Culture Jamming and Its Beat

As children, many of us learned to get attention by disrupting the status quo. The disruption happens naturally and it is the indivisible part of civilization. There is a constant confrontation of views, ideas, opinions.

Culture jamming is the disruption of status quo that we advanced in as we matured. Subversion of dominance and power is one of the broad culture jamming qualities. Underground artworks of Banksy are marvelous depictions of this concept. The struggle against conformity happens through various mediums from children’s books to billboards. Mainly, culture jammers aim to psych out one’s emotions and trigger social change. This happens through messages ​or semiotic signs that point to something outside of themselves. If we interpret the person’s mindset as an instrument, properly arranged signs in the message are the right chords that will become catalysts for social action. But isn’t traditional advertising playing its own tunes with those chords? Most definitely. And culture jammers are the integral part of that traditional advertising industry. However, their goals do not match the ones that capitalism has up its sleeve. Culture jammers hear that “different drummer,” and march towards social change, trying to sabotage the conformity, the death trap for art and freedom.

Hear the beat and jam with purpose!

A photograph by Roger Perry in Chalk Farm, London (~1974)