In lieu of the Cold War, the CIA initiated Operation Mockingbird: a classified project dedicated to the spread of propaganda and controlling public opinion through the media. Later congressional investigations revealed that the networks of communication, managed directly by the CIA, included newspapers, book publishers, news agencies, as well as radio and television stations. 70 years later, this would all be history; except for the fact that Operation Mockingbird has never been officially discontinued.
Mockingbird explores the potential manipulation of modern society through a “script” constructed by the voices of influential people and exposes a hidden culture of sensationalism, concealment, and tribalism brought forth via the media and internet. Additionally, it aims to examine language and experiment with the ways in which we receive and comprehend information.
Presented in fragmentation, this is meant to mirror the headlines, tweets, and soundbites that have become the quick bursts in which we digest information. And while each clip may not be necessarily discernible or suggestive of its original material, they are recontextualized to compose the script through an archive sampled from news, entertainment, and interviews. News media and celebrity culture have become toxic; gaslighting on a national scale. We continue to trust familiar strangers under the naive assumption that they have our best interest. With their influence as weighted as it is within today’s society, the use of recognizable faces and voices allows for a more intimate experience to the driven narrative.
Amidst the current polarizing political climate and the surge of misinformation available online, it becomes increasingly important to challenge what we so blindly accept as the truth and to be aware of the possible inaccuracies and biases when consuming any type of content.