CINDY WEBER: ‘I am an American’

New Sciences of Protection Conference: Exhibition on the theme ‘Designing Safe Citizens’ by Cindy Weber.

On 21 September 2001 – ten days after 9/11 – the Ad Council in the United States launched its ‘I am an American’ advertising campaign. The exhibition unsettles the Ad Council’s smooth presentation of post 9/11 American patriotism through interviews with those for whom, very recently, US citizenship has been anything but ‘safe.’ These include the son of undocumented immigrant Elvira Arellano, Greg and Glenda Avery, Hurricane Katrina evacuees who became ‘internally displaced’ refugees, and James Yee, a US army Muslim chaplain wrongly accused of being a terrorist spy. The pieces show how the fantasy of unity, wholeness and security pedalled by the designers of safe citizenship in the US remain just that, fantasies. The exhibition disarticulates and rearticulates what it means to be a US citizen in a post 9/11 context, enactments neatly summed up in Cindy Weber’s provocative reversal the US motto “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of many, One) to read, ‘out of one, Many.’
The original Ad Council release

Greg and Glenda Avery: We are americans

James Yee: I am an American

Thank you to our fabulous Joseph Rigby for this great summary

Workshop 5: Extreme Green Guerrillas by Michiko Nitta

Michiko Nitta graduated from the MA Design Interactions course at the Royal College of Art in 2007 and presented her recent work of the Extreme Green Guerrillas (EGGs).

Her starting points for this work came from the fact that environmental damage is extreme and the ordinary green people are in fear from upcoming disaster but the extreme green people are activists who use fear yet still are locked into the consumer cycle. The current green solutions are not working and we are only making tiny steps forward: they are hypocritical green solutions. The EGGs try to go beyond human consumerism and create their own amateur self sustaining collective. Extreme to save the earth, enjoy good quality of life.

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