Adbusters Includes TrustoCorp's Masat Addition
Recently, Trustocorp's addition to the MaSAT project was printed in Adbusters Magazine. While I was a bit disappointed they included the project under the meme's page, essentially reducing the entire event to the "slogan" Trustocorp submitted, I was happy to see the article on the following page. A Unified Thoery of Mental Pollution by Micah White, opens with this paragraph…
"How do we fight back against the incessant flow of logos, brands, slogans and jingles that submerge our streets, invade our homes and flicker on our screens? We could wage a counteroffensive at the level of content: attacking individual advertisements when they cross the decency line and become deceptive, violent or overly sexual. But this approach is like using napkins to clean up an oil spill. It fails to confront the true danger of advertising - which is not in its individual messages but in the damage done to our mental ecology by the sheer volume of its flood."
While the article goes on to champion the writing of Michel Serres and the mental environmentalist movement, essentially it proposes a merger between our concept of mental and physical toxins in our shared environments. In this way we should be as concerned about Carcinogens and cellphone radiation as we should the proliferation of media into the smallest recesses of our lives. Wow. While this ecological approach seems more fitting for our pastoral notions of the good life, I am an urban dweller through and through. In the city, it is not the vistas that need to be protected but our psyche. The difference I want to note is that while in a suburban environment we might want to keep the landscape "clean" and intrusion free, in an urban environment I believe we must find a way to omit advertising and replace it with a more public, but no less intense form of media. The benefits I find to being surrounded by people and the manifestation of their personal thoughts on the walls of our city is profound and I in no way wish for the removal of this type of communication.
This notions seems to agree with Michel Serres interpretation of a mental environmentalist movement but without having fully read his work I cannot say at this point if I am correct.
"Michel Serres, an eccentric French philosopher, has written the first truly philosophical work of the mental environmentalist movement, a radical re-conception of pollution that hones the Adbusters critique. The big idea of his book, Malfeasance: Appropriation Through Pollution?, is that animals, humans included, use pollution to mark, claim, and appropriate territory through defiling it and that over time this appropriative act has evolved away from primitive pollution, urine and feces, to "hard pollution", industrial chemicals, and "soft pollution", the many forms of advertising. [More Here]