Breaking News: Turning the Lens on Mass Media Exhibition at the Getty

Over spring break I went to the Getty and found some of the artists we have been talking about this semester. The exhibition Breaking News: Turning the Lens on Mass Media is an exhibition at the Getty that looks at America’s relationship with news, and how we rely on theses sources despite their inherent flaws. I was particularly interested in the Omer Fast piece CNN Concatenated, and did some more research after my visit. The piece is compiled of news clips that are edited to make new sentences. While the phrases are general they are particularly unsettling because of the way the newscasters deliver them.  It made me think about the way we turn to the news for answers but also for comfort from a “trusted” source. I think the piece has a new relevance today with the debate surrounding the credibility of news sources. Because the newscasters have been taken out of context their demanding voices become not comforting but scared.

Fast began the piece before 9/11, but after the attack it retained a new meaning. Fast created the sentences “what have we done to deserve this” and “what could we have done to prevent it from happening” in reaction to the confusion felt after 9/11. Especially when faced with war people turn to the news for answers, but in this piece the authoritarian voice of journalism is not reassuring but anxious.


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