3rd 01SJ Biennial September 2010

A global festival of art on the edge


Piotr Szyhalski
If/Then, 2008
Paper leaflets and dispenser
01SJ Biennial: Superlight
San Jose Museum of Art
May 10 – August 31, 2008
01SJ Festival
Downtown San Jose
June 4-8, 2008

If/Then confronts and examines the particulars of inter-cultural mass communication in the context of military conflict. Focusing on the leaflet format, issues of language and mechanics of contemporary propaganda are examined.

At the heart of the project is a series of leaflets designed (following the frameworks of military Psychological Operations manuals) by Piotr Szyhalski, and printed specifically for this installation. Specific visual and textual themes reference a broad selection of US and Coalition Forces leaflets, deployed during the Gulf War and the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. During the 2008 01SJ Festival and Biennial Exhibition leaflets designed by Szyhalski will be distributed in selected indoor and outdoor locations. Special self-contained mechanical “dispenser” devices are designed and developed to automatically release continuous, timed sequence of leaflets in the designated areas. Festival and museum patrons will be able to collect, and take home the entire edition of the full color, offset printed leaflets.

Implementation, in the domestic context, of the information distribution strategy intended for the theater of military operation, aims to provoke a social and cultural introspection, as well as reflection on the relationship between high- and low-tech “expressions” in the “information age.”