Make America Grate Again

This is a silent, non-repeating video installation investigating nostalgia and toxic masculinity in the 21st century.This is shown via a computer contained within a gold picture frame.

This video contains pornography and is not appropriate for some audiences.

Dimensions & Tech requirements:

  • Weight: 5.6 kilos
  • Size: 45x38x10 cm
  • Mounting: Designed for hooks as for a picture frame
  • Requires AC Power
  • Silent
  • Self-contained

Materials:

Included

Laptop computer, plaster picture frame, python script, excerpt of Debbie Does Dallas, some clips of US nuclear weapons testing.

Not included

The black power cable for the computer will be visible unless covered in some way.

Programme notes:

Trump’s call to make America great again is a vague appeal to nostalgia – but for who and what? Is he pining for his own lost youth of sexual prowess? For the militarism of the cold war? Rather than allow him the syncretism of ur-fascism, this video installation attempts to pin him down. Out of copyright, orange-tinted 1970s pornography algorithmically remixed with nuclear bomb test footage shows a recycled fantasy – the appeal for a re-emergence a discarded era.

Non-repeating. Composed of Debbie Does Dallas and videos from the US Department of Energy.

Documentation:

Click here for example video from a single run-through the loop. This is an algorithmic work and the loops do not repeat exactly. This video contains sexual images. (No such images are not included on this page, but can be viewed via the links provided.)

Make America Grate Again
A non-sexual image from the installation, showing an atom bomb test
Make America Grate Again
An image from the installation of a close up of the face of one of the porn actors, with additional layers of content showing through

Additional still images are at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/celesteh/albums/72157709658227671

Artist Bio:

Charles Céleste Hutchins was born in San Jose, California in 1976. Growing up in Silicon Valley, he started programming at a young age and has continued to do so, even after leaving dot coms to pursue music composition – obtaining an MA from Wesleyan University in 2005 and a PhD from the University of Birmingham in 2012. His recent work has focused on gendered labour and AI.

(Other biographical text available at: https://www.berkeleynoise.com/celesteh/podcast/presskit/bio/)

Exhibition history:

This installation has not yet been shown

Themes

Trump, fascism, nuclear proliferation, environmentalism, toxic masculinity, militarism, nostalgia, FLOSS