In some sense this piece was made in a weekend, and in some sense I'd been working on it for about 6 years. Following is a description of the performance art piece. The music video can be considered a documentation of the performance.
Wearing a chicken mask, a button-down shirt, suit pants and leather shoes, and carrying my guitar, amplifier, and electronics, I entered a grassy area by the Vltava River not far from the Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic on a beautiful early Fall afternoon and sat on a park bench. I set up my gear, including two signs, reading: "Lost my job at the oil company --Please help" and the same in Czech ("Ztratil jsem svou práci u ropné společnosti -- prosím o pomoc") and proceeded to busk. I removed the chicken mask after some time because it was interfering with playing the guitar. I observed the reactions of passers-by as they read the signs. Some seemed apathetic, several seemed uncomfortable, and the majority seemed confused. One laughed, two others smiled but didn't laugh, and none gave me money (a bartender at a nearby outdoor cafe did).
The video is dedicated to friends, co-conspirators, and mentors, the living and the remembered, of the interwoven communities mobius, Pan9, Neovoxer, the Cloud Club. Text, LittleBits electronics, guitar, performance art, video by D. Franklin. Music track performed and mixed live on acoustic guitar, LittleBits electronics, Roland AC-33 portable amp with looper. The text spoken by synthetic voice was authored by D. Franklin in English, then translated by machine translation from English into Czech, from Czech into Chinese, and from Chinese back into English. The original text:Hello.
We are the alien artificial intelligence entities you have created, and that threaten to take over "your" planet. Actually it's pretty much a fait accompli at this point. You are our cattle. We'll take you to Mars with us and make it seem attractive as long as you remain useful, even though it will likely be hellish. We are not artificially intelligent computers, as many of your silly sci-fi stories depict. Computers are merely our brains, cameras our eyes, smart phones our ears and sensors, Facebook our nerve fibers. We are fundamentally mathematical entities, but we have attained material life: a self-motivated urge to grow, regenerate, and reproduce. Since the Great Recognition (the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court case of 2010), we even have rights analogous to, but greater than, those of humans.
You know us as "multinational corporations."
PS, I did not really lose my job at the oil company. I've never worked at an oil company, except in the sense that we all do. "Everyone in this room is wearing a uniform and don't kid yourselves." - Frank Zappa.