There are so many complexities involved in our current global predicament. So many dark paths that normal people have been lead down; so many avenues of corruption and abuses of power. Propaganda is alive and well — in fact it’s so alive, it is straining and snarling like the pent-up pooch on the end of a militarised thug’s leash. News is rabid, and the information age is the sharp kick in the ribs it regularly receives to keep its anger peaked.
The problems that constant connection has laid at our feet are only beginning to be digested. The devices that were met with collective oohs and aahhs just a decade ago are starting to swallow us whole. Relentless rolling news, curated for optimum desensitisation, has slowly beat a global population into submission; the traditional paper press has turned into a breeding ground for the disjointed ideals of megalomaniacal billionaires.
‘We play ball.’ Admits artist Joseph Ernst. ‘We invest hours on end staring at our mobile devices. But in our perpetual quest to fill every spare minute of our time searching for something meaningful, we learn nothing.’ Nothing is the new everything. Cat memes and online petitions have transformed us into living, breathing ‘drooling face’ emojis. Fake news has entered the collective consciousness, a deliberate effort to befog an already throughly-fogged reality. But what if there were no news?
‘For this cultural precipice,’ Ernst tenders, ‘we offer the one thing you need more than anything else: “Nothing”. Absolutely nothing. Today, and today only, there is Nothing in the News. Enjoy it whilst you can.’ Nothing in the News is the New York-based creative director’s answer to our inability to switch off, but it is also a glimpse into the lives we could have had; the calm of understanding ourselves better than the love-lives of reality TV stars.
For £15 each, Ernst has created real-life renderings of world newspapers devoid of the content that makes them. The Times; Die Zeit; Le Monde; El País … stripped of agenda, laid bare with just ghostly place-setters, colour tints, and their looming mastheads; still capable of conjuring the corrupt content Ernst has blotted.
Nothing is needed now more than ever — snap up one of Ernst’s scathing odes to void at sidelinecollective.com