Please Wake Up Every Morning

Year: 2009
Type: 2-channel video installation
Duration: 00:12:11
See the single channel version of the video

Please Wake Up Every Morning

One part of the video shows various scenes of TV news reporting on current world economic, health and political problems in addition to scenes from two documentaries. The first one reports on military control of the media when covering war and new ways of combat that started in First Gulf War. The second reports on threats of genetically modified organisms and the consequences of pesticides that were used as a combat strategy in Vietnam War. The second part of the video shows statements written with Scrabble® tiles. The statements are taken from the OK Soda Manifesto which was a part of the marketing strategy for a new soft drink by the Coca-Cola Company in the 1990s and which aggressively courted the Generation X demographic. The drink’s slogan was “Things are going to be OK.” The almost superficial statements of the manifesto promote the uncritical enjoyment of a life philosophy typical for the average Western consumer. I have changed the “OK Soda” subject to “I” in the statements and thus shifted the responsibility to the person reading them.

At first sight, one part of the video presents a horrible and stressful reality while the other part shows the way to cope with it and live a calm and happy life. However, when going deeper, things become more complicated. The Coca-Cola Company has been involved in a number of controversies related to its perceived relationship with human rights violations and other unethical practices and environmental issues. Together with the fact that the statements are taken from an advertising campaign whose goal is to create maximum profit considerably shifts the perspective of the statements. In addition to the playfulness of fast forward writing, typical for comic scenes, using the popular word game tiles and the use of first person in the statements illustrates the uncritical consciousness of the contemporary consumer based in a neoliberal capitalist society. The dense bricolage of media quotes emphasizes the hysterical way of reporting in the media and its influence on building the viewer’s personal world view. In the background Bob Marley is singing “Don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be all right…” and underlines the whole thing with irony. The title “Please Wake Up Every Morning” is taken from the first part of the final statement of the manifesto which ends: “knowing that things are going to be OK”. I have used only the first part because it stands up alone as an appeal to the viewer to open his eyes and take a critical stand towards reality.

The altered OK Manifesto used in the video:

  1. What’s the point of OK? Well, what’s the point of anything?
  2. I emphatically reject anything that is not OK, and fully support anything that is.
  3. The better you understand something, the more OK it turns out to be.
  4. Don’t be fooled into thinking there has to be a reason for everything.
  5. I search for the surprising truth about people and situations.
  6. I do not subscribe to any religion, or endorse any political party, or do anything other than feel OK.
  7. There is no real secret to feeling OK.
  8. The OK view may be the preferred view of other people such as yourself.
  9. Never overestimate the remarkable abilities of the OK view.
  10. Please wake up every morning knowing that things are going to be OK.

Slovensko | English
Contact

Vesna Bukovec is a contemporary visual artist based in Slovenia.

She is a member of the art group KOLEKTIVA

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