Response 12

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El Teneen is a graffiti artist who grew in popularity following the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. The revolution brought a rise to the graffiti street art movement, something that was not so common in Egypt. El Teneen teamed up with Ganzeer to establish the blog magazine “The rolling Bulb” which combines revolutionary art movement with street journalism. One of El Teneen’s known works is “Checkmate”. The artwork shows a chess board with all the pawns standing on one side while a toppled king peace is on the other side. I took to the Internet to find another one of his works. The image above is a graffiti drawing of a rifle on the left side and facing it on right is a camera with an Arabic word underneath each image. The word underneath the rifle reads  سلاحهم (pronounced: Silahihim) which translates to “their weapon” and the word underneath the camera reads   سلاحنا (pronounced: silahina) which translates to “our weapon.”

In the response to the AIDS crisis. Ricardo Dominguez became part of the group ACT UP. ACT UP sought to answer the question, “Is there a cure?” A collective was formed through the ACT UP branches in Tallahassee, Miami, and Atlanta and they would partake in various actions of activism. One particular action they practiced in the form of electronic civil disobedience was fax jamming. They would fax jam the National Institute of Health Fax with questions in regards to AZT, a treatment for HIV. Some of these questions included, what is AZT? How many people has AZT cured?
The link below is a guide to fax jamming from Thing.net titled “How To Jam an Opponent’s Fax Machine.” Some of the requirements prior to a successful fax jam include a group of activists connected by email, the fax number of your opponent, and a coordinator to call the jams.

http://www.thing.net/~rdom/ecd/faxjam.html

Rafael Fajardo demonstrates the US-Mexico border concern using the model of a classic 8-bit game called Frogger. In Frogger the frog must cross a road while avoiding cars, obstacles, and wild life. Fajardo took the mechanics of the game and translated it into Crosser. In Crosser. Mexicans must attempt to cross the border while attempting to avoid both land and air patrols. Crosser is meant as an example of games being used for cultural critique in what Fajardo calls “games with an agenda.” Below is a video simulating the Crosser game.

Of the three examples I would have to say the El Teneen work is my favorite. What intrigues me about El Teneen’s works is that they are simplicit images but they carry powerful messages. In the artwork I posted for example, it is a crude image of a rifle and a camera on a wall but the meaning is so clear. The government uses its firepower and military force as a great weapon to supress the people. However in this age of social media and online communities, the tools of imagery used by the people can be just as powerful a weapon.

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