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visual communication practice

Global Liberal Media Please

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Description of idea

Describe your idea and concept of your work in relation to the festival outlines:

My idea was to highlight the lack of dialogue that exists around the pervasive corporate advertising dialogues that permeate not only our society, but the whole planet. I think this concept and the type of activism my subject engages in works perfectly within the festivals ethos, as well as this years theme, as what he does relates to creating a dialogue in a radical and intimate way.

What kind of communication approach do you use?

I chose to make a video profile of my subject as I felt it was the best way to illustrate what he does, why he does it, and why it's important. This allows my subject to tell his own story and avoid misrepresentation. My subject and I agreed that it was best to avoid using commercial media styles of production so as to avoid producing something that would fit into the commercial media production conventions. Using standard productions techniques could work to undermine both the point of the profile, as well as the theme of this years Memefest.

What are in your opinion concrete benefits to the society because of your communication?

To bring to peoples consciousnesses the idea that pervasive advertising is not simply something to be accepted or to question the status quo of western, and global, media culture.

What did you personally learn from creating your submitted work?

I discovered that the majority of people don't question the pervasiveness of advertising, only the content. The thought baffles many because it has never once occurred to them to question it.

Why is your work, GOOD communication WORK?

My work is "GOOD" communication work because it relates to an issue that gets very little, if any, consideration and attention - particularly considering it's pervasiveness internationally. I hope it makes people think for themselves and highlights something that is so obvious that it is ignored. Public advertising affects us all and cannot be avoided, and that surely has an effect on individuals and society one way or another.

Where and how do you intent do implement your work?

I plan to make this work available to the subject and his website - so it may help people see what a reasonable and well considered argument he has. My subject refuses to speak to commercial media, and has thus found himself in a bit of a catch 22 in regards to promoting his work against promotional materials. When someone is deeply passionate in an issue it can make it difficult to condense the message and emphasize the main issues.

Did your intervention had an effect on other Media. If yes, describe the effect? (Has other media reported on it- how? Were you able to change other media with your work- how?)

my subject has been the subject of newspaper articles, a documentary about street art, and an archibald prize entry.

Curators comments More info on Curators & Editors ›

I'm drawn to the visceral honesty of this documentary, in part because each of the browsers I use has some form of Adblock enabled at all times. The notion of the commons becoming a place for advertising, a place where we communally agree to have our dialogue and conversation interrupted, overwritten and undermined by pervasive and intrusive advertising, is surely one we need to contend with now and forever into the future.

The choice of intervening in public transit, surely a public space, strikes an immediate chord of injustice - why are those who choose to engage with public transit specifically called out to confront such omnipresence of advertising?

Specifically in response to the material quality of the documentary, I found the pacing, simple visual texture, and straight-up method convincing - not in the sense of being manipulative, but in the sense of being true to its subject and subjects. The addition, or interruption of more convoluted editing and post-production would only detract from the main thrust of the argument which is firm and reasoned in its activist stance.

The inclusion of documentation of interrogation with the authorities, and revealed-in-interview statements of fact regarding the reaction of Australian authorities to $40 of damage underline the whiplash consequence of even asking about control of public urban space.

The difficulty of further dissemination of this work, while maintaining its core ethos I agree is problematic, but perhaps other avenues of distribution exist? What would this film look like as a high school course? A university art studio? An architectural competition? A conference?

While these modes of distribution can run into some of the issues you're trying hard to avoid, they also could benefit from the direct activist stance you document. As designers we often create plans to act, not actual actions, and work such as this is a reminder that statements are often best made out in the clear, in public, not from behind a veil of technology or mediating tools.

If the very structure of educational institutions remains too stiff and itself subject to the push and pull of commercial interest, then what alternative forms of pedagogy and educational method could be employed to get this approach to public space and messaging out to a broader audience?

Education doesn't always happen in institutional settings, and in many ways, given the commercial control of textbooks, cafeterias, and other spaces of learning, how could this documentary evolve to occupy different spaces that allow for, accommodate real learning (or open questioning?) about the spaces that we inhabit, and our responsibility to question who, or what governs our behaviour in that space. I see great potential here in other venues and modes of delivery that won't sacrifice message for method.

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Entry details


Global Liberal Media Please


a profile of Australian anti-advertising activist Kyle Magee

Concept author(s)

Bernadette McGough

Concept author year(s) of birth


Concept author(s) contribution

conceived concept, editor, interviewer, researcher, coordinator.



Other author(s)

Kyle Anthony Magee; Daniel Chittick; David Murphy; Jordan Brown

Other author(s) contribution

Kyle Magee was our subject and assisted in getting b-roll footage, Daniel Chittick, David Murphy & Jordan Brown worked as crew.



Competition category

visual communication practice

Competition subcategory


Competition field


Competition subfield


Subfield description

Swinburne University of Technology / Faculty of Health, Arts & Design / Bachelor of Media