Sitting in a doctor’s reception recently I thought of the children magazine, Highlights. Highlights was always placed prominently on the side table of my upper eastside childhood dentists office. Highlights was of odd curiosity as it contained what to my young eyes was conservative thinking and strange biblical stories all with a suspect message. However, flipping fast through these pages was the Hidden Pictures. A seemingly harmless scene from everyday life, there are surprises, rewards hidden amongst the mundanity of life. A shovel, a cake, a toothbrush, all hidden in plain sight revealed only after concentrated looking, sitting quietly and a firm grip on ones attention span. Hidden Pictures, designed for ages 6 and up, and what may be a perfect way for a youngster to start on developing skills at obfuscation and trolling. At least this may be what Donald Trump is using to practice his own style of leadership skills.
“When the World is Led by a Child”, by New York Times Opinion writer, David Brooks accurately states “Trump is still a 7-year-old boy who is bouncing around the classroom”Brooks goes on to give examples of the “infantalist” such as the inability to form an interview of any word length or to learn the actual facts at hand; the need for constant admiration and the ease of giving blame. Brooks, in writing about the leaked information in the Trump Tower with Russian visitors, states the Trump, “lacks all impulse control, and above all because he is a 7-year-old boy desperate for the approval of those he admires.”
John Oliver in his show, Last Week Tonight, ran a story dissecting the tactics this administration is using to confuse and hide things in plain sight. Yes, life may look normal as in the Hidden Pictures illustration but there are many things just beyond the normalcy presented. Oliver’s theory, “whataboutism”, is exactly this, a styled propaganda designed to distract and cloud the actual picture. "It implies that all actions regardless of context share a moral equivalency," says Oliver. "And since nobody is perfect, all criticism is hypocritical and everyone should do whatever they want ... It doesn't solve a problem or win an argument. The point is just to muddy the waters, which just makes the other side mad."
So what is hidden in plain sight? What are tactics used to divert the actual? Where is that toothbrush in the Hidden Pictures?
We seek short films and video works (no more than 5 minutes) from authors/artists that explore and challenge ideas presented in this prompt, an investigation at revealing what is hidden, unraveling the distraction designed to confuse, un-muddying the smoke and mirrors.
We encourage submissions from a plurality of viewpoints, methods and forms, from artists, documentarians, students, citizens and amateurs alike.
Post Script: Much missing from those early pages in Highlights that have come to the forefront, as the magazine must redefine their representation of family life. An article printed January of 2017 by the Washington Post, reported that the publishers are adding same sex family representations in their stories and illustrations.
“The illustration comes after Highlights was accused of neglecting LGBT readers last year, and then criticized by conservatives for agreeing to include them.” – Justin Wm. Moyer of the The Washington Post.
Conservative group One Million Moms, of the American Family Association, of course attempted the magazine “not to cave into pressure from homosexual activists”.
Highlights is still owned by its 1946 founders and was a Christian publication at that time. However, according to the article the magazine has been “nonsectarian” for several decades.
I will just hope that Highlights continues on this inclusive path, that more is revealed in plain sight and not hidden in pictures.
SHORT SHORTS: 1:00 min - 5:00 max
FESTIVAL THEME: Hidden in Plain Sight (see description in call)
EVENT DATE: Friday, August 17, 2018
SUBMISISON DEADLINE: Sunday, July 22, 2018
SUBMISSION FORMAT: secure online screener
NOTIFICATIONS: Monday, August 6, 2018
EXHIBITION FORMAT: .mov (Quicktime)
FESTIVAL CONTACT: Whitespace Gallery, Emily Sorgenfrei
404 688 1892