The New York art collective has launched a free streaming service that offers ‘non-genre conforming edutainment’
Founded in 2010, DIS is an art collective and magazine for the so-called “post-internet” age. Started “in the wake of the financial crisis,” co-founder Lauren Boyle writes via e-mail, the platform “was a response to seismic cultural and aesthetic shifts taking place across the internet”. Artists, designers, stylists, writers, and musicians rallied to reimagine formats and enable dialogues about the most urgent ideas of our times. An eclectic body of projects saw the light, including the online magazine, a new breed of stock imagery called DISimages, and a concept store exploring notions of taste and consumerism dubbed DISown. Most recently, DIS curated the 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. Titled “The Present in Drag”, the art fair was the culmination of the collective’s work – “the materialisation of interests embroiled in DIS magazine over the years,” Boyle explains.
Now, DIS has launched its next chapter. With the awareness that “tools have changed”, but driven by the same freewheeling force, the art collective has tapped into online streaming, and last week it unveiled its own video platform. Committed to fueling debate on the present and future of art, culture, and technology, the new initiative promises to offer content for everybody. This is what the edutainment of the future looks like, so far: a snappy talk about author Chantal Mouffe’s theory of democracy by a man with no head, an otherworldly cooking show involving Putin and french fries, and a video that explores the myth of the American Dream through refurbishing furniture. Up next, a pioneering children's telly series that teaches kids all about the “machinery of our techno-capitalist world”, and a video-essay by artist Aria Dean addressing the representation of blackness within meme culture.
“Even when we truly try to get informed, the playing field is muddied by pundits, trolls, conservatives, radicals, or by jargon, fake news, leaked emails, racist comment threads, and ‘alternative facts’” – Lauren Boyle
Ultimately, the goal is to diffuse knowledge in new and exciting ways. “Even when we truly try to get informed,” Boyle claims, “the playing field is muddied by pundits, trolls, conservatives, radicals, or by jargon, fake news, leaked emails, racist comment threads, and ‘alternative facts’.” DIS is out to combat that, setting a soft focus on seemingly disparate themes that intertwine, connect the dots between micro-trends and macro-culture, and provide viewers with vital knowledge amidst the sheer glut of information that defines the current media landscape. Made for “the curious cyborg, the overextended, the lifelong learner”, DIS will be releasing new episodes every Sunday. Besides, even the usual ad section before the start of each episode is made of quirky animations, sparing us from the typical hyper-targeted cringe-worthy commercials.
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