This article raises questions about the artist as a producer consumer, a term that describes the Montreal-based collective Action Terroriste Socialement Acceptable (ATSA). Formed in 1997 for the production and dissemination of information on sociopolitical issues ranging from overconsumption to homelessness in this age of globalization, ATSA’s homespun activities belong with those of a generation of artists whose use of public space is fundamentally oriented by media culture and for whom the marketplace represents empowerment. The backdrop for these activities is Quebec, Canada. Among other topics, the author writes about ATSA, art activism’s history in public space, and the aesthetics of this now largely symbolic environment. She argues that latent in ATSA is the idea of a dialectic between the order of human needs (life) and the order of artistic demands (cultural survival) but that self-promotion – and the design, advertising, and potential sale of products – is shifting the cultural values typically associated with activist practices.
|Keywords:||Art, Activism, ATSA, Quebec, Media|
Assistant Professor, Art History, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
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