The ovoid-faced entities that dominate the stickpeople world of Bill Barker. The Schwa are masters of persuasion and thought control, and it is by making these processes explicit that Barker deconstructs particularly insidious mainstream memes.
The Schwa are ever-present, ever-watching, and irresistable. They subjugate the hapless stickpeople through cunning manipulation of their anxieties and hopes. The stickpeople gladly give up their souls for trinkets or the promise of salvation.
Barker's illustrations are at times claustrophobic, at times agoraphobic, yet always posess a thematic minimalism that cuts to the heart of consumer culture.
Barker started emanating the Schwa gestalt in 1992 from Reno, Nevada. This meme was later commercialized in the form of The Schwa Corporation, which published the Schwa World Operations Manual in 1997.
"Stickpeople must not only be persuaded to accept Schwa's total control,
they should be conditioned to ask for it by name."