Disruptive Realism

Associate Creative Director Dave Hoffer has coined a new term: Disruptive Realism. After discussing some examples in this video, he was inspired to elaborate.

Associate Creative Director Dave Hoffer has coined a new term: Disruptive Realism. After discussing some examples in this video, he was inspired to elaborate:


"I've had a number of conversations about this since the video was posted and I realize that the video doesn't give a really conclusive definition.

Disruptive Realism is an expression presented in an everyday context that disrupts peoples perceptions about different things. Expression can mean many things and it a way it's art but it's also much more expansive a term than just art.

Banksy's graffiti looks real enough that you might do a double take looking at it. It draws you into the content which is disruptive...like a little girl flying a refrigerator kite in New Orleans.

The other two examples are even more non-conventional than the word Art implies. Most people hear the word art and they think of a painting in a museum. Because Bruno Taylor's work is an experience that involves physical designs like the swing set in the bus stop, the viewer is no longer viewing, they're interacting and the videos he takes of people enjoying the installations are, in fact, part of the art. So this example is difficult to define, but definitely real and definitely disruptive.

Improv Everywhere is one part performance art and one part massive, crowdsourced goof. People get together (often strangers) to collaborate on a kind of a joke on the unsuspecting and unknowing non-participants. In a way, it's almost an anti-terrorism...Humorism? But again, very real and very disruptive.

In the case of the fake NY Times, I would say that absolutely, it's Disruptive Realism and if the issue's headline was that the wars are over, then it's a hopeful message, which is a very good thing.

Another example a friend pointed out to me was Reverse Graffiti, where Paul "Moose" Curtis (awesome middle name by the way) "makes pictures by cleaning." He goes on to say that reverse graffiti is also commentary in that he can't "not tow the environmental line" so his art is disruptive in that he says that people walk up to it and realize that his work is dirt removal and that the world is "really, really dirty." If that ain't reality and if that ain't disruptive then I don't know what is. Hopefully viewers are moved to clean more and ride their bike to work because the art is a very visceral represesentation of how nasty pollution is.

Yet another example was Orson Welles's 'War of the Worlds' radio broadcast, which was meant as entertainment and likely a commentary on how evolution had been twisted into Social Darwinism (which is an interpretation of the HG Wells book on which the broadcast was based.) Regardless of its intention, the broadcast caused mass hysteria. An excellent example of Disruptive Realism."

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