Packard Jennings

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Packard Jennings
Born 1970
Oakland, California
Nationality American
Education MFA New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred, BA San Francisco State University for Sculpture and Animation
Known for Street Art, Conceptual Art, culture jamming, Sculpture, Drawing
Awards Kala Institute Residency and Fellowship, Artist in Residence Sanitary Land Fill Company, Artist in Residence Headlands Center for the Arts, Artist in Residence Montalvo, Artist in Residence Djerassi, Artist in Residence Cite des Arts (Paris).

Packard Jennings is an American artist (b. 1970) who appropriates pop culture symbols and references to create new meaning using a variety of media including printmaking, sculpture, animation, video, and pamphleteering. In his early career he modified billboards, a common practice of culture jammers. He is affiliated with Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco, Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles, and Analix Forever in Geneva.

Themes[edit]

  • "Anarchism" - Jennings's work often deals with the philosophy of anarchism, how it's represented in the media, and the representation of a naive utopia primarily through primitivism, not to be confused with anarchism or anarchy.
  • Consumer Culture - Jennings has created a fake corporation, the Centennial Society, as well as entire bodies of work that served as criticisms of Wal-Mart, the tobacco industry and the commodification of dissent.

Notable works[edit]

  • Anarchist Action Figure - a boxed, cast plastic anarchist action figure complete with molotov cocktail and dense, academic language about destroying the state on the outside. This was placed in a Target store and purchased in December 2007. The event was captured with video surveillance camera mounted in a backpack.[1]
  • Mussolini Action Figure - a packaged, vacuum formed plastic Benito Mussolini action figure, which Jennings left in a Upstate New York Wal-Mart and later had purchased. In a video of the event on Jennings website, the clerk can not scan the item, so manually enters "MUSSOLINI $5.00" which Jennings shows at exhibitions.
  • A Day at The Mall - first in a series of small pamphlets which Jennings distributed both online and physically. The airline evacuation style comics depict everyday people erupting into riots and later forming primitive societies and have been popular on the internet.[2]
  • Fallen Rapper Pez - hand crafted and cast Pez versions of Tupac Shakur, Eazy-E, and Biggie Smalls. These prototypes were sent to Pez Candy. Pez responded with the statement that "The Fallen Rapper Pez are not appropriate to our target audience of three to six year-olds."

Shopdropping[edit]

Jennings has made major contributions to the practice of 'Shopdropping' (a term coined around 2004 to describe the covert placing of art or propaganda into stores.) The earliest in 1998 with his Walmart Project, which features 7 art products placed in Walmart Stores which are humorously critical of aspects of their business practice. Other Shopdropped works include: A Day at The Mall (pamphlet), Welcome to Geneva (pamphlet), the Anarchist Action figure, Walgreens Local Business Coupon, and the Pocket Survival Guide.

Destructables.org[edit]

In 2011, Jennings launched Destructables.org. The site states: "Destructables.org is an advertising free Do It Yourself website for projects of protest and creative dissent. The site features user generated step-by-step video and photo/text based instructions for a wide range of dissenting actions, including (but not limited to): art actions, billboard alterations, shop-dropping, protest strategies, knit-bombing, making protest props, interventions, methods of civil disobedience, stencil work, performative actions, and many other forms of public dissent – from the practical and tactical to the creative and illegal. It is a living archive and resource for the art and activist communities."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ian Urbina, The New York Times, December 24, 2007 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/24/us/24shopdrop.html
  2. ^ Mark Frauenfelder, August 20, 2007 BoingBoing http://www.boingboing.net/2007/08/20/packard-jennings-bus.html

External links[edit]