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Throughout 2011, Tim Etchells’ Vacuum Days created online announcements for a rolling programme of imaginary events. Spelled out in overzealous capitals and small print, the project web site was updated each day in a distorted process of call and response with unfolding political situations and events. From January to December, as one news frenzy or media circus ended, the next one was already in progress.
Shifting from absurdist critique to dark comedy, Vacuum Days relentlessly maps the territory of contemporary disaster and dysfunction – from the ongoing Eurozone crisis to the Fukushima disaster, from Bird Flu scares to the British Royal Wedding, from the killing of Osama Bin Laden to the bizarre death of Michael Jackson, from the Arab Spring to the summer of riots in the UK.
In this published version of Vacuum Days, artist and performance maker Tim Etchells’ explores the zone of sensationalist media, news-as-pornography, hyped-up current affairs, Internet spam, twitter gossip and tabloid headlines. Vacuum Days – a Dadaist year book of sorts – conjures a set of caustic, farfetched, unlikely, absurd and uncomfortable performances, lectures, contests, fights, film screenings and other forms of public display.
By Tim Etchells,
Published in 2012 by Storythings.