Over the years Negativland's "illegal" collage and appropriation-based audio and visual works have touched on many things — pranks, media hoaxes, advertising, media literacy, religion, death, the evolving art of collage, the bizarre banality of suburban existence, creative activism in our media-saturated and multi-national world, file sharing, intellectual property issues, wacky surrealism, evolving notions of art and ownership and law in a digital age, and artistic and humorous observations of mass media and mass culture. While it is true that Negativland became more publicly involved in advocating significant reforms of our nation's copyright laws (even finding themselves being brought to Washington DC and Capitol Hill as citizen lobbyists for copyright and art issues), Negativland are artists first and activists second. All of their art and media interventions have intended to pose both serious and silly questions about the nature of sound, media, control, ownership, propaganda, power, and perception in the United States of America. Their work is now referenced and taught in many college courses in the US, has been written and cited about in over 150 books and legal journals, and they sometimes lecture about their work here and in Europe. While their tactics and art practices have now become something a tween can do with a few clicks on their smartphone, Negativland is still interested in unusual noises and images (especially ones that are found close at hand), unusual ways to restructure such things and combine them with their own music and art, and mass media transmissions which have been sources and subjects for much of their work. Negativland covets insightful humor and wackiness from anywhere, low-tech approaches whenever possible, and vital social targets of any kind. Foregoing ideological preaching, but interested in side effects, Negativland is a subliminal cultural sampling service concerned with making art about everything we aren't supposed to notice.
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