Today, much of the global population receives their information regarding current events from mass media conglomerates, which are owned by a wealthy few. As a result, there are various issues suspiciously withheld from public discourse. The Moonshiner is a critique of these very outlets, and more specifically how the newspaper functions in a broader cultural context.
Our title, The Moonshiner, was selected as a reference to running contraband, with its associated dangers, in an effort to acknowledge that facts and objective inquiry are commonly regarded as contraband today—especially if it may harm certain reputations. Putting everyday politics aside, it is our hope that The Moonshiner can raise awareness by generating dialogue and critical thought. Through methods of direct interaction with the public we encourage participation in a society that seems crippled with apathy, thanks in a great deal to cognitive dissonance created by mass media.
As a “dying” medium, the newspaper is also the perfect form to treat as an art object, it becoming more rarified by the day. As we move forward, this project will extend beyond the medium of newspaper, and will move toward a multidisciplinary approach. In addition to visual graphics, we will also utilize the disciplines of performance, installation, and cinema, to blur the lines between activism and art, suggesting that they can be one in the same.
The first issue of The Moonshiner deals specifically with the growing police state we experience daily here in the United States, loosely based on the fictional life of Malcolm Ford. On March 10th, 2013, we distributed 300 copies of the newspaper in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Armory Show, as a protest and an exercising of our First Amendment rights. The second issue, for which we are currently designing a promotional broadsheet, will deal with the issue of eugenics—including both its history and current incarnation.