Art has always been a tool in times of war, be it pro-war propaganda or anti-war music and graffiti. The Iraq Campaign uses unexpected and uncomplimentary audio and visual combinations to make the viewer question how patriotism and the news media covers issues of war. By covering up the legendary voice of Whitney Houston with the sounds of fighter jets, bombs, and screams, how are we made frustrated, and how does this frustration make us question the meaning behind the song and the purely patriotic event of the Super Bowl? How does the filmmaker make us acutely aware of the fact that we are in war and juxtapose these images of American patriotism with the horrifying reality of war?
In Society of the Spectacle, the narrator states that we should reject the myth that “what is good appears, what appears is good” in media. This statement, a reaction to the spectacle of mass media and a reaction to the social separation from industrialization, is also rejected by The Iraq Campaign. If this film questions war and news media’s coverage of wars, how does the use of shock (in juxtaposing visual and audio combinations) force it’s viewer to also question what they see and hear in media sources that are relied upon, like the news?
In the current era of “Drifting,” is there space for Chris-Burden-esc “advertisements” to wake us out of the zone of constant access to media, and therefore advertising? How might a 2016 version of this look?