one man’s project…

I’VE always liked art projects that take the form of a daily process. How much is one capable of achieving in a day? How does this evolve over a number of days? And what is the cumulative effect of this?

‘mexico drug war : made in the US’
‘passive smoking “kills 600,000” worldwide’

Johnny Selman’s project ‘BBCx365’ intends to ‘bridge the knowledge gap between current events and the American public.’ It involves taking one news story every day for a year (from the BBC) and designing a poster in reaction to its headline. Through visual stimulation Selman hopes to ignite an interest in world news amongst his American audience, accompanying his images with a link to further information on the article in question.

The stories span a range of themes and continents, Selman being unafraid of selecting features that shed light on aspects that some in the US may not be so eager to acknowledge. And the posters – though always clear and simple – vary in their use of text and graphic imagery; at times shocking, at times mildly humorous.

‘how south african doctors make life-and-death choices’

Ultimately I believe that this is an extremely positive approach to addressing an issue that, although acute within American culture, is probably not unique to it. I would like to think that I keep abreast of most major news stories. And I am always ready to debate the media’s representation of the world in which we live. But I must admit that there are many issues raised on the BBCx365 site that I was not aware of, and I am grateful for this means through which to learn more about them. 

‘snow disrupts travel across northern europe’

The method through which Selman has chosen to tackle this project is certainly an effective one. By reducing the story to bite-size pieces – headline/striking image – he is not only allowing the audience to digest a wide (albeit basic) selection of information, but also provoking a desire to expand on one’s understanding of it. 

However, I do fear that those who are getting most excited/involved in following the project are not the ones that it is at it’s core addressing. Therefore I will be interested to observe how it evolves, who it reaches, and the level to which it actually succeeds in effecting any change within the American psyche.   

‘shark attacks in egypt’s red sea probed by experts’

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