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Aktion Kat! - Soft Power

The debut single and titular track from Memphis-Based art rock band, Aktion Kat!'s 'Soft Power.' The video features Aktion Kat and comrades, using their unending struggle against the oppression of the P.I.G. to explore the banal ubiquity with which power works on us subconsciously, manipulating our desires and our willingness to passively submit to the influence of culture and state dominance.

  • Paul Garner
  • Paul Garner
  • Paul Garner
  • Emily Rooker
    Stay Home- Emily Rooker
  • Andrea Morales
  • Paul Garner
    Key Cast
    "Aktion Kat"
  • Clay Ayers
    Key Cast
    "Alley Kat"
  • Nate Smith
    Key Cast
    "Smarty Kat"
  • Dave Bensman
    Key Cast
    "The P.I.G."
  • Alex Hensley
    Key Cast
    "Space Kat"
    Stay Home - Emily Rooker
  • Project Type:
    Music Video
  • Genres:
    Rock, Pop
  • Runtime:
    2 minutes 40 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 22, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    1,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    4K Video (shot exclusively on Ip
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Paul Garner

Paul Garner (He/His/They/Meow) is an artist, musician & songwriter, and community organizer based in Memphis, TN. Originally from Shreveport, LA, he grew up with a natural proclivity for creativity, with both parents having backgrounds in the arts. Garner was active in the local punk music and arts scenes with his first band, “The Noids!” that hosted free all-age shows at Big D’s Bar-B-Que until he relocated to Memphis in 2006 to study at the now-defunct Memphis College of Art, graduating in 2011 with a BFA in painting. From 2012 to 2019 they worked as a community organizer for the Mid-South Peace & Justice Center around issues like housing & homelessness, public transit, police reform, and juvenile justice, and has continued to work to highlight solutions to inequality and poverty in Memphis.

While his political work may have outshined his artistic pursuits publicly, Paul has always continued making and developing his art. Though he has worked in many mediums over the years, currently, his main artistic vehicle is “Aktion Kat!” More an art project than a band. Aktion Kat! Was first developed while Garner attended MCA, as a comic book anti-hero in a psychedelic, scifi homage to trickster cats like Herriman’s Krazy Kat and the I.W.W. SaboCat. As Garner continued to write and perform music under the same name, Aktion Kat developed into an onstage fursona; the leader of an anti-capitalist rock group of anthropomorphic felines with corresponding comics, animation, videos, and backstory lore.

Aktion Kat has released 4 albums to date, Outta’ Tha Bag! (2019), Stay Home (2020), Toxoplasmik (2020), and Soft Power (2021). The current lineup is Aktion Kat on guitar and lead vocals, Alley Kat on bass and synth, and Smarty Kat on drums. Garner is the self-appointed minister of visual propaganda for Artkognito. Aktion Kat music, art, and merch can be found at aktionkat.com and on IG @aktionkat. Paul can be reached via paulgarnermemphis@gmail.com

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Director Statement

I wanted to make a video that captured the overall feel of consumerism as a tool for coercion and control, which can be a pretty dark subject, while preserving the cartoon fun of Aktion Kat! So, using the kind of Barbie-Doll aesthetic of the album, I created basement pink and white set dressings to create a kind of commercial void for the characters to exist in.