Jean Baudrillard, famed cultural theorist and author of Simulacra and Simulation, would have loved Illetricity festival. We’re not saying he would enjoy the music and visual arts festival’s program, but the way their latest promotion could be used as a case study for his post modernistic views on mass communications and simulated realities.
It was a massive promotional campaign for the eleventh Illetricity festival, as their logo has been seen on digital billboards, Advent decorations, buildings and institutions around the city. Half guerrilla marketing, half a really aggressive and expensive PR campaign with detailed postings of activities on social networks, it sprung massive likes, shares, retweets and reblogs, gaining a wide reach and approval of fans and friction in the media.
The problem was, none of it ever happened. Not a single ad space was bought, wall painted, or projection mapping done on a building. I was all fake, contrived by designer Zoran Dukic, and everybody bought it as real because it was posted on social media.
‘Real interventions and events are no longer perceived, attended or witnessed. Everybody is liking them virtually, supporting them, ‘hearting’ them and giving them thumbs up outside of tangible reality. The worst part is, no one questions their credibility or truthfulness any more’, said the organizers,’Everything posted was liked, hyped and shared, everybody thought it was ‘brave’, fun, different, told their friends about it, gave us praise. But none of it happened. It was just posted on Facebook.’
The idea behind the project was to fool everyone into believing live interventions were happening despite no one ever witnessing them and then pulling the rug of reality underneath them. Organizers were hoping to entice people into critical reexaminations of information served to them on social media and other means of mass communication.
Illetricity festival starts Saturday, December 5th, in Sirup club, Koturska street 1. The festival focuses on mixing electronic music with technology, art and design projects on different locations around Zagreb. You can check the lineup here.