Propaganda News Machine: Constructing Multiple Realities in the Media

On View February 17th-25th

Open Hours: 12-6 pm Tuesday – Sunday

Opening Reception:

Wednesday, February 17th, 7-9 pm with a curatorial tour through the exhibition

Public Discussion:

Thursday, February 25th, 7-9 pm


Curated by The Creative Association of Curators TOK with: Mark BoswellStephen DuncombeEli DvorkinYevgeniy Fiks and Emily Newman.

With the growth of mass communication channels, media wars have become a strong and powerful machine of creating, conducting and escalating conflicts between countries, nations and communities. In the current political agenda, when global relations between main players on the world’s political arena are again being reconsidered, the power of media in forming and broadcasting ideologically charged discourse becomes especially obvious and disturbing. Since television the Internet have become easily accessible and embraced by the masses, they have influenced our world views and fed us with selectively constructed news in order to shape our thinking and prevent us from critical analysis of the information we are being delivered.

TOK’s new exhibition ‘Propaganda News Machine’ will explore the notion of propaganda, the news construction and designs of multiple realities in the media today. The show attempts to present, analyze and unveil some of the strategies that governments use in order to create specific images/views of political and social events and influence audience’s opinions when it comes to broadcasting cases in the global political arena.

TOK curators Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits analyze the media discourse related to the conflict between Russia and the U.S. during the Cold War, as well as the new wave of opposition between the U.S. and Russia today. TOK questions if artistic practice can create an alternative media discourse free of propaganda and whether curators and artists can be independent cultural diplomats. Can art influence politics and oppose global political games?

Invited artists and researchers will analyze strategies and mechanisms of the media and mass culture realm in the era of mass television development of the Cold War era and determine whether some are still used today. Through printed series of postcards and stamps Emily Newman looks at the figure of the spy in American mass culture during the time of the Cold War and in contemporary films and TV series. In his series of posters with quotes of American politicians Yevgeniy Fiks investigates espionage concepts in the US mass culture and relations between communism and homosexuality used in the United States’ propaganda in the 50’s-60’s. Fiks draws a historical parallel to  the antigay law in Russia and how it is presented today in the U.S. media. Media researcher and activist Stephen Duncombe provides theoretical insight on the notion of ‘propaganda’ throughout history, as well as quotes of famous speakers and politicians. American filmmaker Mark Boswell will create a new work combined of short Soviet didactic films screened in movie theaters as propaganda.

‘Propaganda News Machine’ is a result of the research that TOK curators have conducted over their 3 month residency at Flux Factory. The exhibition includes documentation of the public events that TOK organized at Flux Factory prior to the exhibition in December 2015 and January 2016 to challenge a critical discourse and accumulate knowledge around the theme of propaganda and media realities it creates. The installation will comprise some archival materials found by exhibition curators in New York City Public Library and some readymade items (books, TV sets, etc.) that will be connected with art works by the invited artists.


‘Propaganda News Machine’ is supported by Trust for Mutual Understanding and Flux Factory.


Please RSVP for an individual tour with exhibition curators:


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