“Dead (air)” Danny Giles

it is a real person

As a direct action, the  die-in has appeared in public spaces to represent unrepresentable loss. In recent months, mass numbers of variously raced bodies have assembled to mimic the death of black men killed by white police. As a gesture meant to incite sympathy for the slain and empathy for their communities, die-ins deploy mimicry and silence as subversive tools to commemorate victims and to reenact the moment of encounter with death.

Popular media narratives usually focus on the biography and mannerisms of black victims. The character of the deceased is dissected, caricatured and lambasted to justify the taking of life. Dead (air) attempts to redirect our scrutiny, instead angling it back at the purveyors of violence using their own words. This piece asks, what might we stand to gain by attempting to empathize with those who lash out through a tangle of fear and slanted perceptions? Reframing this contemporary direct political action within performative artistic space, Dead (air) offers an alternative to political spectacles and popular perceptions.

Performing in person for Direct Object/Direct Action LIVE, February 27, 2015, 7 pm at Threewalls, 119 N Peoria, Chicago, with accompanying video/sound airing simultaneously on ACRE TV.

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