Warnings

1988, 5:50 min, color, sound

Warnings contrasts the formulaic language and visuals used in the copyright infringement warnings shown at the beginning of commercial videos with the logos of the companies that produce and distribute them. By juxtaposing the two, Muntadas links the in-home entertainment experience with the threat of the "severe civil and criminal penalties" associated with copyright infringement. Muntadas places the legally sanctioned warning notices on par with corporate logos to highlight the way in which an individual's experience of both public and private space is shaped by outside political and commercial interests. The artist questions the beneficence of these institutions when he uses video to reproduce both commercial and government signage, and performs an action reminiscent of the copyright infringement against which the consumers of mass-market home video are so strictly cautioned. Because his work falls within the bounds of legality without ceding its critical dimension, Muntadas reaffirms that artists bear the responsibility of acting as a sort of "guardian of the guardians" in a society where information technologies act as an insidious force in the socialization of its members.

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DVD NTSC
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