The term culture jamming was coined by the audio collage group Negativland, on their Over The Edge album, Jamcon '84, drawing on the shortwave radio practice of anonymously broadcasting on unauthorized frequencies with the intent to disrupt typical ham conversations, known as 'jamming'. The recording originally aired on Berkeley's KPFA, as part of Negativland's weekly receptacle programming show, Over the Edge. On the recordingThe Universal Media Netweb's "director of stylistic premonitions", Crosley Bendix applys the notion of jamming to the practice of subverting the "official voice" of the Mass Media with a message contrary to it's intended message.

An exerpt from the broadcast:

"The cultural jammer works his secret in public, the skillfully reworked billboard with new lettering painted in the same style that the original has, turning strategic corporate elements back on themselves in a manner which is itself, invisible, directs the public viewer to a consideration of the original corporate strategy in the context of a thoughtful reaction. The studio for the cultural jammer is the world at large, his tools are paid for by others, an art with real risk. You people still painting out there - all you crazy stonecutters: Would you go to jail for your art? Well?!"

These remarks aptly describe Negativland's art, which is mainly composed from found sounds sampled mainly from what they call our "media environment". If there can be a classic in the field of culture jamming, it would probably be their album, Dyspepsi. Negativland will be known, however, as the band sued by U2 and Casey Kasem.

See also Situationist detournment, Dadaist collage, hacktivism, appropriation art. Some other examples of culture jamming: Barbie Liberation Front, etoy, graffiti art.

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