likely on the beaver web site) , which will become the center of
resistance to the Homeland Security's Cultural Bureau (HSCB) and the closure
of the White Box. We want to have things posted on the website, after
we agitate we want to introduce people to some critical positions.
Also, as we alluded to above, some of these contributions can be letters
of support, or essays responding to the closure or the Bureau itself…
therefore, a selection of these will be sent during the week by us to
targeted e-mail lists.
We should stress that we really still need an audience to go to the opening,
and also be surprised by the closure. After all, that is a part
of the work, and one we had to sacrifice in relation to you. We
made this decision, because we would really value your contribution and
we believe that it is an essential part of the project.
8. Questions & Answers
We want to thank you for your help and we hope you will be interested
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