Packard Jennings

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Packard Jennings
Born1970
NationalityAmerican
EducationMFA New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred, BA San Francisco State University for Sculpture and Animation
Known forStreet Art, Conceptual Art, culture jamming, Sculpture, Drawing
AwardsKala 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 has been working on a police mindfulness meditation project since 2012. Though he works mostly in public, he is affiliated with Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles, and Analix Forever in Geneva. His work is in the collection of the UC Davis Museum [1]and di Rosa.[2] His work is in several books, including: “Art and Agenda” Gestalten, 2011, "We Own the Night (art of the Underbelly Project)” Rizzoli, 2011 and "Urban Interventions" Gestalten, 2010. His Shopdropping work 'Anarchist Action figure was described on the front page of the New York Times[3].

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 a video surveillance camera mounted in a backpack.[4]
  • Mussolini Action Figure – a packaged, vacuum formed plastic Benito Mussolini action figure, which Jennings left in an 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. The first completely hand-made art object covertly 'shop-dropped' into stores in 1998.
  • 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.[5]
  • 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). Jennings was a very early practitioner of what was to become "shopdropping". He was the first to covertly place a completely hand-made art object into a store with his 1998 with his Walmart Project, which features 7 art products placed in Walmart Stores, including the Mussolini Action Figure[6], 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.

Lawsuits[edit]

Jennings was legally threatened by Chiquita Banana [7] for posting fake Chiquita Banana stickers that said 'Chemical' on his website Destructables.org. He responded to the Chiquita with three more designs based on Chiquita Banana business practice, including: Deforest, Cocaine, and Terrorism.

Jennings sent a cease and f**king desist[8] letter to a tech company that used his artwork in their ad to find a new employee. He won a settlement.

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. ^ "The Fine Arts Collection at UC Davis | jan shrem and maria manetti shrem museum of art". manettishremmuseum.ucdavis.edu. Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  2. ^ "The Collection". dirosaart.org. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  3. ^ Urbina, Ian (2007-12-24). "Anarchists in the Aisles? Stores Provide a Stage". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  4. ^ Ian Urbina, The New York Times, December 24, 2007 https://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/24/us/24shopdrop.html
  5. ^ Mark Frauenfelder, August 20, 2007 BoingBoing http://www.boingboing.net/2007/08/20/packard-jennings-bus.html
  6. ^ "Mussolini Action Figure shopdropping at Wal-mart - video dailymotion". Dailymotion. Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  7. ^ Richards, Kathleen. "Chiquita Banana Threatens Legal Action Against Emeryville Artist Packard Jennings". East Bay Express. Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  8. ^ "Oakland Artist Talks About his Battle with Tech Exec Over Image". KQED. 2015-04-28. Retrieved 2019-05-04.

External links[edit]