On March 17th, 2007, I participated in an anti-war protest in Los Angeles with a group of friends and students from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and the University of California Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.) and artists based in Los Angeles. A sub-group of ten of us wore black hoods, created by Audrey Chan that were reminiscent of those used on detainees in Iraq and suspected terrorists. We wore these hoods during the course of the march and protest remaining silent throughout.
Los Angeles Times staff writer Charles Proctor, approached me for an interview at the onset of the march. Proctor was drawn to the hoods we were wearing. The interview began with why I was/we were wearing hoods along with my age and if I was a student. Upon hearing that I was a student from New York University, he asked why I was currently in Los Angeles. Eventually he asked why I was out protesting and what effect can protest have. I responded with mention of my own moral objections to the war, the influence of both friends and family serving in the war, as well as my family’s relation to military duty. This last aspect very much interested him and I explained a short excerpt of my family’s military history and involvement in the current conflicts of the past two decades.
Later that day, the Los Angeles Times, ran article on their website about the protest which included parts from my interview. In general the article was a positive one in relation to the protest. A few hours later, the article was revised and most of the original content was removed and the protest was marginalized to an assembly of freaks. It also omitted all and any mention of myself or the group I was with.
I began to think about why was the media drawn to our group? After the heavy revision of the Los Angeles Times article I also began to think more about the malleability of information on the web and how it can be quickly altered to manufacture reality. This became a subject of a paper that I presented at a conference on tactical media, as part of a panel speaking on “Fear, Spectacle, and the Media.”
Select Documentation of the Protest